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One year of Child Discipline Act - all good news

New Zealand

23 June 2008

Media release

One year on from the passing of the Child Discipline Act and its all good news.

Beth Wood, spokesperson for EPOCH New Zealand and co-author of Unreasonable Force: New Zealand’s journey towards banning physical punishment of Children said tonight that the release of the Six Month Review of Police Activity was just one more good news item about how the 2007 child discipline bill is working.

“The Police Report just released on 23rd June 2008 indicates that contrary to the predictions of pro-smackers New Zealand parents are not being criminalised in droves and the relatively few cases that come to the attention of the Police and dealt with sensibly”.

“A couple of weeks ago a report from the Ministry of Health showed a pleasingly low rate incidence of use of corporal punishment and only about one third of parents thought that physical punishment was an effective disciplinary tool”.

“The law already seems to be contributing to a change in attitude and behaviour – in time this will lead to better lives for many New Zealand children” said Beth.

“ It seems a great pity that we continue to be distracted by negative messages from those who promote smacking and that we may end up having a costly referendum. The money would be much better spent on promoting positive parenting messages and supporting families,” said Beth.

“It is just over one year since the law came into force. The New Zealand story is already of great interest to other countries moving towards similar reform. Let’s be proud of what has happened here in New Zealand and encourage parents to discipline children without modelling violence”.


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