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Bradford attempts to convince the Electorate that black is indeed white.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on March 20, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Bradford attempts to convince the Electorate that black is indeed white.
Tuesday, 20.03.2007, 02:56pm (GMT12)

Fear on the march

Green Party MP Sue Bradford is concerned that some of those planning to join next week’s marches against her repeal of the s59 defence for assaults on children, are not being told the full story by the organizers.

“I fully support the right to free speech (except for CYFSWATCH: Ed), but am concerned that some of those marching may be responding to needless fears whipped up about the Bill, and its consequences,” Ms Bradford says.

“My Bill does not, and will not criminalise parents who lightly smack their children. It removes a defence for what has always been a technical assault. In addition, any sensible reading of the Police guidelines on prosecution will show that Police will exercise their discretion on this matter.

“This latest round of hysteria seems to have united the Christian fundamentalists with the libertarians – who normally baulk at anyone claiming to have a ‘God-given’ mandate for anything. It may be news to the libertarians, but the state has long had a role in the home, well before my Bill first saw daylight.

“Laws on incest, on domestic violence, and the requirements around ensuring the health and education of children are all examples of the state taking action within the home, to protect the vulnerable.

“This Bill is about the rights of children to grow free up from violence. My concern is that some people will be marching against phantom fears – and not against what the Bill really means,” Ms Bradford says.

“The press release announcing the march cites current polls showing 80 per cent opposition to my Bill.’  In fact, the 80 percent figure seems derived from a 2002 Justice Ministry report that found 80 percent of New Zealanders felt smacking a child with an open hand is acceptable. In its amended form my Bill does remove the right to use reasonable force for correction – but it contains four clauses stating other contexts where reasonable parental force is permitted. 

“The press release for the march also raises fears about good parents having their babies taken away under my Bill. Let me clear about this. Unless parents were seriously abusing their children that bogey – the Politically Correct are coming for your baby – will be no more likely if my Bill is passed than it is now.

“The march spokesperson goes on to allege that my Bill compels the Police to get involved where they have no place and leaves them no discretion. In fact, we want the Police to investigate genuine cases of child abuse, where they most certainly do have a place.

“As the Law Commission has said, the Police have ample grounds for discretion, stated in their prosecution guidelines, to decide whether the public interest would be served by a prosecution,” Ms Bradford says.

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