PM Incorrect on Smacking Prosecutions

Family First NZ says that the Prime Minister John Key is incorrect on his claims that there have been no prosecutions under the anti-smacking law.

On TVNZ Breakfast yesterday and again in a press conference, John Key said “To this point, there have been no successful prosecutions under the new law.”

“The Prime Minister is wrong. Police reports show that since the anti-smacking law was passed, there have been 13 prosecutions under the anti-smacking law for ‘smacking’ or ‘minor acts of physical discipline’,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “As well, the number of non-abusive families being investigated with no abuse found was as high as 94% – we are wasting police time and resources.”

“The police cannot and refuse to define the difference between ‘smacking’ and ‘minor acts of physical discipline’ and there is no statutory definition for them either. They are new terms as a result of the anti-smacking law.”

Only last week, the NZ Herald highlighted a father who was prosecuted for a light smack on the leg1, and a smacking case involving CYF and brought to the attention of the NZ Herald by Family First forced an apology from the agency2.

“The Prime Minister can no longer hide behind the claim that the law is working and that good families are not being targeted. Family First has put before the Prime Minister seven cases of good parents being prosecuted under the law3.”

“That’s why every poll before the law was passed and since has been overwhelmingly opposed to the law. It was not wanted and it’s not working,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“It’s time we targeted real child abuse – not real parents.”

1. ‘I asked for help but instead got conviction’
2. CYFS says sorry to ‘traumatised’ family

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