Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


What does Sue Bradford really mean?

23 May 2006

What does Sue Bradford really mean?

Green MP Sue Bradford is reported today as having conceded that her bill removing the defence of "reasonable force" when disciplining children should not outlaw light smacking.

While this might sound like progress, the Family First Lobby has 2 concerns.

Firstly, when asked on TVNZ's "Eye to Eye" programme last year, "Do you accept [the use of] mild physical discipline [on children]?" Green Party MP Sue Bradford did not answer the question. However, she did make it clear that her long-term legislative goal was to criminalise smacking. "I accept that at this time it's too soon in this country to criminalise parents who lightly smack their children, therefore I'm simply wanting to repeal existing [legislation]." The question was restated: "But do you think it's OK to smack your kids?" Bradford replied. "Personally no, but I'd like to see the day when we no longer use that [light smacking] but I think we have a long way to go. We have a lot of education to do."

"Secondly, why remove a legal defence, yet still try and persuade parents that they will not be prosecuted," says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of the Family First Lobby. "The Police have made it quite clear that they will have to investigate complaints of smacking under the Crimes Act if s59 is removed. What Sue Bradford, the Children's Commissioner or the Prime Minister intend or desire is irrelevant. Either it is legal or illegal."

"Even now, with the protection of "reasonable force" still in place, Child Youth and Family are removing children from their parents and caregivers who use smacking as a discipline tool when necessary. If s59 is removed, good parents trying to do a great job will have every reason to be concerned," says Bob McCoskrie.

"We all want to get rid of child abuse. Sue Bradford (and hopefully the organizations that have blindly supported this proposed repeal of s59) needs to acknowledge that a blanket ban of s59 isn't the answer, and work on the real causes - the breakdown of families, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and other factors," says Bob McCoskrie. "Section 59 has not been able to be used to defend a child abuser. It's working, and always has worked."

The Family First Lobby repeats its call to Sue Bradford to immediately withdraw the Amendment Bill about to go through the costly and time consuming Select Committee stage, and to divert the time and resource towards supporting good parents trying to do a great job, and investing in the early intervention of families who are deemed at-risk.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>


Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>


State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>





Featured InfoPages