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Destiny Churches Oppose Anti-Smacking Bill

Press Statement for Immediate Release

Bishop Brian Tamaki
Destiny Churches New Zealand
www.destinychurch.org.nz

21 November 2006

Destiny Churches Oppose Anti-Smacking Bill

Bishop Brian Tamaki, the Senior Minister of Destiny Churches New Zealand, has expressed grave concerns with the continued progress of Green MP Sue Bradford’s anti-smacking bill. The NZ Herald this morning confirmed claims by the bill's sponsor that she has enough votes to ensure the bill becomes law.

“This is a very dangerous political development that all New Zealand parents should be equally concerned about. Because it effectively criminalizes any parent who uses ‘reasonable’ force when applying proper corrective discipline to their own children,” says Bishop Tamaki.

Section 59 of the Crimes Act covers parents who use ‘reasonable force’ in appropriate circumstances of child discipline. If section 59 were to be removed, police would be duty-bound to put parents in the same circumstances before the courts. To that end, the Police Commissioner has affirmed that, should section 59 be repealed, what has been previously considered to be reasonable force for the purpose of correction (such as smacking) will be considered assault before the law and hence, open to prosecution. What that means in practical terms, is that should the police be called to a home where a child says, “daddy smacked me,” that dad will likely face criminal prosecution and/or state intervention because it is not the job of police to determine guilt, theirs is simply to put the matter before the courts, which is a process that can stretch on for months and years.

“This bill could tear good families apart, put decent loving parents before the courts and place children at the mercy of the state welfare system,” Tamaki added.

Bishop Tamaki also reemphasized that the bill compromises the position of many Christians because it contradicts their God-given responsibility to raise children accordingly to biblical principle, which includes administering loving, proper corrective discipline in appropriate circumstances.

ENDS

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