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


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news