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Lobby group offers help through smacking mess

Focus on the Family offer Government & parents help through smacking mess

Focus on the Family New Zealand believe that its time for the Government to seek the assistance of family-help organisations, in an effort to help parents deal with one of the most controversial laws to affect parents in this country.


Sheryl Savill, the author of the Citizens Initiated Referendum, and Programme Administrator for Focus on the Family, says that far from bringing a clear answer to the smacking  issue, the new law creates confusion and many unanswered questions for parents in New Zealand.


“If we smack our children we will be breaking the law…or will we?” Asks Mrs. Savill, “And that’s why we believe that the petition calling for a referendum on this issue, at the next election is still needed.  I urge everyone to continue collecting signatures for both petitions.”


The confusion suggests that the answer is not simply through the State legislating change. But, that the solutions will ultimately be found in parent education.


Tim Sisarich, Executive Director of Focus on the Family (NZ) believes that its time to turn our attention to helping good parents overcome the murky legislation.


Although the intent is to give Police discretion, what does that mean?  And how will it actually work? What role will CYFS have in all of this? Will they still have the power to come into our homes and remove our children if they suspect that smacking has been used to correct offensive or disruptive behavior?


Mr. Sisarich says that “With all the debate that has been flying around, parents are confused and don’t know where they stand.” He goes on to say, “That while many of us as parents don’t agree with the new legislation, we need to look at how we can best help families thrive in this new environment.”


According to Mr. Sisarich a copy of Focus on the Family’s parenting resource, ‘Essentials of Discipline’ has been sent to all the key players of this debate.


 “Focus on the Family New Zealand believes so strongly in empowering, educating and equipping parents in their role of growing great kids, that we want every parent to have access to this type of resource. This will give parents the best possible tools in the area of healthy discipline.” And he says that, “We look forward to being able to work alongside Government in a bid to put the focus on the family.”





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