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Anti Smacking Bill marches take off.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on March 24, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Anti Smacking Bill marches take off.
Saturday, 24.03.2007, 09:31am (GMT12)

Anti-bill parents on march to save smack

By ANNA CHALMERS – The Dominion Post | Saturday, 24 March 2007

 

In separate protests, opponents marched through Masterton and Rangiora yesterday in an attempt to stop the controversial legislation, which the Government is hoping to force into urgency next week.

Ms Bradford’s bill outlawing physical punishment looks certain to have the numbers to become law.

She confirmed on Thursday that the Government was seeking support to force Parliament into urgency so it can be passed next week.

But Masterton mother Sue Reid, who organised the rally – which was attended by about 200 parents and grandparents – said the legislation would make her into a criminal.

She “rarely” smacked her two children, aged 4 and 6, except when they were “wilfully disobedient or disruptive”.

Ms Reid said Wairarapa had lost four children as a result of child abuse and the community wanted to tackle the issue of violence, but Ms Bradford’s law punished parents.

She supported an amendment put forward by National MP Chester Borrows which would allow light smacking, but also defines degrees of violence.

Ms Bradford has said she would withdraw her bill if the amendment was passed.

Rangiora March organiser Sheila Malcharek, said there were “a lot of angry people out there”.

Malcharek, 72, said there were “all sorts of people involved” in the march. “There were young mothers, grandmothers and under-fives.”

She said she had received a lot of support for the march.

“There were over 200 people there against the bill and only four in support of it.”

Malcharek said the march was not politically aligned to any group.

“We are just trying to get the message across to the politicians.”

Marches are also planned for Nelson, Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland next week.

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