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Archive for April, 2007

Lies, falsifications, and untruths from the Bradford Bill camp – listed at www.halfdone.wordpress.com

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on April 30, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Lies, falsifications, and untruths from the Bradford Bill camp – listed at www.halfdone.wordpress.com
Monday, 30.04.2007, 08:01am (GMT12)

Sue Bradford and Others On Section 59

28Apr07

Here’s a few quotes from those seeking to change the law on smacking.

Most are from Sue bradford, many are quotes from the Green Party site, but there are others scattered through.

Admittedly, some are taken out of context, or edited. However, links are provided, and people can see the quote in it’s original context and decide for themselves.

wifedogchild.jpegThose Evil, Violent Smacking Parents: (Or, “How to Get Offside with 80% of the Population”)

  • Leaving aside the question of whether good behaviour can be taught via violence…
  • Children have rights before the law, including the right to grow up free from violence.
  • What would be lost if s59 is repealed is the power to beat children into submission.
  • Smacking a child always has been, technically, an assault.
  • Many community organisations support Sue Bradford’s Bill as an important step to countering New Zealand’s rates of child abuse and homicide and consistent with moves to foster methods of non-violent parenting. “Repealing s59 sends out an important message in this country: violence against children and young people in any form is not acceptable,” says Dr Gay Keating of the Public Health Association (13 March 2007). “As long as unrestrained physical force remains an option for disciplining children, some parents will harm their children physically and mentally…The issue is not about parental rights. It is about protecting our children from violence that damages them, and in the most extreme cases, kills them.”
  • [John Key wants] those parents in the middle ground to feel legitimised in the use of force against their kids.
  • It’s an anti-beating bill.
  • But her party was not willing to lower the threshold for “acceptable physical violence towards children”.
  • ..”My main regret about the fact that the bill is very likely to take us through until June now, is that it means the opponents of the bill will have even longer to spread their misinformation around the countryside, which is alarming people unnecessarily.”
  • Christchurch More FM radio host Simon Barnett, who has spoken out against the bill, has received emails falsely accusing him of being a “mongrel child molester”, a child rapist and bashing his wife. [I know it’s not SB, but still a terrible thing to say to anyone. – S1]
  • The result of Mr Key’s proposed wording would still result in the state legitimising the hitting of children in a way that it doesn’t legitimise the hitting of adults. The state does not condone husbands hitting their wives in a ‘minor’ or ‘inconsequential’ way, nor does it condone the hitting of the elderly in that fashion. When it comes to violence [and only violence – S1], our position is that we want children and adults to be treated the same under the law..
  • Where we [SB & Key] currently differ is over the question of lowering the threshold for acceptable physical violence towards children. In this respect, the select committee and I agreed that it is just as wrong to correct children by hitting them as it is to correct the behaviour of adults by hitting them.
  • I think it is wonderful that these New Zealanders have chosen to stand up publicly for the right of all children in this country to grow up free from violence,” Ms Bradford says.
  • If the Borrows amendment ever became law, all of the good work of church and community groups in helping parents learn alternatives to violence would be undermined by the law sending the message that hitting kids is OK” [So parents can’t learn without passing a law?!? – S1]
  • My experience over the last two years of campaigning for the repeal of s59 of the Crimes Act has revealed to me personally that too many New Zealanders see children as being their property.”
  • [the bill is]…”a necessary step in a complex process of weaning our society away from a culture of violence and abuse of our children.”
  • …”we view children as second class citizens not deserving of the same rights and protections as adults.” [Not calling for the same obligations though. – S1]
  • To expect finely tuned judgement from parents often acting out of frustration and anger is unrealistic. “
  • I reject absolutely the idea that parents have a God-given right to beat the evil out of their kids.”
  • …for some, what they’re really worried about is losing what they see as their God-given right to beat their children, with rods if necessary.
  • They [The Auckland District Law Society] suggest that, rather than outright repeal, the degree and nature of acceptable violence against children can be calibrated – e.g. by saying that it is okay to use force against three to twelve-year-olds and that there should be no ‘striking above the shoulder’. I believe all children have the right to live in violence-free homes. [Acusing the ADLC of advocating violence! – S1]
  • My Bill to repeal Section 59 aims to remove the defence of reasonable force from parents who badly beat their children, often with weapons that leave permanent physical injury. “
  • [reform rather than repeal]” sends an unhelpful public message that force in disciplining children is acceptable”
  • “Full repeal of section 59 is required, … to send the signal to parents that all violence against children is unacceptable. ” [Because no one is telling them at present? – S1]
  • “Those who perpetrate the abuse and successfully apply section 59 as their defence remain unaccountable to our justice system.” [Ignoring the fact that CYFS follow up on all such cases, sometimes past the point of harassment – S1]
  • “Evidence also demonstrates that physical punishment is ineffective in teaching children appropriate behaviour.” [So parents just smack for enjoyment presumably ?- S1]
  • There are numerous [7 is now “numerous”?- S1] examples, such as the woman in Timaru … of children being seriously harmed and abused with the sanction of the law. [In the Timaru case, that harm was caused by CYFS, the parent’s actions only came to light because the benefited the boy – S1]
  • The dispute over whether we should continue to allow parents to legally beat and hit their children…”
  • Personally, I have no problem with sadomasochism carried out between consenting adults using safe sex practices – what I do have a problem with is a legacy of hidden sexual violence practised on children and young people under a mantle of so-called discipline.”
  • “There is no getting away from the fact that a huge part of the opposition to my bill has come from people who truly believe that bringing their children up with violence is not only their right but also their literally God-given duty.”
  • “Many of these Christians also go on to say that the message of Jesus and the New Testament is not one of brutalising small children…”
  • I think that the concept of parents’ right and duty to bring up their children with violence was a belief system brought to Aotearoa by our Pakeha missionary and settler ancestors, and is part of the legacy of European colonialism with which we are still wrestling.
  • At Select Committee, it was heart-warming to hear stories from parents who used to beat their children but who have learned new methods, and are finding that family life is much happier and more fulfilling for adults and children alike as a result.
  • “However, even with the amendments which we’ve made as part of the democratic Select Committee process, I believe my Bill, should it pass, sends a very clear message that it will not be in any way, shape or form a license to go on hitting kids.
  • It is time for New Zealand to leave behind the 1970s attitude that belting your kids into submission is the right and proper way to raise healthy adults. As long as we have a law that allows adults to legally use violence against children, New Zealand cannot hold its head high in the community of nations.”
  • Answer: What the Prime Minister actually said was: ” our rate of child death and injury from violence, including in the home, is appalling. It is a stain on our international reputation, and I cannot see how those who are demanding the right to be able to thrash and beat children can possibly then turn around and profess concern about what is happening to our children.” The Prime Minister absolutely stands by that statement; it is self-evidently true.” – Michael Cullen

