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Bradford still confident of Bill's success

Bradford still confident of Bill's success

The Government's decision not to pick up the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Bill will give opponents more time to further their misinformation campaign, but the Bill's sponsor Green Party MP is confident it will get through in the end.

"I intend to continue to work alongside the many organisations and individuals who support my Bill during the next two to three months to get the message out that this is an anti-beating, anti-child-violence bill, not a piece of legislation that will see tens of thousands of well-meaning parents dragged into court for the occasional light smack," Ms Bradford says.

The Bill is now unlikely to go through its Third Reading until June.

"This means that the opponents' campaign of misinformation is likely to continue until the bitter end. I am really concerned that this will continue to cause unnecessary fear among many ordinary decent parents.

"I am not surprised that the Government has chosen not to pick up my Bill. All along I felt this was far from certain given the length of time the remaining debate is likely to take and the controversial nature of the issue.

"What is most important to me is that the Bill passes in the end, in a shape that retains my original goal: To remove the defence of 'reasonable force' for the purposes of correction under s59 of the Crimes Act," Ms Bradford says.

Letters and emails and other forms of support continue to pour into my office at Parliament, far outnumbering communications from the Bill's opponents.

United Future MP Gordon Copeland's amendment to my Bill around the issue of 'time out', while well-meaning, is unnecessary.

The amendment put forward by the Select Committee already covers this - in sections (c) and (d) under 'Parental Control'.

While Mr Copeland does have an opinion from Peter McKenzie that the Bill as drafted does not deal with 'time out' the Law Commission has rejected this opinion, Ms Bradford says.


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