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Bradford refers to Crimes Act as a “relic”; National MP receives threatening phone calls; Cullen named and shamed.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on March 29, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Bradford refers to Crimes Act as a “relic”; National MP receives threatening phone calls; Cullen named and shamed.
Thursday, 29.03.2007, 07:49am (GMT12)

A bill would outlaw the use of force when disciplining children was back before the House on Wednesday night.

Green Party MP Sue Bradford’s child discipline bill could be passed as early as next week, if the Government adopts it as its own.

One again, MPs did not complete the committee stages: three of the five clauses in the bill were debated and voted on – two still remain before the committee stage ends.

The Government has introduced an amendment requiring the the Ministry of Social Development to review the situation after two years.

The amendment would have the Ministry of Social Development review the law two years down the line, and report back to Parliament. The Government says that would show whether “good” parents are being criminalised by the law – which it doubts would be the case.

The bill to amend Section 59 of the Crimes Act passed a Second Reading in Parliament by 70 votes to 51 on 21 February.

Debate on amendments began on 14 March when one clause of the bill was debated for almost two hours by 23 speakers. By the time the House rose for the day, only the name of the bill and its start date had been voted on.

The Government is waiting for New Zealand First leader Winston Peters to return from overseas this weekend and decide whether to support Ms Bradford’s bill as a Government measure.

A Radio New Zealand political reporter says that would allow the Government to move the bill to the top of the order paper. If that happens, its passage through the House could be done and dusted by the end of next week, instead of it dragging on until June as a members bill.

Another MP threatened

As opposition to the bill reaches fever pitch with marches around the country; one of the four National MPs who support it has called in the police to deal with threatening phone calls regarding her children.

Katherine Rich says a woman has called her Dunedin office “implicitly” threatening her children, and speaking about where they go to school.

Police have traced the calls and are dealing with the woman concerned.

The calls follow threats made on a website against Ms Bradford and now the same website has published the home addresss of a second Labour MP – deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen.

Copyright © 2007 Radio New Zealand

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