bradford01.jpgRare Honesty (Or, “Oops, I didn’t know the recorder was on”)

  • There are cases where section 59 is used successfully, and I’m pleased it was in this case, but I have a fundamental objection to the fact that the defence of using reasonable force exists at all.”
  • Mr Key’s proposed wording – which uses the words ‘light’ ‘minor’ and inconsequential’ where Mr Borrows used ‘ ‘trifling’ and ‘transitory’ – still contradicts the fundamental purpose of my Bill, which is to remove the defence of reasonable force for the purpose of correction.
  • What is most important to me is that the Bill passes in the end, in a shape that retains my original goal: To remove the defence of ‘reasonable force’ for the purposes of correction under s59 of the Crimes Act,” Ms Bradford says.
  • I would not like to live in a society where abuse complaints against children went un-investigated. Unlike Mr Copeland and his legal advisor, I don’t believe we should shrink from investigating abuse complaints just because parents may be at loggerheads, or because children’s views may initially be at variance with adults.”
  • “if s59 was repealed, it is the police’s own submission that they ‘would continue to investigate all cases of suspected or reported assaults on children, as they obliged to do right now. “
  • If S59 is repealed, the sky will not fall in.” [I guess that would be illegal, as a child might be hurt when it happens. -S1]
  • A clear message should be given from Government that physical punishment is strongly discouraged, and that parents and caregivers should learn loving, positive and non-physical ways of disciplining children. This should accompany the repeal of section 59.” [So it is about smacking! – S1]
  • As someone who is not part of any Christian church, I am well aware that I am not qualified to engage in the battle of competing Biblical texts”
  • “…here, where the climate of public opinion is so manifestly not ready for a ban on smacking.”

lie_with_statistics.jpgHighly questionable statements (Or, “Yes, yes, yes, yes…. no.”)

