Anti Smacking Law Poses Significant Risks
15 November 2007
Anti Smacking Law Poses Significant Risks Despite MSD Report
Richard Lewis, Leader of THE FAMILY PARTY, says a recent report from the Ministry of Social Development that there has not been a “huge increase in numbers of notifications,” since the law was passed in May, is no reflection of the ever-present danger the law poses to New Zealand families.
“The government is hardly in a position to make credible statements on the affects of a law they rammed through parliament despite overwhelming public opposition. What we do know is that the law has not stopped incidents of abuse in the home. And we also know the law exposes decent, law-abiding parents to significant risk of unwarranted state intervention” says Mr Lewis.
The anti smacking bill’s architect, Sue Bradford, says a public smack could be a sign of bigger problems occurring behind closed doors. A NZPA report quotes Ms Bradford as saying, “while on the surface it might appear like a simple smack…what we don’t know is what else is happening in that family with that child, or other children, or the mother or some other family member.”
Mr Lewis says Ms Bradford’s statement reveals the true intent of the law, which is to gain unlimited access into the homes of New Zealand families.
“This really is another example of state intrusion of the worst kind. Sure, there are legitimate cases of abuse that we are all concerned about. But the police and government departments were already adequately empowered to deal with such cases under the Crimes Act. Bradford’s law gives the state unlimited power to enter a home and scrutinize the lives of decent, law-abiding parents, which is inherently unjust and abusive,” he added.
Mr Lewis says The Family Party aims to protect the rights and responsibilities of parents.