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PM Labels Good Parents People who Thrash and Beat

29 MARCH 2007

Prime Minister Labels Good Parents as People who want to “Thrash and Beat” Children

Family First is disgusted with comments made by the Prime Minister attacking and insulting the huge proportion of NZ parents who oppose the ‘anti-smacking’ bill.

In Parliament today, Dr Michael Cullen reiterated what the Prime Minister is saying about good parents who oppose the bill and don’t want to be treated as criminals under the law.

Cullen quoted the PM as saying “… our rate of child death and injury from violence, including in the home, is appalling. It is a stain on our international reputation, and I cannot see how those who are demanding the right to be able to thrash and beat children can possibly then turn around and profess concern about what is happening to our children.”

“The Prime Minister continues to insult good and loving parents raising law-abiding children, and treats them with contempt,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “To suggest that they are ‘demanding the right to be able to thrash and beat children’ shows just how far she is removed from the reality of parenting.”

According to yet another poll showing overwhelming opposition to the ‘Anti-Smacking” Bill, 70% of NZ’ers believe that a smack is an appropriate form of discipline. The TV3 poll also found that even if the law is passed, only 27% will stop smacking in private. 48% will ignore the law, and 22% will have a think about it!

Mr McCoskrie says that it is sad that as a country we are not willing to tackle the real causes of child abuse as identified by UNICEF and CYF reports and local and international research, which consistently points the finger at family breakdown, low maternal education and maternal age at birth, drug and alcohol abuse, poor housing, and poverty and stress.

Perhaps the clearest message from the poll is that 80% of kiwis agree with Family First’s call for Labour to allow a conscience vote.

“If the bill is a good law, the clear majority of MP’s should see that. The Prime Minister only ‘has the whip out’ because the bill would be defeated if left to the conscience of her MP’s,” says Mr McCoskrie.


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