  • In Europe, ten countries have already changed laws so that no physical punishment of children is allowed. In these countries there is no evidence at all that police prosecute for this kind of minor assault. [Funny how there’s no studies linked to prove this point – S1]
  • Sue Bradford’s Bill will not criminalise good parents. Only bad parents have anything to fear from repeal of s59. [Presumably those 7 unsuccessfully prosecuted in the lat 10 years or so – S1]
  • It isn’t aimed at criminalising all parents who ever occasionally or lightly smack their children. It would be quite a different-looking bill if that was what we were trying to achieve.”
  • I do regret that so many decent, good parents have been made to feel guilty about this or worried about it”
  • Mr Benson-Pope said … “I want to assure John Key that the Government would not support any measure that would criminalise good parents,”…
  • ‘Mr Key’s amendment would also leave courts in the position of having to define ’smacking’ (which has not been defined in law) and ‘minor’ and ‘inconsequential.’ Overseas experience with similar compromises shows that courts take a varied approach, and one person’s ‘minor’ can be another’’s ’serious’. [So the courts should never be allowed to define anything? – S1]
  • New Zealand parents can be re-assured. The select committee and I have worked long and hard to ensure that s59 will not criminalise good parents. That remains the case, before and after Mr Key’s entry into this debate.”
  • “If Mr Key and I both approach our respective meetings in a constructive spirit, perhaps we will be able to reach a positive conclusion on this divisive issue. Certainly, I would not want to prejudge the outcome.” [That would be the outcome of forcing Key to talk to all the bills NGO backers. Note Sue did not submit to or agree to any meetings with opponents outside the National party – S1]
  • this is an anti-beating, anti-child-violence bill, not a piece of legislation that will see tens of thousands of well-meaning parents dragged into court for the occasional light smack,” Ms Bradford says.
  • “Smacking a child is already an assault under section 194 of the Crimes Act 1961. It has been this way for over a century. If my Bill is passed this will not change …”My Bill merely removes the defence contained in s59 of the Crimes Act which has enabled cases where extreme force has been used to avoid conviction.” [Extreme like being smacked with a 30×2cm ruler “slab” of wood – S1]
  • “…the legal opinion by Sir Geoffrey Palmer that firmly rebuts what Peter McKenzie QC said …. “In the expert opinion of Sir Geoffrey Palmer and the Law Commission, it is extremely unlikely that police would ever prosecute, or any jury would ever convict, any parent who placed their child on a time out mat. [But that is not the same thing as it being allowed under the law- S1]
  • “… some of my opponents now want to force the country into a hugely expensive, socially divisive and totally unnecessary referendum. The proposed amendment by United Future MP Judy Turner is in that sense, an insult to the sovereignty of Parliament. [Insulting the courts or the voters is OK though? – S1]
  • “…the Chester Borrows amendment… would implicate the State in endorsing and legitimising violence against children. [One wonders how you get “trivial and transitory” violence that “causes no harm” – S1]
  • As the Police Minister recently indicated, the police do not mount prosecutions on the basis of trifling complaints.” [So smacking is now trifling? I thought it was violence? – S1]
  • In a press release on former MP Larry Baldock
    • Called him a snake – “Air NZ allows snakes on their planes”
    • Implied he would start fights
    • Implied he was a political or religious zealot
    • Suggested he was “delighted in spreading willfully inaccurate information”
    • Implied he was “scare-mongering” and a “snake-oil salesmen”
  • Routinely, the very existence of laws put people at risk of technical breach. Yet a speed limit of 50kms does not criminalize everyone who travels occasionally at 51kms. Moreover, I don’t think anyone in New Zealand would argue we shouldn’t have speeding laws at all, in case someone inadvertedly might fall in breach of them.” [But we don’t make driving illegal just because 7 drivers in 10 years break the speed limit and are let off – S1]
  • Even putting a child’s hand on an electric fence for a few seconds could be deemed ‘transitory and trifling’. Children of all ages including babies and children with disabilities could still be hit or otherwise assaulted, as long as the assault does not cause ‘harm’ – which remains undefined. [Rather bizare example, something specific in mind? – S1]
  • I believe if this section is repealed, the police will fall back on the laws of assault and on their usual practice of only prosecuting people for assault when the force used in the circumstances justifies it, as happens now with assaults against adults,” Ms Bradford says.
  • Accused National MP Judith Collins of “trying to get herself headlines”.
  • “It is not a ban on smacking…”
  • “It is simply not true that, should Section 59 be repealed, police will be running around the country locking parents up for lightly smacking their children.”
  • The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 19) indicates that children have a human right to protection from all forms of violence and abuse. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child recommends to all countries that have ratified the Convention that they should prohibit all forms of corporal punishment. [The convention itself doesn’t ban corporal punishment in any way- S1]
  • What the Council’s brave action demonstrates is that the repeal of sec 59 is fast becoming the mainstream opinion. My opponents on this issue are increasingly being marginalised.” [25th Aug 1996, Heh, that attitude didn’t last long – S1]
  • It has never been my intention – and judging by their comments, it has never been the Police’s intention either – to prosecute parents for taking reasonable actions of this sort.” [Since when do MP’s prosecute? – S1]
  • ” I know that raising kids is a tough job for parents. I don’t want to make it harder for them, with this law.”
  • Section 59 of the Crimes Act, has been protecting the perpetrators of a vicious mix of sexual and physical abuse for generations, and I don’t want this forgotten. I just want it stopped.”
  • It is impossible to create a definition that would protect children, given that gross harm, and even death, can be caused without leaving a mark on the human body. Health professionals, including paediatricians working with abused and beaten children every day, say there is no safe level of violence, and to attempt to define one would only further legitimise its use.
  • Of course I’ve been talking about one of those solutions [to abuse such as suffered by the Kahui twins] already tonight – repealing section 59 is a key part of the equation. [and when that fails? – S1]


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Just 1 National MP left voting for the Bradford Bill – “Labour lite” MP Katherine Rich.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on April 30, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Just 1 National MP left voting for the Bradford Bill – “Labour lite” MP Katherine Rich.
Monday, 30.04.2007, 07:43am (GMT12)

Katherine Rich – My smacking guilt

 5:00AM Sunday April 29, 2007
By David Fisher 

National’s only remaining supporter of the anti-smacking legislation has spoken for the first time about the guilt she has felt smacking her own children.

Education spokeswoman Katherine Rich, a mum of two, has also spoken of being isolated on the issue in her own caucus as the few supporters for the bill have vanished.

Rich’s sole remaining compatriot – Waitakere-based MP Paula Bennett – is expected to pull her support on Tuesday as a poll of West Aucklanders shows little support for it.

Other National MPs who initially indicated they would support it – Simon Power, Jackie Blue and Paul Hutchison – have already fallen in line with the rest of their caucus in opposing it.

The issue is expected to flare up again this week when the legislation returns to Parliament on Wednesday.

Rich, who lives in Dunedin with husband Andrew and children Jonathan and Georgia, said she would never smack her children again – but had smacked her son a handful of times in the past.

“I smacked Jonathan a couple of times – but I’m deeply ashamed of that. I’ve thought about those situations and it was more to do with my tiredness and inability to cope than trying to find genuine ways of directing him.

“The time when I just totally lost it because … sometimes you just lose all tolerance … he turned around to me and said, ‘Mummy, why did you do that, you’re supposed to be happy’.

“I decided very early on it didn’t serve any purpose. I recall seeing the fear on his face when I raised my hand. I realised I was the one out of control – he was just being a child.”

She said one of the two occasions that she could remember smacking, came after Jonathan had placed himself in danger.

“I realised how silly it was to deliver a message about safety by hitting someone. It would have been better to pick him up and remove him from the situation.”

Rich said she was hesitant to tell others how to raise their children. But, in her household, the family now used ‘time-out’ for the children, or television bans, to deal with misbehaviour. She could recall being smacked once as a child after breaking glass in the family lounge while bouncing a netball off the wall.

“This debate touches everybody’s life. The reason grandparents are exercised about it is because they perceive this whole debate as being a reflection on their parenting. It shouldn’t be about judging people.”

She said she was not expecting to be left as the lone National Party voice supporting the bill.

“It’s not really as I had predicted. But you don’t change your mind because it gets lonely.”

Years of research and much thought had gone into her decision to support Green MP Sue Bradford’s bill, which removes a defence for assault for parents who use physical discipline on children. It was a serious decision because it was out of step with the party’s view. “At the start, it wasn’t just me. But should I change my mind because I’m the last one?

“You come to Parliament to make judgements and this has been one of the biggest political issues. Sometimes it’s important to just show some strength.

