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Bradford admits parents won’t be allowed to smack; Clark says that she doesn’t support a ban on smacking.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on March 15, 2007

Helen and Sue both get busted today:

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Bradford admits parents won’t be allowed to smack; Clark says that she doesn’t support a ban on smacking.
Thursday, 15.03.2007, 09:50pm (GMT12)

 

 

Bradford admits parents won’t be allowed to smack

15/03/2007 15:30:39

Sue Bradford has confirmed parents will not be able to smack their children after her bill is passed.

When questioned again today about the effect it would have on parents, she was asked whether it would be possible to smack children after her bill becomes law – and she said no.

Ms Bradford has made the admission in response to comments by Prime Minister Helen Clark before the last election, when Miss Clark stated publicly that she does not want to see smacking banned. Miss Clark made the remarks in an interview with Radio Rhema. When asked “so you do not want to see smacking banned?”, the Prime Minister replied “absolutely not”, saying it would be an attempt to defy human nature

Ms Bradford says Helen Clark is right, because her bill does not ban smacking. She says it is already illegal to smack children but her bill removes a defence of reasonable force for the purpose of correction. That is despite her insistence that it should not be called the anti-smacking bill.

Sue Bradford says if she wanted to ban smacking she would create a deliberate offence of smacking. She says she and the Prime Minister are singing from the same song sheet, as the Prime Minister knows, and she knows, that her bill is not about banning smacking.

 

 

Clark says bill NOT a smacking ban

15/03/2007 17:44:42

Helen Clark says she is still against a ban on smacking.

Ahead of the last election the Prime Minister said she did not want to see smacking banned. Miss Clark made the remarks in an interview with Radio Rhema. When asked “so you do not want to see smacking banned?”, the Prime Minister replied “absolutely not”, saying it would be an attempt to defy human nature

This has caused those who oppose Green MP Sue Bradford’s “anti-smacking” bill to question why she is now backing it. But Miss Clark says under the current law it is already a crime to smack anybody. She said the bill has been misrepresented and does not ban smacking, just toughens up the laws so parents who horsewhip their kids can be prosecuted.

Miss Clark says police will use their discretion and good parents will not be penalised. She says the reality is New Zealand police are sensible people and do not trot a harassed mother in the supermarket off to court now and will not under Sue Bradford’s change.

The Police Commissioner says the bill will put police in a difficult situation. But Howard Broad says people join the force for a challenge and will welcome this one to their discretionary powers. He says officers up and down the country will have to attend complaints, make a judgement, act according to the guidelines and what they think is right, and then be held accountable through processes of law.

Commissioner Broad says officers are used to using their discretion in all sorts of difficult and emotionally charged situations.

 

Helen Clark Audio:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/multimedia/audio.cfmc_id=1&objectid=10428966&content_media_id=4860419

 

An about face from PM on smacking?

15/03/2007 12:24:16

There is pressure on the Prime Minister following the surfacing of an interview in which she says she would not support a ban on smacking.

That is at odds with her backing of the Sue Bradford bill now before Parliament.

Helen Clark made the remarks in an interview with Radio Rhema just before the last election. When asked “so you do not want to see smacking banned?”, the Prime Minister replied “absolutely not” as it would be an attempt to defy human nature.

The interview was with then-radio host Bob McCroskrie. He now heads the Family First lobby group, which vigorously opposes the anti-smacking bill. He says the Prime Minister should practice what she preaches, and allow Labour MPs to exercise their conscience and support Chest Borrows’ amendment. Mr McCoskrie says parents are very nervous about this bill and Labour needs to start listening.

But the Prime Minister is standing by her comments, saying the Bradford bill is not a ban on smacking. At a function in Auckland she said she is still against a ban on smacking and does not want parents who lightly touch their children to be criminalised. She said the bill has been misrepresented and does not ban smacking,” it just toughens up the laws so parents who horsewhip their kids can be prosecuted. Miss Clark says police will use their discretion and good parents will not be penalised.

But there is a warning that, whatever the politicians say, the police are expecting to investigate every case of smacking reported to them. Former ACT deputy leader Muriel Newman says the advice given to the Select Committee by the police was very clear, stating that all complaints would be investigated. She says even if charges are not laid, the police have to pass the information on to Child Youth and Family for another investigation. She says a CYF investigation would be very disruptive for any family.

Newstalk ZB Interviews:

http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/newsdetail1.asp?storyID=114061

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