Family First Welcomes Goff’s Desire to Amend s59

Family First NZ is welcoming comments by Labour leader Phil Goff on TVNZ’s Q&A this morning that section 59 should be amended.

In response to a question from host Paul Holmes ‘should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in NZ’, Phil Goff replied ‘no it shouldn’t be a criminal offence.’

“As the law stands, it is a criminal offence – as voted for by Phil Goff and many other colleagues who were ‘whipped’ by their party to support the law change,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“It is now time for them to support the amendment put forward by ACT MP John Boscawen and change the law so that good parents are not treated as criminals and subject to the possibility of being reported to police or CYF and having to suffer the potential investigation, suspicion of being a child abuser, and trauma.”

This latest statement from the new Labour leader follows on from the new President of Labour Andrew Little who said in a Dominion Post interview (December 2008) that he has smacked his son once or twice, “but our approach is non- violent discipline, and he is a pretty well-balanced kid”.

“Even the outgoing Children’s Commissioner Cindy Kiro admitted in an interview with The Wellingtonian last week that she had smacked her oldest when in nappies, and also when her kids were 8-10.”

“It is quite evident that even supporters of the anti-smacking law realise that the current law as it stands does not deliver what was intended or is appropriate,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“For the sake of our good parents and their children, it is time for the politicians to amend the law. And for the sake of our at-risk children, it is time to target rotten parents and the real causes of child abuse.”


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