“Should I collapse in a great heap now because it’s tough? What kind of a decision maker would you be if you flip-flopped because you’re on your own.”

Rich said she had been lobbied by fellow National MPs, but she had not actively sought support in the party.

She had also decided not to voice her views in Parliament, where many MPs have opted to speak on the issue. “That is out of respect for the party. Its position is pretty clear.”

She hadn’t expect her stand to have wider implications. “There are always consequences of holding an alternative position.”

In this case, the consequence was that she stood out – and her family became a target when one smacking advocate made a threat aimed at Rich’s children. “That rocked me to my core. When we go into politics you expect a certain amount of criticism. It’s quite a different thing when your family are involved, particularly when you have small kids. That would be the toughest period.”

She said she was “surprised” the police had decided not to lay charges but would not question the decision. “She’s a mother with young baby herself and I don’t want to add to the challenges she’s already facing. I know what that’s like.”

Rich also spoke against the pro-smacking lobby’s support for the Timaru woman who was found not guilty of assault after discipling one of her children with a riding crop.

The woman is currently facing fresh assault charges relating to another of her children.

“There has been some unfortunate hysteria about this issue. Take the Timaru horsewhip lady – she should pipe down because there is more to that case than the media is reporting. The pro-smackers should not use her as a poster girl for parenting.”

Many extreme – and public – cases of child abuse involved parents who thought they were using appropriate force, said Rich. The repeal of Section 59 would send a message that using physical force against children was not appropriate.

“Criminalising is such an emotive word. If you drive at 101km/h, that doesn’t make you a criminal. But if you drive at 140km/h, then it’s far more clear-cut.

“The whole debate has been about parents’ rights. Most of the debate I’ve listened to hasn’t been about children at all. I believe children should have the same rights as adults with assault laws. Parents will still smack their kids. This bill won’t stop child abuse – but it sure helps convict the people who engage in it.”

Ideally, said Rich, she would rather parents stopped smacking altogether. “You won’t stop it because a lot of it happens when parents are at their wits’ end.

“But it would be good if we found other ways to guide our children.”

Wife, mother … and MP

* Age: 39

* Family: Husband Andrew, and children Jonathan, five, and Georgia, four.

* Portfolio: Currently education. Previously welfare, business development.

* Elected: 1999

* Ranking: Originally 23rd on the list, briefly 4th and currently 8th.

* Successes: Exposed the $26,000 government funded research tour on hip-hop, which led to an overhaul of an official grants scheme.

* Scandals: Rich was dropped down the list after failing to fully support a “tough on welfare” speech by then leader Don Brash. She lost the welfare portfolio and was demoted.

One National voice out of 48 backs Bradford bill

 5:00AM Saturday April 28, 2007
By Audrey Young 

National MP Katherine Rich is likely to be the last MP standing in her caucus of 48 who supports Sue Bradford’s anti-smacking bill when it finally passes.

“It is not what I expected,” she said last night. “But I am privileged to be in a party that allows me to express those views.”

She said National had always had a “small pocket” of social liberals.

“When Ralph Hannan [Justice Minister in the Holyoake Government] started talking about the equal distribution of matrimonial property and getting rid of capital punishment, people thought he was a nut. But slowly over time the community changes.”

The National caucus has allowed a free vote on the Bradford bill, which bans the use of physical punishment on children.

West Auckland list MP Paula Bennett was thought to be another supporting the private member’s bill but she said she had not made up her mind and had sent out 19,000 letters to voters seeking their views in a telephone poll.

By yesterday she had received only 200 replies and 66 per cent wanted her to oppose the bill, so on the basis of that she probably would.

 

“I am honestly and genuinely conflicted,” Ms Bennett said.

National Party leader John Key said he was quite relaxed about Mrs Rich’s position.

Mr Key said he had not given up attempting to gain support for an amendment that would state that minor and inconsequential smacks by parents would not be covered by the bill.

But Ms Bradford, a Green MP, confirmed yesterday that she would withdraw the bill if that happened anyway.

Mr Key plans to contact Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia over the weekend and New Zealand First MPs next week.

Meanwhile, the Anglican Church is organising an ecumenical service for peace in families at the Wellington Cathedral on Wednesday at 1pm.

At the same time, across the road at Parliament, Destiny Church will hold a protest rally to mark the return of the bill to the debating chamber.

The Anglican Church’s social justice commissioner, Anthony Dancer, said last night that the rally would involve Anglicans, Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians and other mainstream church members on an individual basis.


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Survey may force Maori Party shift on Bradford bill.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on April 30, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Survey may force Maori Party shift on Bradford bill.
Monday, 30.04.2007, 07:41am (GMT12)

Survey may force Maori Party shift on Bradford bill

5:00AM Monday April 30, 2007
By Audrey Young 

The fate of Sue Bradford’s anti-smacking bill appears to rest with the Maori Party caucus which will discuss it tomorrow in the light of a poll showing overwhelming 80 per cent opposition to it by Maori.

The party has backed the bill but the resounding Maori opposition may create pressure to back a proposal by National Party leader John Key to allow “minor and inconsequential” smacking.

It is believed to have been a consistent topic of concern raised at the consultation hui the four Maori Party MPs have held up and down New Zealand during the three-week recess.

If the Maori Party decides to back the Key amendment, it would have the numbers to pass.

But Sue Bradford has said she would withdraw it in those circumstances.

The bill, which returns to the House on Wednesday, outlaws the use of physical force against children for purposes of correction. It allows it to prevent a child from engaging in harmful, disruptive, illegal or offensive behaviour.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia indicated at the weekend that the party would continue to support the bill, despite 80 per cent of Maori in the Marae Digipoll survey opposing it. But she could not be contacted last night to discuss the Key proposal.

