Saturday, 5 May 2007

5 May 2007 - Family Integrity #244 -- 3 items

5 May 2007 - Family Integrity #244 -- 3 items

You''ve got to read these 3 items:

Bradford wins complete s. 59 victory
May 2nd, 2007

Bradford and Clark must be howling with glee and derision. They’ve outlawyered (not to mention out-politicked) opponents of their Bill.
The ‘compromise’ words have no legal effect. They merely “affirm that the Police have a discretion not to prosecute“ - meaning that no new discretion is added, only the existing rules and duties apply.
Worse - to escape prosecution the smack must be “so inconsequential that there is no public interest in proceeding with a prosecution“. Those words can’t have had competent legal consideration from any opposing lawyer.
At the technical level “no public interest” is ludicrous. Of course there will be some public interest in almost every incident. 20% of the population have a passionate interest in forcing the rest to change their child rearing beliefs. That 20% has made it illegal to smack.
There will of course be immense public interest in test cases, and passionate views that it is in the public interest to bring them. The more “inconsequential” the smack, the more deterrent impact a successful prosecution will have.
To disqualify any prosecution it should have said something like “no reasonable public interest” or “no useful purpose would be served that outweighed the public interest in avoiding prosecutions that bring the law in to contempt”.
And then there is the contempt shown for our constitutional traditions. It is fundamental to our law that it is not for the Police to decide what the law is, or ought to be. It is their job to uphold it.
Now the leaders of Parliament are telling the Police to ensure that the courts do not get to consider where the law’s boundaries lie. Here is Parliament cold-bloodedly passing law it does not want enforced.
Any wonder why our criminals think the law is a joke, and we have among the highest levels of violent crime in the Western world.
For years I was the only MP prepared to debate this issue publicly with Ms Bradford. I went to public meetings all over the land with her. She is good company.
But she has the ruthless Marxist view that the ends justify the means. She lied happily about the legal effect of the Bill, on the basis that it was in a good cause. Now she’s drawn the rest of Parliament into legal deceit.

A Friend in Wanganui says on 5 May 2007:

One thing to be remembered with respect to the degree of force -
"inconsequential" must be determined in the light of what is "in the public interest." Note that the public does not determine what is in the public interest - the police do, then perhaps the courts might have a say. This Bill has been promoted on the basis that it is in the public interest for parliament to disregard the public's conception of what that interest is - nanny state decides. Here's the rub! The Police Commissioner is a political appointee - the Police (like CYFs) set their own criteria internally. Howard Broad might not like implements, but he readily admits that others in the Police may have different views so that there will be some diversity of application.
When Howard leaves, then what? If some feminist zealot police Prosecutor makes examples of parents - then what?

Friday, May 04, 2007

Back from the Principal on smacking
I visited the principal of my children's school this morning to discuss the issue of my youngest child's class being asked by their teacher yesterday as to what happened to them at home if they were naughty.

The principal didn't seem disturbed by this but he's going to find out why the teacher asked. He didn't indicate whether or not he thought it was appropriate or not, and it seems there is nothing that can be done to stop teachers asking this question of children.

The upshot is, any person can report any child to CYF if they feel a child is at risk of emotional or physical harm. There is nothing the principal can do if a teacher decides that smacking constitutes physical harm and decides to report it.

As this is a Catholic school, I gave him a copy of the Bishop's statement (, initially blogged by Mr Tips,, containing the following key sentences:

However, we also recognise that alongside the need to protect children’s safety and wellbeing, there is also a need to protect the subsidiarity of families, which means government should not interfere unnecessarily with decisions that families are able to make for themselves. Family subsidiarity should be respected unless a child’s safety is at risk. We do not see minor and infrequent acts of physical punishment as putting a child’s safety at risk.

I also asked when it comes to a conflict between our faith and the government, what takes precedence in a Catholic school. He said for him, the faith would, but he knows of a number of Catholic school principals that would most likely report parents for smacking.

There are also school programmes for keeping children safe, and he thinks it's likely that smacking will be included in those programmes. That means, that school children will most likely be told that they are not to be smacked as this is harmful to them.

At this point, I'm not really sure what to do next, apart from waiting to see what the teacher's reason for asking was.

Right now, I'm very, very disturbed.

Craig Smith
National Director
Family Integrity
PO Box 9064
Palmerston North
New Zealand
Ph: (06) 357-4399
Fax: (06) 357-4389

Our Home....Our Castle

if Section59 is repealed - or replaced...

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