NZ’ers Demand Amendment to Anti-Smacking Law

Independent polling of NZ’ers has found that the opposition to the anti-smacking law remains higher than 80%, endorsing the result of the 2009 Referendum, and proving that the sales pitch by John Key’s government for the law has failed to reassure NZ’ers.

In an independent poll of 1,000 people undertaken by Curia Market Research this month, respondents were asked whether the law should be changed to state explicitly that parents who give their children a smack that is reasonable and for the purpose of correction are not breaking the law. 82% said yes, only 15% said no, and the remainder were undecided. A similar poll in 2010 found 77% support for a law change.

“We were not surprised that the level of opposition 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,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “It was certainly not a conscience vote. If it had been, it would never have passed.”

Family First says that the law labelled a ‘dog’s breakfast’ by the Prime Minister gives no certainty to parents, and fails to deal with the issue that needs to be addressed – namely, NZ’s horrendous rate of child abuse.

When asked whether there should be a Commission of Inquiry into child abuse and family violence which Family First has been calling for, two out of three respondents supported this call.

The poll also found that almost a third of parents (and especially older parents with young children) have been threatened by their own children that they would report them to the authorities if they smacked them, and almost one in four parents had less confidence dealing with unacceptable behaviour from their children since the law was passed.

“The anti-smacking law has been a weapon of mass destruction on good families,” says Mr McCoskrie. “Once again, it will be interesting to see whether politicians are willing to respect the views and concerns of kiwi families.”

32% of respondents said that they were more likely to vote for a political party that promised to amend the law (22% in 2010), while only 10% said they were less likely (a potential gain of 22% to a party).

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

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