 

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia was also committed to supporting it, saying he saw the “other side” of smacking. “I visit the refuges.

“We know that we have rampant violence in some areas for a whole host of reasons within our families. We must address that.”

Mr Key said he had spoken to Mrs Turia on Saturday night about his proposal and said she had a very clear understanding of the law. She would discuss it with the caucus tomorrow.

“We can’t do it without the Maori Party,” Mr Key told the Herald.

He believes the Maori Party might be more tempted to back the amendment since the Marae poll.

He also said if Sue Bradford’s bill passed and it was challenged in a citizens-initiated referendum at next year’s election he would be inclined to change the law to reflect his own proposal.

Former United Future MP Larry Baldock said last night that he had had 163,150 signatures since March 1.

That makes it likely he will get the requisite 300,000 (10 per cent of registered electors) by March 1 next year in order to get a referendum.

“They had better prepare themselves for a referendum – and the bill hasn’t passed yet.” The petition asks:

* Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?

* Should the Government give urgent priority to understanding and addressing the wider causes of family breakdown, family violence and child abuse?

Mr Baldock said he had tried to discourage his own associates from attending the Destiny Church rally at Parliament on Wednesday, when the bill returns for further debate.

“This is not a church issue. This has never been just a bunch of Christians who want to retain the right to smack their kids. It is 80 per cent of New Zealanders.”


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Maori Party treads the tired “colonisation and Christians are to blame for everything” mantra-this time for smacking.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on April 30, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Maori Party treads the tired “colonisation and Christians are to blame for everything” mantra-this time for smacking.
Monday, 30.04.2007, 07:37am (GMT12)

Colonisation, Christianity get blame for smacking

5:00AM Monday April 30, 2007

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the arrival of Christianity in New Zealand and colonisation introduced the concept of smacking children to Maori.

“Our people did not hit their tamariki. That only came about through colonisation and through Christianity actually,” she said on Marae on Saturday.

She said the strongest opponents to Sue Bradford’s private member’s bill – banning physical force being used against children as a punishment – was from Christians who wanted to reserve the right to “smack their children lovingly”.

“Well, I’ve never seen anybody give a child a loving smack.”

Larry Baldock, the former MP who is attempting to get a citizens-initiated referendum opposing the bill, said he felt sorry that Mrs Turia had never had the opportunity to see someone give a loving smack.

“It occurred in my family.”

The Anglican Church’s social justice commissioner, Rev Anthony Dancer, said Mrs Turia was “absolutely right” in regards to Maori having had non-violent ways of disciplining their children because that was recorded by missionaries.

The shift towards more violent forms of child-rearing was not consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ which was why the Anglican Church had supported Sue Bradford’s bill repealing section 59 of the Crimes Act.

 


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Most Maori Voters Oppose Child-Discipline Bill

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on April 29, 2007

Source: newswire.co.nz

Most Maori Voters Oppose Child-Discipline Bill    

A poll suggests there is strong opposition among Maori voters to the child-discipline bill, which the Maori Party supports.

The Marae Digipoll surveyed 1,000 Maori voters on both the Maori roll and the general roll and found that 80 percent of those surveyed do not support the Green MP Sue Bradford’s bill.

But party co-leader, Tariana Turia, says that shows a misunderstanding of what the bill actually represents.

She says during recent hui the party has made clear the bill is not anti-smacking, but aims to remove the defence of “reasonable force” when people are before the court on child abuse charges, but many still believe the bill is an anti-smacking one.

The poll has a margin of error of 3.1 percent.


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Machiavelli – Alive And Well In New Zealand’s Parliament

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on April 29, 2007

Source: Reformation Testimony

Machiavelli – Alive And Well In New Zealand’s Parliament

One writer has described the political theory of an infamous figure in history in this way: The theorist’s thought ‘reveals the bankruptcy of …political life but also of apostate political science which seeks to describe the facts of man’s political life without reference to the divine order of God’s creation and of universally applicable Christian moral standards’. If this reminds you of Helen Clark or Sue Bradford or a myriad of other modern politicians, you would be both right and wrong. The person in question is Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli, the sixteenth-century Florentine philosopher, musician, playwright and poet. Machiavelli, whose name has become synonymous with hypocrisy and manipulative behaviour, was a secularist who described in a celebrated book ‘The Prince’ (Il Principe) what he believed to be the most successful politicians. His book was not about lofty ideals of social life but about the need to use both power and prudence to rule a state. Thus as the consummate pragmatist, he taught that it was lawful to use evil means to achieve and maintain governance of the state.

His political theory was at once a rejection of the idea that good politicians could govern a state with the ideals of the Creator and Redeemer; and the justification for the emergence of the secular politician and state. Indeed Machiavelli would have applauded the Fabian socialism of the New Zealand Labour government and their aged-hippy sidekicks the socialist Greens.

Machiavelli died ten years after that landmark in modern history of 1517 when Luther nailed his 95 theses to the old church door at Wittenberg in Germany, ushering in the Protestant Reformation which was about to turn the world upside down.

While Machiavelli had written to both justify and condemn the evil machinations and hypocrisy of Italian papal dominated states he did not eschew religion, and some even argue that he believed the ruler should maintain and encourage religion. For this reason there are those who claim that Machiavelli was not in favour of secularism or a secular state, but that would be a simplistic conclusion. Yes, he believed a ruler should use his power to preserve the true religion which he understood to be Roman Catholicism, but the sum effect of this belief would inevitably be moral reductionism. Since the Prince could use evil means to achieve his end of a stable state, he could quite justifiably manipulate religion and its ethical system. This makes religion a wax nose.

