The Children’s Commissioner has misrepresented the facts to the Broadcasting Standards Authority relating to her complaint about a TV3 Campbell Live programme on the ‘anti-smacking’ bill.
Cindy Kiro argued that the programme on the boy involved in the Timaru horsewhip case had breached the 14-year-old boy’s privacy, was unfair to the boy and that he had been exploited – a breach of standard 6 of the Broadcasting Standards.
“But Cindy Kiro does not know all the facts, and seems to be motivated more by political agendas than genuine concern for the boy,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
The boy concerned had approached Family First NZ independently, wanting his side of the story to be told in a case which he believed had been grossly misrepresented by supporters of Bradford’s ‘anti-correction’ bill, including Cindy Kiro.
Family First then contacted Campbell Live to see if they wished to allow him the opportunity to have his side heard. They agreed, and interviewed both the child and the mother. Mr McCoskrie was present at all times and is satisfied that there was no coercion or pressure by the interviewer.
“The boy was stoked to be able to tell his version of the events which have been so misrepresented,” says Mr McCoskrie. “It is a pity that the Children’s Commissioner hadn’t made the time herself to speak to the boy if she was so concerned.”
Mr McCoskrie says that Kiro is totally wrong to suggest that the boy was exploited, that his treatment was unfair, or that his privacy had been breached.
“He was given the opportunity a number of times to withdraw his permission for the interview but was persistent that he wanted to set the record straight,” says Mr McCoskrie. “It is more an indictment on the anti-smacking lobby that the boy felt he had to go to the media to get the truth out, and that what had happened to him had been so misrepresented.”
On the positive side, it is good to know that the Children’s Commissioner is willing to take on individual cases, and Family First will be encouraging parents who have recorded their frustrations on the CYFSWatch website to contact the Commissioner for personal support and advocacy.