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Release on Silent Protest

Press Statement for immediate release. August 8th, 2007

Larry Baldock, Co-leader of Future NZ, and sponsor of the Citizens Initiated Referendum (CIR) petition said he was strongly in support of today’s silent protest over our awful child abuse in New Zealand.

“When all New Zealander’s have the opportunity to tick the box on next years ballot paper saying yes to the referendum demanding the Government ‘give urgent priority to understanding and addressing the wider causes of family breakdown, family violence and child abuse in NZ’ they should have in mind the kind of practical and useful action outlined in Five-point action plan called for by Lobby Groups, Family First, For the Sake of Our Children Trust and the Sensible Sentencing Trust.

The only concern I have is that there is a danger of any Commission of Inquiry becoming just another useless talkfest with yet more reports on what should be done. We already know from extensive research all over the globe that family breakdown, drug and alcohol abuse, poverty and stress are key factors in all child abuse incidences.

The last thing we need is to have money wasted by the Government on their appointed officials like the Children’s Commissioner and Chief Family Commissioner being involved in an enquiry when their solution to the problem just a few months ago was to ban smacking, thereby making good parents into law breakers and the tough job of parenting even tougher!

We should be listening those experts working at the coal-face of the problem who are already working with at risk families. We need to see an immediate increase in support for the volunteers doing a great job in our communities but with little funding from the Government. It is an outrage that these organisations have to devote so much of their time and resources every year to completing mountains of application forms to seek funding for their activities.

The real answers for us as a nation lie in point 3 of the proposed action plan.
To solve the problem long term we must rebuild a strong marriage culture to reduce the number children who are growing up without the protection and nurture of their dads.

Tougher sentencing for those committing these atrocities is an important part of justice and may play a small role in reducing offences, but if we do not start teaching our young people how to have successful long term relationships with enduring marriages, we simply will not have enough prisons to contain all the violent offenders in our society.

A media based anti-‘child abuse’ campaign would be a useful shock campaign to wake all New Zealander’s up to the reality of what is occurring in our communities, but that must be followed by an equally funded nationwide positive parenting education campaign in the media to provide solutions to those who have never had decent parental role models before the stumbled into parenthood themselves.

I am confident today’s silent protest will be another useful step in addressing our social problems.

However I believe it is essential we complete the two CIR petitions to ensure that the repeal of Sue Bradford’s stupid anti-correction/smacking law and that sensible action as outlined in the 5-point action plan being promoted today is firmly on the political agenda at next years election,” he said.

Mr Baldock called on everyone concerned to achieve a long term solution to the problem of child abuse to continue the work required to complete the CIR petitions on the following questions;

1.) “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?”

2.) "Should the Government give urgent priority to understanding and addressing the wider causes of family breakdown, family violence and child abuse in NZ"


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