This is precisely what we see in modern Western  states, including New Zealand. The present Labour government maintains and supports a form of Machiavellian public religion. Religion can be manipulated for the benefit of the secular state. This is demonstrated in the New Zealand government’s recent sponsorship of a multi-faith series of conferences which are mandated to furnish a common multi-faith statement of religious tolerance. The Labour government has no qualms in asserting that all religions are equal with the exception of Christianity. No the true religion must not be allowed to assert God’s intolerance of idolatry. But a phoney Christianity heralded by insipid and theologically liberal Anglicans together with Maori pagan witchdoctors perform the official “blessing” ceremonies of state buildings and national rituals.

These Politicians use theologically liberal “Christian” teachers to claim that Christianity supports the state’s decisions on legalising abortion, homosexuality, prostitution and the anti-parent, anti-smacking bill currently before the House.

It was no surprise that New Zealand’s best known heretic, Presbyterian theologian Lloyd Geering, who infamously denied the resurrection and just about every other tenet of Christianity, was elevated to the highest honour which can bestowed by the government on any New Zealander. Birds of a feather flock together.

But Machiavellian pragmatism is also seen in the personal ethics of individual politicians. The New Zealand Prime Minister illustrated this point when she signed a number of paintings which were painted by other artists. Her justification for this fraudulent activity was that the paintings were going to be sold for charity. Or take the case of election spending. The present Labour government wrongly spent $800,000 of the   taxpayer’s money to publicise their policies at the time of the last general election. Having been caught out, Labour has not admitted wrongdoing with any candour; nor have resignations been tendered, as they should have been.

Instead this same party proposed that there be a new way of funding political party election costs. Yes, they proposed that instead of private fundraising, the taxpayer would pay. Furthermore, Parliament is populated by politicians and cabinet ministers who have broken the law, including drink-driving,  performed penance outside of cabinet, and then been welcomed back into the executive. Political pragmatism, secularism, unethical and plain illegal behaviour are a reality in the modern New Zealand nation state. Machiavelli would have applauded this abuse of power and raw manipulation of religious ethics for the goal of a ‘stable state’. Let us also not forget that this anti-smacking anti-parenting bill will be passed for one reason only, and that is because Labour is whipping its caucus, denying them a conscience vote. Why are they doing this? Because they have a backroom deal with the Greens who have introduced this bill. The Greens have promised to protect the minority Labour government against votes of no-confidence as long as Labour supports its legislative programme. This is pure Machiavelli.

Let me reiterate what I have said and written many times. New Zealand is in the grip of a spiritual battle, and unless ordinary New Zealanders wake up their ideas, our decline into a crime-ridden, festering hell-hole of the South Pacific will continue apace. We can see no way out of the present social decline as evil and perverted people grab for power, aided and abetted by the New Zealander voter who put them there. Only a genuine repentance before God and a submission to the Lord Jesus Christ as King, will avert further social disasters.  

Christians too need to wake up. The government is also maintained by those who vote for them, and many who claim to be Christ’s worshippers willingly vote for Christ-deniers.

Garnet Milne


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“There is No Sound Scientific Evidence to Support Anti-Smacking Bans” ROBERT E. LARZELERE PhD.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on April 29, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

“There is No Sound Scientific Evidence to Support Anti-Smacking Bans” ROBERT E. LARZELERE PhD.
Sunday, 29.04.2007, 03:24pm (GMT12)

“There is No Sound Scientific Evidence to Support Anti-Smacking Bans”

ROBERT E. LARZELERE PhD

Dr Bob Larzelere is in the country! Associate Professor of Psychology Dept. Human Development & Family Science – Oklahoma State University

Dr Larzelere has been one of the world’s foremost experts on child correction for the past 30 years – including:
• One of three social scientific expert witnesses on the side of successfully defending a similar section to NZ’s s59 of Canada’s Criminal Code.
(The social scientific expert witnesses on the other side included Joan Durrant. Durrant has been painted as the authority on smacking bans in NZ yet was ignored in her own country!)
• Member of Task Force on Corporal Punishment – American Psychological Association.
• One of 7 experts invited to present at 1996 Scientific Consensus Conference on the Short- and Long-Term Consequences of Corporal Punishment – co-sponsored by American Academy of Pediatrics.

READ MORE ABOUT DR LARZELERE’S VISIT

READ MORE ABOUT THE RESEARCH

Overview of scientific studies on corrective discipline, letters to professional journals, and international evidence

Comparing Child Outcomes of Physical Punishment and Alternative Disciplinary Tactics: A Meta-Analysis – Executive Summary
Comparing Child Outcomes of Physical Punishment and Alternative Disciplinary Tactics: A Meta-Analysis – Full Study
Robert E. Larzelere and Brett R. Kuhn

LETTER TO CANADIAN SENATE opposing the similar section to NZ’s section 59

Does Smacking teach Agression

Sweden Smacking Ban – More Harm than Good

Children and violence in the family: Scientific contributions.
(a submission to the UN Global Study on Children and Violence, on behalf of the American College of Pediatricians).

Media Appearances booked already:
MONDAY
8.10 – 8.30am Radio Live
10.00 – 11.00am Newstalk ZB with Leighton Smith
1.00 – 2.00pm Radio Live with Willie Jackson and John Tamihere
7.00 – 7.30pm Campbell Live TV3 (debating with the Children’s Commissioner)
 
TUESDAY
More FM Christchurch Breakfast Show
9.10 – 9.30am Radio 531 PI
10.00 – 11.00am Radio Rhema
11.15 – 11.30am Newstalk ZB Christchurch

TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY
Meetings with politicians from United Future, Maori party, National, NZ First and Sue Bradford.
Also the Families Commissioner.


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Letter from John Key to Party Leaders on Smacking

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on April 28, 2007

Source: David Farrar DPF’s Kiwiblog

Letter from John Key to Party Leaders on Smacking

Even though Sue Bradford has said she will not back it, John Key has written to all party leaders seeking support for his compromise amendment. That amendment will defuse all the controversy from the bill and it will probably then pass with 110 or more votes.

