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Double standards on smacking law



22 November 2007

Double standards on smacking law

Richard Lewis, leader of The Family Party, says yesterday’s criminal conviction of a Masterton father who smacked his child three times on the bottom with an open palm is a massive over-reaction and the outcome of very bad, anti-family law.

“Based on the details that I'm aware of, this father was doing the responsible thing of addressing his son’s bad behaviour at school. He’s done what many thousands of responsible kiwi dads have done in the past and probably continue to do, and that’s smack their son on the bottom with an open palm in appropriate circumstances,” says Mr Lewis.

He says parents should maintain the right to apply responsible corrective discipline in their home without fear of prosecution.

“We are all against abuse. But there is a world of difference between abuse and an open palm smack on the bottom. Most New Zealand parents know the difference. The hypocrisy of all of this is that a senior government minister can punch a fellow MP in the face and get away with it while this father is dragged before the courts and given a criminal conviction,” Mr Lewis added.

He warns that parents found in similar circumstances are in grave danger of unwarranted state intervention and prosecution.

The Family Party aims to restore parental protection by reinstating Section 59 of the Crimes Act, which allowed parents to use ‘reasonable’ force in circumstances deemed to be appropriate and reasonable.


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