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Maori leaders must respect voice of parents



Maori leaders must respect voice of parents and fix law

26 May 08. The Family Party is calling on Maori leaders to respect the overwhelming voice of New Zealanders who want the ill-conceived anti-smacking law fixed.

Research commissioned by Family First has revealed strong public opposition to the anti-smacking law, which has increased from 62% last year to 73% now. 85% said that the new law should be changed to state explicitly that parents who give their children a smack that is reasonable and for the purpose of correction are not breaking the law (up from 82% last year). More than half of mothers with children under 12 admit to flouting the law.

Last week Richard Lewis challenged a statement by Dr Hone Kaa calling on Maori leaders to support the repeal of Section 59.

“Dr Kaa and anybody who continues to support the ill-conceived anti-smacking law clearly remains out of step with the vast majority of New Zealand parents who want this law fixed. They also seem to be the only ones who haven’t grasped the difference between responsible corrective discipline and abuse. We are all very concerned about child abuse. But to continue to describe a reasonable smack for the purposes of correction as ‘violence towards children’ is either deliberately misleading or plain stupid,” said Mr Lewis.

Mr Lewis said the research was also consistent with the views of Pacific and Maori parents in South Auckland.

"We've been doing a lot of work on the ground in Mangere and the wider South Auckland community over the last six months. The vast majority of parents are very concerned at the anti-smacking law and continue to use a reasonable smack for corrective discipline. They want the law fixed," he added.

The Family Party wants Section 59 of the Crimes Act reinstated to afford decent loving parents protection from criminal liability.

• 73% oppose the anti-smacking law (47% ‘strongly disagree’)
• 85% say the law should be changed
• 37% say they are more likely to vote for party that promises change to the law
• More than half of mothers with children under 12 admit to flouting the law

Read Full Report - [link]


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