The Key letter is:

I am writing to seek your support for a proposed amendment to the Crimes (Abolition of Force as a Justification for Child Discipline) Amendment Bill currently before the house. As you may know, I met with Sue Bradford MP to discuss this amendment with her on 25 April, and she has indicated she will not support the amendment.The amendment proposes removing the new subsections 59(2) and 59(3) and inserting a clause justifying the use of light smacking that is “minor and inconsequential”, while leaving in place the general prohibition on force for the purpose of correction in the purpose clause of the bill. A copy of the proposed amendment is attached.This amendment will allow good parents to feel reassured that they will not be criminalised by the new legislation, rather than relying on Police procedure to avoid investigation and prosecution. The clause will also provide clear guidance to the Police that light smacking of a minor and inconsequential nature should not result in prosecution.

It is unfair to rely on the Police to exercise their discretion to make this legislation work, simply because we as a Parliament lack the courage to codify the law in the way we expect it to be enforced. The reality is that there will be widely differing interpretations of this law, and of any procedures and guidelines attached to it, by Police around the country.

We all agree that the purpose of this legislation is to reduce New Zealand’s terrible rate of harming children, but we all probably agree that we do not want to see good parents criminalised for engaging in actions no one considers criminal. I simply believe it is bad law for Parliament to pass a piece of legislation outlawing an activity absolutely, and then expect the Police not to prosecute minor breaches.

My proposed amendment achieves the outcome that I think we are all after, and I seek your support for this change to the bill.

The amendment John Key proposes, to replace the 59(2) and 59(3) is:

Every parent of a child and every person in the place of a parent of a child is justified in lightly smacking the child in the course of their parenting duties if the smacking used was minor and inconsequential, notwithstanding Section 3 of the Crimes (Abolition of Force as a Justification for Child Discipline) Amendment Act 2007.

If an MP votes against that amendment, it will make it pretty clear they are voting to ban correctional smacking.


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PANIC: How to Fight for Your Children in CYFS care.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on April 28, 2007

Source: PANIC

How to Fight for Your Children in CYFS care.

Overall Strategy

1. Believe in yourself and look after yourself.

2. Seek professional help and the help of all possible supportive relatives, friends, community workers, etc.

3. Tackle CYFS as hard as you can by going to the top with strong complaints to CYFS Chief Executive, Commissioner for Children, and Steve Maharey Minister of Social Welfare, as well as to the local branch of CYFS (see 5).

4. Persevere in tackling the issues, confronting CYFS in every reasonable way and in a professional manner; seek a professional response and accountability from the Department, and complain professionally when that is lacking.

5. Gain essential knowledge of the CYPF Act 1989 and use the law’s provisions to seek legal redress as speedily as possible.

6. Try to understand how the system works. Work within the system and make it work for you rather than stay outside it and let it work you over.

7. Seek God’s help, for with God all things are possible.

Guidelines

1. Request a copy of the CYFS files on you and your children, under both the Official Information Act and the Privacy Act, by sending a typed letter to CYFS including the names and ages of your children (see example of letter to obtain files).

2. Write down and have typed a concise record of the main issues concerning the uplift, using this record to inform potential advocates and to confront CYFS; write up your story including every significant thing that occurs in your battle with CYFS, and keep copies of all communications.

3. Don’t be pressured into signing papers you don’t understand or don’t agree with; and don’t be pressured into admitting guilt for something you didn’t do.

4. Obtain the services of a lawyer known to work/fight effectively for families with respect to CYFS. Decide what you want him/her to do and expect their cooperation and competent advocacy.

5. Write typed letters of complaint to CYFS (Site manager & supervisor of social worker, etc.) regarding the removal of your children and all subsequent concerns, with copy to your lawyer, and to your local MP. Follow up with phone calls, faxes, if they delay in their reply ….

6. Arrange a meeting with CYFS as soon as possible to confront them on why they uplifted the children, accompanied by at least one strong supporter and your lawyer if possible. Always have a supporter with you when visited by CYFS or going to meet them, and have your supporter take notes.

7. Gain the help of supporters by their writing letters, phoning CYFS, and meeting CYFS with you to advocate for you. They would need to use an “Authorisation to disclose personal information” form if communicating separate from you.

8. Visit your MP to gain his/her support; and when needed, to request a ministerial review.

9. Apply through your lawyer to the Family Court, on the basis of section 44 (CYFP Act) for (a) access, if it has been denied, and (b) for return of your children. This will lead to a Family Court hearing sooner or later, probably after a family group conference.

10. For family group conferences plan your strategy and have a team approach. Insist on giving your views and maintain your agreed goals. Don’t feel pressured into agreeing to the views/decisions of the professionals or majority family viewpoint. Non-agreement means a Family Court hearing will be necessary and will be more likely to result in an appropriate decision for your children.

11. In preparing for a Court hearing, obtain the support of people who know you well to write affidavits attesting to your character and competence as a good parent.

12. Write and speak to the Office of the Commissioner for Children to seek investigation regarding inappropriate actions of CYFS. Postal Address: PO Box 5610, Wellington; Street Address: Level 12, 86-90 Lambton Quay, Wellington City. Phone: 04 471 1410; Fax: 04 471 1418; Toll Free Call: 0800 22 44 53 (0800 A CHILD); E-Mail: children@occ.org.nz. Website: http://www.occ.org.nz

13. Write and speak to the Ombudsman, PO Box 10-152, Wellington, phone 0800 802 602, for clarification of your legal rights and to seek an investigation. Mr Edie Twist is the CYFS investigator.

14. Obtain a copy of the CYPF Act (1989) (from major bookstores), or read it in the local library, or on-line at the Public Access to Legislation Project, to learn the key principles and procedures for resolving family issues through CYFS and the Family Court.

