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Challenge to Barnardos To Save $9m on Referendum

25 June 2009

Challenge to Barnardos To Save $9m on Referendum

Family First NZ is calling on Barnardos, Plunket and other government funded agencies running the Yes Vote campaign for the upcoming Referendum to support a minor law change and save the country $9m.

“These groups constantly say that they don’t want to see good parents criminalized for light smacks. We agree,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “If they are being honest about desire, then they will have no problem lobbying the government to adopt the Boscawen Private Members Bill which is similar to the Borrows amendment.”

“On the Barnardos website, they say ‘One of the fears that people had about the law change was that it would result in parents being prosecuted for occasional inconsequential assaults (eg smacking a child lightly). No one wanted this to happen. Prosecutions for inconsequential assaults would upset families more than help them.’”

“Unfortunately that has been the exact outcome of the law, and that is one of the reasons why 80%-plus of the country want the law changed.”

“It is also ironic that these groups have refused to allow discussion on defining a level of what is reasonable correction, yet still expect the police to define a level that is inconsequential.”

“For the sake of NZ parents, we need to get this law right. Parents have a right to know whether they are parenting within the law or not, and not subject to the arbitrary application of the police and no such discretion required on CYF. Parents have been confused by these government groups suggesting one thing and then saying another thing.”

Family First currently has a number of cases – independently examined by a senior police officer - before the Prime Minister and other Cabinet ministers which show evidence of good families being criminalized, investigated, and prosecuted under the anti-smacking law.




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