Parliament

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

 

Interest in S59 welcomed, but fears unwarranted

20 February 2007

Interest in S59 welcomed, but fears are unwarranted

Green Party MP Sue Bradford welcomed the interest being shown by the opponents of her Bill to reform the Crimes Act provision that provides an excuse for violence towards children, but said that the fears being expressed about S59 repeal were unwarranted.

"There were 1,200 signatures to the letter opposing my Bill. This a small but vocal group who obviously have access to large amounts of money. The advertising spreads purchased in the weekend newspapers did their credibility no good whatsoever.

" My sympathies lie with the 20,000 or more children - on Police estimates - in family violence situations, and not with the imagined consequences of my Bill upon parental rights, " Ms Bradford says. .

" The opposing groups' major concern seems to be that parents will be charged with assault if they smack their children. This concern is unwarranted. The removal of the defence of " reasonable force' in punishing children is not an attack on parents' rights, but is a necessary step in a complex process of weaning society away from a culture of abuse of children.

"Repeal of s59 will not criminalize parents. Police, as always, will exercise discretion about mounting a prosecution, as their procedural rules require them to do. Only abusive parents have reason to fear the repeal of S59.

" Other countries around the world are making similar law changes to offer children the same protection from assault as adults. Repeal of S59 is a necessary step towards creating a political and social culture which values and nurtures children, rather seeing them as merely the property of their parents.

"Thirty years ago, it was common to regard domestic violence by husbands as a man's right within the sanctity of his own home to 'discipline' his wife. Few people now hold such antiquated views, which were based on the notion of women as property. In time, I believe we will come to see violence against children in the same intolerable light.

"It is time for New Zealand to leave behind the 1970s attitude that belting your kids into submission is the right and proper way to raise healthy adults. As long as we have a law that allows adults to legally use violence against children, New Zealand cannot hold its head high in the community of nations."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Why We’re Not Getting An Inquiry Into The White Island Disaster

The Ardern government has made an art form out of reviews and inquiries- when to hold them, when to fold them, and when to shelve the findings, virtually untouched. Among other things, the WorkSafe criminal proceedings into the Whakaari /White Island disaster look like the outcome of a conscious political strategy. The government is choosing this route instead holding a proper inquiry, because it can conveniently narrow the focus only to (a) the events prior to the eruption and (b) solely to possible violations of our labour laws... More>>

 

UN SDG: A Greener, Cleaner, Brighter Future

'The world has a high fever and is burning up. Climate disruption is daily news – from devastating wildfires to record floods. The damage to people and the environment is immense and growing.' - UN Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

ALSO:

Carbon Neutral Policy: Gov Declares Climate Emergency

The Government has launched a major new initiative to combat climate change that will require the public sector to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. More>>

ALSO:

Pill Testing: Govt Moves On Drug Checking To Keep Young New Zealanders Safer This Summer

The Government will pass time limited legislation to give legal certainty to drug checking services, so they can carry out their work to keep New Zealanders safer this summer at festivals without fear of prosecution, Health Minister Andrew Little ... More>>

ALSO:

Tax: Government Fulfils Election Undertaking On New Top Tax Rate

The Government will today keep its election promise to put in place a new top tax rate of 39 per cent on income earned over $180,000. More>>

ALSO:

Media: Stuff Holds Itself Accountable For Wrongs To Māori

Stuff has today published the results of an investigation into itself, and issued a public apology, for the way the media organisation has portrayed Māori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, from its first editions to now. Tā Mātou Pono | More>>

ALSO:

Economy: Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management

The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance ... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels