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Parents are not being criminalised

Barnardos New Zealand

Media release

 

19 December 2008

 

Parents are not being criminalised

Barnardos New Zealand welcomes the latest Police report on the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Act 2007, confirming yet again that the law is working well and the impact on the Police activity remains minimal.

“The law is working well. There is no significant increase in the numbers of parents being prosecuted, which clearly shows that the Police are exercising discretion and only prosecuting serious incidents under the law”, says Murray Edridge, Chief Executive of Barnardos New Zealand.

“Research conducted by the Children’s Issue Centre and the Office of the Children’s Commissioner[1] shows that more parents understand that hitting children is not effective and are moving towards positive discipline methods. They understand the law and support it”.

“Therefore it is important that we continue to educate and support people to be positive parents. As indicated by this research, parents are increasingly seeking alternative, more positive, discipline methods for guiding their children”, adds Mr Edridge.

“Barnardos urges all new Ministers of Parliament to familiarise themselves with the child discipline law and the reasons why it was changed. The law sets an important standard, granting children the same legal protections from assault as all other citizens in New Zealand”, concludes Mr Edridge.

ENDS

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