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The Smacking Smoke-Screen


16 February 2006

The Smacking Smoke-Screen

So now Child, Youth and Family Minister Ruth Dyson has joined Green MP Sue Bradford and the Prime Minister in denying what is obvious hoping to fool the public in order to advance their anti-family agenda. They all say smacking will not be banned if this Crimes Amendment Bill goes ahead and Section 59 of the Crimes Act is repealed.

They do this in the face of a letter I received from the Commissioner of Police, and then circulated widely, in which he says very plainly that smacking will become an act of criminal assault if Section 59 is repealed. Even Children's Commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro had to admit at a Forum of child advocacy groups she held in Wellington February 9th that repeal would criminalise parents. Both Bradford and Dr Kiro, by the way, have adopted the UN's extreme position that even the lightest of smacks constitutes violence and abuse by definition.

But all this about smacking is a smoke screen. The real objective of repealing Section 59 is to reduce parents to the status of government baby-sitters, for their legal ability to exercise definite authority over their children will be completely removed.

ENDS

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