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Positive move for parenting in New Zealand

Media Release
Strictly embargoed until 6pm, 19 February 2008

Positive move for parenting in New Zealand

A new book published by Save the Children was launched this evening: Unreasonable Force: New Zealand’s Journey Towards Banning Punishment of Children.

The book tells the 40-year history of the advocacy and action which in May 2007 resulted in the repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act 1961 – which now means that ‘reasonable force’ by way of correction can no longer be used as a legal defence for assaulting a child.

“The Repeal of Section 59 was a huge step towards the protection of children in New Zealand,” says Carol Becker, Plunket New Zealand President.

“The law change has raised awareness that violence against children is not acceptable under any circumstances and that there are more appropriate ways of parental control.”

“It is important that parents are made aware of the parenting education that is widely available to support them in developing positive parenting techniques. It is also vital that as a nation we continue to provide effective family support services such as home visiting and child-care support.”

It is now widely accepted that parenting is a conscious process which requires both an understanding of children’s developmental progression and being receptive and responsive to children’s needs. There are many programmes available to support parents to build on their confidence and knowledge in positive parenting techniques such as Plunket’s own Parenting Education programme (PEPE), PAFT (Parents as First Teachers), and SKIP (Strategies with Kids, Information for Parents) developed by Family and Community Services.


About the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society
The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society (Plunket) this year celebrates its centenary year. Plunket is New Zealand’s largest provider of services to support the health and development of children under five and is dedicated to working with parents and communities to ensure that New Zealand children get the best start in life. Plunket’s services help families nationwide, through over 550 branches, mobile clinics and a free phone service, PlunketLine – 0800 933 922. For more information go to www.plunket.org.nz

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