Family First NZ says that the politicians are unable to rebut evidence that good parents are being criminalised by the anti-smacking law, preferring to adopt a ‘head in the sand’ approach.
“In mid-November, Family First sent all National, Labour, Maori and United Future MP’s clear evidence of cases of good parents being investigated, children temporarily removed by CYF, dragged through the court process, and in some cases convicted for smacking,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “The cases have supporting documentation and many have been subject to media scrutiny. Details are available through our website.”
“The cases sent to the politicians have been accompanied by a request that the politicians provide evidence of which cases – if any – are factually incorrect or have been misrepresented to Family First or the media; and secondly, if these cases are legitimate, will they support a move to amend the law to protect good parents raising great kids.”
“Of the just 20 MP’s who bothered to respond – mostly with the customary acknowledgement of having received the letter – two politicians admitted that they could not respond to the factual nature of the cases listed, and another MP implied that it didn’t make any difference. Not even one case out of the 10 presented has been challenged.”
“It is tragic that politicians are willing to pass laws that invade every home in NZ and yet refuse to examine the evidence showing the effect of that law change,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“Significantly, the Minister of Justice Simon Power replied that he could not comment on individual cases, yet he and the Prime Minister were quick to comment on and react to the Clayton Weatherston case which led to a change in the law relating to the defence of provocation. They have also both relied on the Latta report last year which misrepresented individual cases.”
“The Prime Minister is quick to stick to his pledge of rejecting calls to raise the age of eligibility for superannuation, but has completely reneged on his promise to amend the smacking law if he saw good parents being criminalised.”
Family First is repeating its call for the decriminalisation of non-abusive smacking or swatting.