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Section 59-Barnardos fronts up to Select Committee

25 May 2006

Barnardos fronts up to Select Committee for repeal of Section 59

Barnardos New Zealand, the largest not-for-profit children’s organisation in the country, was one of the first to present its oral submission at the Justice and Electoral Select Committee’s first session on Thursday, 25 May.

Murray Edridge, Chief Executive of Barnardos, says “it is telling that no leading children’s organisation in New Zealand is opposed to the repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act.”

“That speaks volumes for where the issue is at for the organisations and people who are most concerned with children’s wellbeing.”
Murray summed up the Barnardos New Zealand’s oral submission to the select committee as:

1. Supporting full repeal of Section 59 on the grounds that it is unnecessary to good parenting; and that the statutory defence cannot be justified on the grounds of public safety or the public good.

2. affirming our belief that prosecution guidelines and Police discretion will in practice provide adequate protection against unnecessary prosecution of loving and conscientious parents;

3. accepting additional amendment to the law that affirms the desirability of parents not using physical punishment and explicitly excludes physical restraint of a child on the grounds of safety from the definition of Assault in the Crimes Act;

4. commending the Government for its commitment to continued support for the SKIP programme and other measures designed to better equip parents in effective positive parenting techniques.

The oral submission is attached and has also been posted on Barnardos New Zealand’s website www.barnardos.org.nz.


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