Families Commission questionable call for support
THE FAMILY PARTY
PRESS STATEMENT FOR RELEASE
8 Feb 08
Families Commission questionable call for parental support
Richard Lewis says a Families Commission call for New Zealanders to do more to show they support and value parents is commendable but contradicts their position on the smacking issue. The Families Commission advocated repealing Section 59 despite overwhelming public opposition.
“The vast majority of New Zealand parents know the difference between a responsible smack and ‘the bash’ and strongly opposed the bill. But government rammed it through anyway. Where was the parental support from the Families Commission then? To the contrary, the Commission disregarded the vast majority of decent, law-abiding parents, choosing rather to tow Labour’s party-line along with most of parliament’s MP’s,” says Richard Lewis, leader of The Family Party.
Mr Lewis says a lot of parents who have traditionally smacked their children in a responsible manner and in appropriate circumstances believe it is a genuine and effective form of positive discipline that they are not prepared to abandon. This has however created a lot of fear and anxiety at the risk of prosecution and unwarranted state intervention in light of the new law.
“I think it’s commendable that the Families Commission is calling for greater recognition and support for parents. But their stance on the smacking issue revealed an ideologically alignment more akin to the liberal Labour-led Government rather than the traditional values of most New Zealand parents. And they’ve exposed many good parents to unnecessary risk of state intervention. I think the Commission should carefully consider changing its position on the smacking debate, which is by no means over,” he said.
The Family Party aims to reinstate Section 59 of the Crimes Act and is actively involved in collecting signatures towards the petition for a Citizens Initiated Referendum on the issue.