Kids Threaten Parents With Anti-Smacking Law – Poll


An independent poll has found that almost a third of parents of younger children say that their children have threatened to report them if they were smacked. And almost one in four of parents of younger children say that they have less confidence when dealing with unacceptable behavior from their children since the anti-smacking law was passed.

“These are disturbing findings, and shows just how damaging the anti-smacking law has been to parents trying their hardest to raise great kids,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
Key Findings
82% want the law changed (77% in 2010)
32% of parents of children under 12 have been threatened by their kids of being reported
1 in 4 parents of children under 12 have lost confidence
Potential 22% gain for political party that promises to amend law
65% support the call for an independent Commission of Inquiry into child abuse

“Politicians should pass laws which support and respect the important role of parents and give them confidence. By passing the anti-smacking law, they have completely undermined the authority of good parents and given children a weapon to use against their parents.”

The independent poll of 1,000 people undertaken by Curia Market Research also found continued strong support for amending the law to decriminalise light smacking for the purpose of correction (82% – up from 77% in 2007) echoing the strong response of the Referendum. Two out of three supported the call for an independent Commission of Inquiry into the wider causes of child abuse and family violence which Family First has repeatedly called for.

“We were not surprised that the level of opposition to the law remains. This was a highly flawed law opposed by an overwhelming majority of NZ’ers, yet rammed through parliament by politicians who were more concerned with their respective party leader’s mandate and the interference of the UN. It was certainly not a conscience vote. If it had been, it would never have passed.”

Of most significance to political parties in an election year is that almost one in three respondents (32%) said that they would be more likely vote for a party that amended the smacking law (up from 22% in 2010) – only 10% said ‘less likely’ (down from 12% in 2010).

“That’s a potential gain of 22% for a political party, which is a significant voter bloc. That would be ignored by a political party at their peril. National benefitted from that significant voter bloc at the last election. This election, other parties may not only promise a law change, but actually deliver on that promise,” says Mr McCoskrie.

The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.2%

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