Police Sales Pitch on Smacking Law Fooling No-one

Family First NZ says that the latest Police report on the anti-smacking law will fool no-one because it fails to address the widely held concerns over the law change and the real issues surrounding the explosion in child abuse deaths as revealed this week.

It also confirms that parents are receiving official police warnings for smacking and minor acts of physical discipline despite the Prime Minister saying that it’s ok.

“This is the ninth report in 2.5 years on the law change. There have never been so many reports in such a short time frame on a law change in an attempt to sell it,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “But where are the urgently needed reports on why our child abuse death rate sky-rocketed in the past 12 months, why children are not being kept safe from child abusers, and why the issues of drug and alcohol abuse, welfare dependency and family dysfunction are not being addressed.”

“In the latest report, it once again fails to address the concerns of law-abiding parents as to what effect it has had on their parenting, the procedural conflict between the smacking law which supposedly allows ‘discretion’ versus the family violence police which demands zero tolerance, and the effect of criminalising an action – light smacking for the purpose of correction – which 80%-plus of NZ’ers simply don’t believe should be treated as a criminal offence under the law.”

“What the report does highlight is that of the 265 families investigated for smacking or minor acts of physical discipline since the law was passed, only 14 have been prosecuted (5%). A whopping 86% have received warnings and of those that are prosecuted, they are receiving inconsequential or nil punishments. What a complete waste of police resources that could be far better used protecting families from P crimes, home invasions, monitoring child abusers, and armed robberies.”

“NZ’ers are right to be concerned that the Prime Minister is willing to retain a law which he admits is a ‘dog’s breakfast’, badly drafted, and extremely vague.”

“A law that requires so many compromises, guidelines, helplines, reviews, and parent education could be easily fixed with a simple amendment – the Boscawen amendment. That’s what parents deserve,” says Mr McCoskrie.

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