Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Survey results on public attitudes to smacking


Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Justice
Media Statement

19 December 2001

Survey results on public attitudes to smacking

Justice Minister Phil Goff today released the results of a survey commissioned by the Ministry of Justice to ascertain public attitudes towards the physical discipline of children.

“I asked the Ministry to commission the research to inform ongoing policy work on section 59 of the Crimes Act.

“Under section 59 parents are justified in using force by way of correction towards the child ‘if the force used is reasonable in the circumstances.’

“The survey shows that 80 percent of the public agreed that a person parenting a child should be allowed by law to smack the child with an open hand if they are naughty.

“However it showed the public is adamant that this should only occur within strict limits on the type of force used.

“The use of objects to smack a child and smacking them in the head and neck areas drew an overwhelmingly negative public response.

“Only 15 percent agreed that a child should be able to be punished with a wooden spoon or belt.

“Only 1.3 percent agreed that a parent should be legally allowed to smack a child in the head or neck area.

“A negligible 0.4 percent thought parents should be allowed to use objects like a piece of wood or an electric cord to physically punish a child.

“A majority of people (75 percent) believed that only a smack that left no mark was acceptable. Force, which involved bruising, was found to be unacceptable by almost everyone.

“The Courts by and large have reflected changing public opinion when interpreting section 59. However there have been several cases where juries have failed to convict parents for using force in excess of what most people regard as acceptable.

“It is likely that eventually public attitudes will move towards repealing legal sanctioning of smacking as has now happened in most European countries.

”In considering the issue Cabinet did not believe that a change in law which resulted in parents being prosecuted for minor smacking was desirable.

“Cabinet supports as a first step education programmes to inform parents about positive alternative forms of discipline. Other programmes would promote attitudinal and behavioural change,” Mr Goff said.

NB: The Ministry of Justice survey will be posted on the Justice website www.justice.govt.nz from 4pm today.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Perils Of Declaring Premature Victory


Sure enough, Saturday’s Vaxathon was a barrel of fun and a throwback not merely to the Telethons of the past. It also revived memories of those distant days of early 2020, when we were all carefully wiping down our groceries, not touching our faces, washing our hands for 20 seconds and responding to level four lockdowns by putting teddy bears in the window for the benefit of the little kids walking by in their family bubbles. Those were the days, when the Team of Five Million felt like a real, organic thing... More>>

RNZ: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces Cabinet decision on Covid-19 alert levels


Northland will move to level 2 at 11.59pm on 19 October. Waikato will be held at level 3, to be reviewed on Friday. Auckland will remain in level 3 with current restrictions for another two weeks... More>>

ALSO:




 
 


Government: Red Tape Cut To Boost Housing Supply
First home buyers are set to benefit from changes to planning rules being advanced by the Government and the National Party that will enable more medium density housing and cut red tape that acts as a barrier to development... More>>

ALSO:

Economy: Inflation highest in over a decade
The consumers price index rose 2.2 percent in the September 2021 quarter, the biggest quarterly movement since a 2.3 percent rise in the December 2010 quarter, Stats NZ said today. Excluding quarters impacted by increases to GST rates, the September quarter movement was the highest since the June 1987 quarter... More>>

ALSO:


Government: New Zealand Increases Climate Aid Contribution

The Government is making a four-fold increase in the support it provides to countries most vulnerable to the climate emergency, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today... More>>



Pay Cheque To Pay Cheque: Half A Million New Zealanders Have No Savings
New findings from the Consumer NZ sentiment tracker found that 15% of New Zealanders had no savings, and a further 27% were anxious about their level of savings and would like to have more tucked away... More>>


Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>


Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels