Family First welcomes Bradford back-down on smacking ban

Family First welcomes Sue Bradford’s acknowledgement that her bill to repeal s59 will not work in its current form.

“Ms Bradford – unlike the Children’s and Families Commissioner, Barnados, Save the Children, and Plunket – has realised that simply repealing s59 will penalise good parents doing a great job,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First.

“We should be encouraging parents as they face the sometimes difficult task of raising children – not threatening and penalising them for using appropriate and effective discipline which has been used for generations to good effect.”

The 80% of kiwis (average of polls) who can tell the difference between discipline with a smack, and child abuse, will appreciate Ms Bradford’s concession.

“Section 59 of the Crimes Act is a superb piece of legislation introduced into our law over a hundred years ago, which allows parents to discipline in a reasonable and appropriate manner, but provides no protection for a parent who physically abuses their child. The fact that only 6 parents have successfully used s59 in the past 12 years proves its success,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“We would encourage Ms Bradford to now direct her energy to dealing with the real causes of child abuse – including family breakdown, absence of the father, substance abuse, and poverty.”


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