15. Obtain a copy of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child from the office of the Commissioner for Children, or from PANIC ($1).

Compiled by John Tonson, Panic Director


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SCOOP: Caregivers will be Criminalised

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on April 28, 2007

Source: SCOOP

Caregivers will be Criminalised


Press Release
27 April 20076

How Caregivers will be Criminalised Under Bradford’s Bill

If Green MP Sue Bradford’s ‘anti-smacking bill’ is passed into law, increasing numbers of childcare workers (e.g. creche and kindergarten workers) and those in the place of parents (e.g. grandparents, foster parents and guardians) will be charged with criminal assault by the police for lightly smacking children for “correction” purposes and will find themselves before the Courts defending actions which the vast majority of good parents consider perfectly justified as part of good domestic disciplinary procedures.

As one leading New Zealand barrister, Mr Peter McKenzie QC, has reported in a comprehensive legal opinion on the effect of the Bill, some could even find themselves charged with criminal assault for applying “force” for removing troublesome and recalcitrant kids to “time-out” or “naughty-mat” zones because the discipline was done with the intention and for the purpose of “correction”. The intention of Bradford’s flawed bill, as clearly stated, is to make the use of all force illegal when used for “correction” by parents or those in the place of parents.

Sadly, the New Zealand public has too often seen the ugly face of badly applied law. Some cases have involved the domestic discipline of children (the case of the criminalising [for assault] of foster parents Don and Anne Eathorne through the actions of CYFS) and others involving public facilities where children are cared for by dedicated staff (The notorious Christchurch Creche case). An example of the latter, is the case involving a create worker – Judith Anne Hende – who was wrongfully convicted and sentenced in a District Court for an assault on a child in her care and charged with wilfully and without lawful justification or excuse, stupefying a child (W) under her care. In 1995 the guilty verdict for stupefying was set aside by the Court of Appeal and the conviction was quashed. The Court directed that a judgment and verdict of acquittal be entered. Hende had been fined $1,000 by the District Court on the charge of stupefying a child.

More important to the debate over Bradford’s anti-family bill is the fact that when the Court of Appeal dealt with Hende’s conviction for assault, its ruling was that it be set aside and “the appellant be discharged without conviction”.

The Queen v Judith Anne Hende (CA196/95)
Coram: Eichelbaum CJ, Hardie Boys J and Henry J
Hearing 24 July 1995 (at Auckland)

On 18 September 1995 Judge Eichelbaum CJ issued the Court of Appeal’s Judgment that in part dealt with the assault charge against Ms Judith Anne Hende and he “discharged [her] without conviction”. Hende, the appellant, was a licensee of a creche and had appealed against her conviction and sentence for assault and other matters, by a District Court. The assault charge was laid by the police under s. 194(a) of the Crimes Act. It was alleged that she assaulted a child (S) under the age of 14.
Eichelbaum CJ stated in his Judgment:

“The particulars alleged were ‘hitting child when [the child was] going berserk’ … The only prosecution evidence of the assault was in the depositions of two witnesses who were unavailable to give evidence at the trial.” [Permission was granted by the Judge for the depositions to be read at the trial.]… “The second witness (the sister of the first) said she saw the appellant smack the child twice with her open hand on his bottom, two smacks one after the other on the same occasion. Cross-examined briefly, she agreed her memory about what exactly happened was a bit hazy, and that the smacks would not have hurt.”

“Given, however, that as to the nature of the assault the Court had only the bare words quoted [by the witness], there was no justification for treating the incident as involving anything more than a pat on the bottom. Although technically an assault, it did not merit the stigma of a conviction and the fine [of $250] imposed”

“…the appellant has been through a seven day trial and two hearings before this Court, and the events are now three to four years old”

This tragic case highlights how police, even after presumably applying careful discretion (we doubt it in this case), will readily lay charges for a mere “technical assault” for incidents involving a mere “pat on the bottom”, and allow such trivial matters to be taken to Court leading to the stigma of a conviction and a fine being imposed on an innocent child care worker. Police merely do their job when Child, Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and similar agencies – the so-called “experts” in child advocacy – fail to apply commonsense, are consumed by their own misguided zeal and ideological bias and are goaded into action by parents with their own agendas. The Police regularly hand the troublesome matter from the basket labelled “Too Hard” – to the Courts – relying on the legal “experts” to decide. Police are too busy chasing serial rapists, child molesters, bank heist professionals, and those committing aggravated robberies and sexual assaults, to be bothered too much by cases involving children being patted on the bottom.

It is staggering and hard to believe that such trivial and ridiculous cases as those involving some of the charges laid against Judith Hende, end up in Court even without Ms Bradford’s bill becoming law! When it does become law – God forbid – the gloves are off! Agencies like CYFS will pursue all manner of trivial prosecutions against decent parents who seek to administer corrective discipline to their children for serious wrongdoing. They will use the police to hide behind. Bradford’s absurd and naïve claim that police discretion is the only filter needed to ensure that parents will not be criminalised for trivial cases involving light smacking etc. deserves the cynical response “Yeah Right!”.

It is noteworthy that on the charges of “ill-treatment” for which Hende was convicted by the District Court and sentenced to 200 hours community work, the appeal was allowed on a number of counts and a new trial was ordered by the Court of Appeal. A number of the key verdicts were therefore ordered to be set aside and a new trial was ordered.

The New Zealand public have overwhelmingly indicated via numerous opinion polls that they strongly oppose the repeal of section 59 and oppose Bradford’s “anti-smacking bill” – one that even if passed, will make no difference to rectifying the serious problem of child abuse in this country. The SPCS wants the serious problem of child abuse properly investigated by the government and the real root causes addressed urgently.

ENDS


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