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Families Commission out of touch with NZ families

25 May 2006

Families Commission out of touch with NZ families

The Family First Lobby is questioning whether the Families Commission is really supporting, and speaking on behalf of, NZ families. Families Commissioner Rajen Prasad could have chosen his words more carefully before describing responsible acts of parental discipline as “assault”.

His submission to the “anti smacking” Bill Select Committee today was insulting and demeaning to the vast majority of parents who are able to physically discipline their children without ‘beating’ them.

The Family First Lobby is disappointed that the Families Commission has chosen not to support the families for whom it was created to represent. Instead it seems to believe that the state is better able than NZ parents to decide how their kids should be corrected and directed. Any reasonable person (including jurists) understands what reasonable force means!

The argument presented that the police will not prosecute “trivial” cases involving smacking is specious and unsubstantiated.

The Families Commissioner should know that even under the current law (s59), children have been removed from their parents or caregivers by Child Youth and Family, even when found by courts to have used reasonable force. The Family First Lobby calls on the Families Commission to represent the voice of NZ families.


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