Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Family Values

Family Values

Monday, 25 February 2008
Press release: Ian Hassall

The attacks on the Children's Commissioner by the pro-smacking petition folk are becoming rather extreme. They have accused her of insulting past generations of parents by daring to suggest that the good old days might not have been so good for many children. "Incredible arrogance and intolerance", "out of touch with reality", they say.

What they fail to do is provide any evidence to back their claim that parents in the past on average achieved better results than present day parents. Of course it would be virtually impossible to find such evidence. How would you judge? If the measure is numbers of children killed and injured there is no discernible trend. What we do know is that at the time of publication of the 2003 Unicef report New Zealand had not shown the downward trend in child homicides that other OECD countries have had and it has been widely acknowledged within this country that we have a problem.

The connection between child homicide and the licence to assault children that was formerly provided by Section 59 of the Crimes Act is not difficult to draw although impossible to prove. Very likely more important in reducing the number of abused children in New Zealand would be a widespread respect for children's right to physical integrity.

The old law was a barrier to the development of this level of respect but with the debate leading up to its amendment there seems to have been a taking of stock in our attitudes toward our children. This is what the Commissioner has pointed out and I agree with her that it is healthy. Arrogant? No.

The petition folk are crusading under a banner of family values. We each have our own understanding of what is meant by the phrase. Some include physical punishment and threat in the meaning. Others have a different vision. One thing is clear. Family values are too important to be left to an extreme and angry group to define.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>




Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>


Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>


Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>


(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>






Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election