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Support for Passing of Bill

Media Statement – for immediate release 22 February 2007

Support for Passing of Bill

Relationship Services is delighted the bill repealing Section 59 has passed its second reading.

“We congratulate all those Members of Parliament who recognised that children, our most vulnerable citizens, deserve the protection of the law, and had the courage to support this bill.”

“Physical punishment does not belong in any loving relationship,” said Jeff Sanders, Chief Executive.

“Physical discipline relies on fear, which is no basis for a healthy relationship. If a child is hit, they learn to hit.”

“Relationship Services is committed to non-violent methods of child discipline which have been proven to be the effective way of both disciplining children and building a non-violent culture within the country,” said Mr Sanders.

Relationship Services does not support any amendment to the bill

“We ask that Parliament show that violence against the most vulnerable in society, our children, is no longer acceptable by repealing section 59 of the crimes Act without amendment.”

“Violence is a huge social issue in New Zealand – the repeal of Section 59 is an excellent start at addressing this issue.”

“Our laws shape society. This is one step towards changing the attitudes of New Zealanders towards family violence,” said Mr Sanders.

Relationship Services support for this bill is based on the experiences of its counsellors who work with many parents facing difficulties in their parenting, and adults who were hit as children.


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