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Minister should think outside square on Section 59

Parents Centre tells Minister to think outside the square over Section 59

12 October 2002

The repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act is long over due” said Parents Centre Chief Executive, Sue Fitzmaurice.

“It is time to look toward a future of non-violence and raise our expectations about parenthood,” said Ms Fitzmaurice. “The Minister of Youth Affairs, Hon John Tamihere, needs to think very seriously about the standard of parenting in New Zealand.

“Parents are smacking or hitting their children because it is the only way they know of disciplining them. It must be time to embark on a nationwide parent education programme.”

“There are other options available, options which take a little more time and which require the development of effective communications strategies,” added Ms Fitzmaurice. It is not acceptable for anyone to hit children, whether they be teachers, neighbours, or parents.

“It is interesting that Hon John Tamihere is opposed to the repeal of section 59. As a result of his position, we have to wonder if he would be advocating in favour of an amendment to include the right of parents to use “reasonable force” if it were not already enshrined in legislation”

The only thing Section 59 does is provide a legal defence for child abuse. It doesn’t help anyone become a better parent, it harbours bad practice. The current law does nothing to promote positive parenting – as a society we have no use for it,” said Ms Fitzmaurice


Sue Fitzmaurice Ph: 04 562 6065
Judith Stanley-Dyer Ph: 04 905 5762

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