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Playcentre supports total repeal of Section 59

Playcentre supports total repeal of Section 59

Bill should remain unamended
Media Release
23 Nov 2006

The NZ Playcentre Federation was pleased to read the report of the Select Committee on the Crimes (Abolition of Force as a Justification for Child Discipline) Amendment Bill. We congratulate the Select Committee on their work and on their recognition that there is no justification for the use of force in the correction of children.

Mrs Robynn Kopua, President of the New Zealand Playcentre Federation, believes that the proposed amendment of the Bill is unnecessary, however. The amendment would sanction the use of force against children in some circumstances. "I have faith in our justice system," Mrs. Kopua stated, "and in the judgement of our police to not prosecute a parent who has tugged a child out of danger."

Playcentre does not support the enshrining of an amendment that would make children the only group in New Zealand society who could legally be assaulted, even if correction could not be a justification for the assault. "We believe that the anti-violence message of the bill should remain undiluted. The impact of violence against children is long-lasting and extends over generations. We need a strong statement that violence is not the answer."

Mrs. Kopua noted that the Early Childhood Regulations already prohibit any use of physical force against children in an early childhood centre. "Children should be safe everywhere in our society, not just in their schools and Playcentres," she said.

ENDS

Website: www.playcentre.org.nz

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