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North Greens welcome iwi support on violence bill

Press release Whangarei Greens

12 June 2006

North Greens welcome iwi support on violence bill

The backing of Green MP Sue Bradford’s amendment to the Crimes Act by the leaders of iwi in Te Tai Tokerau is being warmly welcomed by Northern Greens.

The seven northern tribes of Ngapuhi, Te Aupouri, Ngati Kahu, Whaingaroa, Te Rarawa, Ngati Wai and Ngati Whatua have made a joint submission supporting the bill's proposed repeal of section 59 of the Crimes Act, which allows parents to use force "by way of correction towards a child if that force is reasonable in the circumstances".

Green spokeswoman Moea Armstrong said the move signalled a “united will to return to traditional values held by both tangata whenua and tangata tiriti, when children were treated with respect and care, physically and emotionally”.

She said respect was more than just the absence of violence, it required the replacement of aggressive behaviour with actively learning more creative ways of dealing with the conflict of will, that fosters the development of children’s inner discipline.

“The bill has already succeeded in raising awareness that violence against children is unacceptable, and aims to move public opinion further away from tolerating adult behaviour that if left unchecked, can escalate into the deaths of vulnerable youngsters.”

She said that iwi in the north had taken a brave and proactive stance on the issue consistent with decolonisation moves, and that society has much to learn from tikanga surrounding child-raising.


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