Tuesday, 20 March 2007

20 March 2007 - Nanny State's fascist anti-smacking bill

Nanny State's fascist anti-smacking bill

Submitted by Mitch on Thu, 2007-03-15 02:25.
In response to the dictatorship's intention to take away a parent's right to smack their children, a march on Parliament is being organised for March Wednesday 28th March. Reports from the media suggest that up to 80% of people are opposed to Sue Bradford's bill, and in a somewhat pleasing development, some MPs have finally started kicking up a fuss.

For more information, or to help with the organisation of this march, please e-mail antiantismacking@gmail.com.

If something isn't done about this now, next they will be telling us that due to high rates of "child abuse" (i.e. parents smacking their children for correctional purposes), you now need to apply for permission to HAVE children, and as an extension of this, you may need a permit for any act likely to lead to children.

If you have children, intend to have children, or are just flat out opposed to Nanny State, you MUST support this cause.

UPDATE: The March will start at 12pm at Wellington's Civic Square. NOTE: Wednesday the 28th! I don't want people turning up a week early. Another strong rumour is that Bob McCoskrie of Family First is organising an Auckland March. More details as they come to hand...

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Oh My! The Fascists Are Fearful!! :-)
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Tue, 2007-03-20 00:31.
Just out from the Green Party:


20 March 2007

Fear on the march

Green Party MP Sue Bradford is concerned that some of those planning to join next week’s marches against her repeal of the S59 defence for assaults on children, are not being told the full story by the organizers.

“I fully support the right to free speech, but am concerned that some of those marching may be responding to needless fears whipped up about the Bill, and its consequences,” Ms Bradford says.

“My Bill does not, and will not criminalise parents who lightly smack their children. It removes a defence for what has always been a technical assault. In addition, any sensible reading of the Police guidelines on prosecution will show that Police will exercise their discretion on this matter.

“This latest round of hysteria seems to have united the Christian fundamentalists with the libertarians – who normally baulk at anyone claiming to have a ‘God-given’ mandate for anything. It may be news to the libertarians, but the state has long had a role in the home, well before my Bill first saw daylight.

“Laws on incest, on domestic violence, and the requirements around ensuring the health and education of children are all examples of the state taking action within the home, to protect the vulnerable.

“This Bill is about the rights of children to grow free up from violence. My concern is that some people will be marching against phantom fears – and not against what the Bill really means,” Ms Bradford says.

“The press release announcing the march cites current polls showing 80 per cent opposition to my Bill.’ In fact, the 80 percent figure seems derived from a 2002 Justice Ministry report that found 80 percent of New Zealanders felt smacking a child with an open hand is acceptable. In its amended form my Bill does remove the right to use reasonable force for correction – but it contains four clauses stating other contexts where reasonable parental force is permitted.

“ The press release for the march also raises fears about good parents having their babies taken away under my Bill. Let me clear about this. Unless parents were seriously abusing their children that bogey – the Politically Correct are coming for your baby – will be no more likely if my Bill is passed than it is now.

“ The march spokesperson goes on to allege that my Bill compels the Police to get involved where they have no place and leaves them no discretion. In fact, we want the Police to investigate genuine cases of child abuse, where they most certainly do have a place.

“As the Law Commission has said, the Police have ample grounds for discretion, stated in their prosecution guidelines, to decide whether the public interest would be served by a prosecution,” Ms Bradford says.


Me: Uniting Christians and libertarians?! It unites everyone who objects to Nanny State poking her nose in when it's not justified. The present law allows for "reasonable force" before Nanny steps in. That's as it should be. Parenting is for parents.

Won't criminalise light smacking? This is 100% contrary to what Sue Bradford has said previously, particularly in response to the Chester Borrows amendment. On countless occasions she has been quite clear—ALL smacking (which she calls "assault") will be illegal:

"I remain absolutely committed to changing a law that, in its current state, allows a legal defence for parents who assault their children, when no such defence exists when we assault other adults, or animals. " (Greens' S 59 website.)

From Bradford's speech to Parliament, Feb 21:


As a result of the Committee process my original bill has been substantially amended. However, I would like to make it very clear that the bill which has come back to the House still clearly reflects my original intention, to abolish the use of parental force for the purposes of correction.

Some supporters of repeal of s59 have been concerned that somehow the bill now waters down that intention, or in some way allows parents to legally still use force as punishment.

This is not the case. The intention of the new amendment is simply to clarify that no parent will be prosecuted for restraining their children when – for example – they are acting to prevent them from hurting another person or themselves, or to stop them from engaging in offensive or disruptive behaviour. The new amendment does not provide a justification of the use of force for the purpose of disciplining a child.

On the other hand, my Select Committee colleague from the National Party, Mr Chester Borrows, has made it very clear that he intends to put up a different amendment during the Committee stages in the House aimed at defining reasonable force for the purposes of correction.

I will be fighting that amendment tooth and nail, as I believe it is the worst possible thing we could do in terms of legitimising the use of force against our children. I know that Mr Borrows is well meaning, but unfortunately, he, like others who want to somehow define reasonable force, doesn’t seem to accept or understand that this is the worst possible thing we could do.

The effect of any attempt to define reasonable force, including Mr Borrows’, is that we then have the state telling parents that we should hit our kids in some ways and not in others, and that it is still perfectly OK to use force on children and babies that we wouldn’t consider using on adults who are actually much more able to look after themselves.

Defining acceptable force also undermines the fantastic work being done by church and community groups all over New Zealand teaching and supporting parents to use other ways of bringing up their children that don’t involve the use of physical discipline.

Our country has made some progress in ensuring domestic violence against adults is unacceptable and illegal even inside the privacy of the home. It is high time we gave children the same protection as we give adults, and bring an end to the situation in which police are able to prosecute a husband for assaulting his wife but do not prosecute him for assaulting his child because he has a defence under section 59. ...

Finally, a few words on criminalisation. Much of the opposition to this bill has been driven by those who are spreading the message that if section 59 is abolished suddenly tens of thousands of loving parents will find themselves arrested by police and prosecuted by courts for lightly and occasionally smacking their child.

While it is true that, if this bill succeeds, use of force for correction will technically be an offence, this does not mean that our already very stretched police force will be taking this kind of action. Police investigate maltreatment of a child only after a complaint. The investigation takes into account a whole series of guidelines such as the facts of the case, how serious the offence is and whether there are alternatives to prosecution.

Many minor and technical assaults take place in this country every day that are not investigated, and/or where no prosecution eventuates. This situation will not change with the passing of this bill.


Me: Police won't prosecute? The police have said unequivocally that the Guidelines will require them to arrest every parent about whom a complaint is made. Greg O'Connor, Police Association: "If it is family violence and there is evidence of violence, the policy is quite clear—the offendeer must be arrested. That means an admission or a witness saying they saw someone smack. Police will have no choice but to arrest a person acting on a complaint."

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