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Anderton: Anti-smacking bill vote will be close

20 February 2007

Anderton: Anti-smacking bill vote will be close

Jim Anderton, Progressive Leader, said today that he is voting for the second reading of the amended anti-smacking bill tomorrow, even though he prefers the original, because on his calculation the vote is going to be very close.

"As I see it we shouldn’t beat around the bush on this one, a straight repeal of section 59 of the Crimes Act provides the strongest and clearest message that we no longer condone physical violence against children.

"Not so long ago a blind eye was turned toward men beating their wives in this country but that attitude has never been backed up by law as it is for children–it was and is against the law for adults to hit, beat or smack each other. They can’t use reasonable force and discipline as an excuse.

"However, the select committee has amended the bill so that parents can still use reasonable force in some circumstances, but not for the purpose of correction, which in my view is not as strong as the message should be.

“But it has been reported that some parties may block vote against the bill, so voting could go to the wire and my vote may just make the difference and the bill as amended is definitely better than the status quo,” Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

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