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File these under the “what the hell is National’s John Key thinking” file?

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on April 17, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

File these under the “what the hell is National’s John Key thinking” file?
Tuesday, 17.04.2007, 05:09pm (GMT12)

Key urges more table talks on anti-smacking bill

NZPA | Tuesday, 17 April 2007

National leader John Key wants to get around the table with Prime Minister Helen Clark and Green MP Sue Bradford to see if they can agree to changes to Ms Bradford’s anti-smacking bill.

Ms Bradford has the numbers to get her bill passed into law without the National Party’s support.

But with the next debate on the bill due on May 2, Mr Key has today suggested the wording could be changed to meet the objectives he, Miss Clark and Ms Bradford shared.

The bill changes the Crimes Act and removes the statutory defence of “reasonable force” against assault on a child.

Opponents say it will turn parents into criminals if they even lightly smack their children.

Ms Bradford and her supporters argue that smacking has been illegal for more than 100 years, and removing the defence means people will not get away with savagely beating children.

Mr Key said most MPs wanted:

  • to prevent violence against children being protected by the defence of reasonable force;


  • not to criminalise good parents who occasionally gave their children a light smack;


  • to lower the threshold for what was considered acceptable physical discipline.

    In a speech to the Salvation Army JustAction conference, Mr Key said that if MPs shared the same objectives then surely it was not beyond Parliament’s capabilities to devise a replacement for section 59 of the Crimes Act that would meet these objectives.

    Mr Key said Ms Bradford’s bill did not achieve all three objectives because it made it a crime for parents to smack their children for the purposes of correction.

    He believed National MP Chester Borrows’ amendment would have achieved the objectives, but it was likely that would be voted down during the next debate on the bill on May 2.

    Mr Key said he wanted to offer a “genuine and constructive” offer to Miss Clark and Ms Bradford.

    “. . . let’s get around the table and come up with a set of words we all agree on. Let’s replace the existing section 59 of the Crimes Act with something that will meet the three objectives we all claim to share.”

    Former All Black Mark “Bull” Allen will be among a group to march on Parliament opposing Ms Bradford’s bill on May 2.

    The march is planned to coincide with the next reading of the bill.

    “As a husband and father of five I have become increasingly concerned at the level of government interference in the lives of everyday New Zealand families,” Allen said in a statement.

    “The message this bills sends to parents is that we can’t be trusted to raise our children.”

    Other speakers include Bishop Brian Tamaki of Destiny Church.

    Key needs to show leadership on family violence

  • 17 April 2007

    Key needs to show leadership on family violence

    It’s now up to National Party leader John Key to prove that he and his party are serious about addressing family violence in New Zealand, Social Development Minister David Benson-Pope said today.

    “John Key’s comments in his speech today are confusing and vague but do appear to show that his position now mirrors that of the Government,” said Mr Benson-Pope.

    “He talks about smacking not being the most effective way of disciplining children and acknowledges that the government does not want to criminalise good parents.

    “This has always been the Government’s position and is why Sue Bradford’s Bill, as recommended by the Select Committee, is a useful tool to protect our children from family violence.

    “So far John Key and the National Party have been polarising the debate and deliberately scaremongering rather than debating the Bill on its merits.

    “I want to assure John Key that the government would not support any measure that would criminalise good parents.

    “It’s now up to John Key to put his money where his mouth is and prove to the country that he and his party are serious about addressing child abuse in New Zealand and that it’s not just another case of him shifting his position to suit the audience and trying to get back into the news,” said Mr Benson-Pope.



    Dunne: Key’s call “commonsense”

    Media statement
    For immediate release
    Tuesday, 17 April 2007

    Dunne: Key’s call “commonsense”

    United Future leader Peter Dunne says the call by National leader John Key for multiparty discussion about Sue Bradford’s Bill to amend section 59 of the Crimes Act is “commonsense”.

    Mr Dunne says Mr Key’s call might just provide a way through what has become a very bitter and polarised debate.

    “There is much common ground behind supporters and opponents of the Bill which is being obscured in the smoke of all the heat being generated and the extreme positions being adopted.

    “A common ground discussion between parties might just be able to bring together a package that can gain the support of the vast majority of Parliament, and I for one would be keen to be involved in such a process,” he says.

    Mr Dunne says the current debate is degenerating into an slanging match between the rival camps with the professed common interest of the wellbeing of children being well and truly lost sight of.

    “However, if there are to be multiparty discussions, they should be confined to the political parties only, and not involve the lobby groups who are doing so much to inflame the current situation.

    “If talks look like proceeding, then it may also be appropriate for Ms Bradford to seek deferral of further consideration of her Bill until such time as the talks have been completed,” he says.

    Bradford lauds Key’s s59 efforts

    17 April 2007

    Bradford lauds Key’s s59 efforts, asks to attend Nat caucus

    Green Party MP Sue Bradford today welcomed National Party leader John Key’s offer to play a constructive role in the debate over her s59 repeal Bill, and is offering to attend the National party caucus to discuss any issues that Mr Key and his colleagues have with the proposed legislation.

    “I have always welcomed constructive debate on this Bill. That’s why I have attended some quite hostile meetings held by my opponents, in a genuine effort to reach out and address the fears they have. Similarly, I am more than willing to go into the lions’ den of the National caucus, and talk with them about the issue and field any questions they have. I look forward to hearing from Mr Key as to whether, and when the National caucus can extend me an invitation,” Ms Bradford says.

    “In recent weeks, Parliamentary opponents to the Bill have tried to introduce a series of amendments and other procedures primarily aimed at delaying a vote. I am therefore pleased to see Mr Key has accepted the reality that the amendment posed by his colleague Chester Borrows is likely to be defeated.

    ” Mr Key’s observations are not the first attempts at compromise to have ever been put on the table. In fact, the current Bill, which emerged from the select committee process, is itself a compromise meant to satisfy the very concerns that he raised in his speech.

    ” MPs share much in common on this issue. We all want to prevent violence against children from being protected by the defence of reasonable force, and none of us want to criminalise good parents.

    “Where we 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 am not sure when Mr Key last talked to the childcare experts in the field – such as Plunket, Unicef, Barnardos, and Save the Children. I would like to make a second offer to him, in the same spirit of constructive debate, and in recognition that none of us have all the answers.

    ” If Mr Key is willing to arrange for me to talk with the National caucus, I will arrange a meeting for him with the representatives of Plunket, Unicef, Barnardos and Save the Children – so that he can talk with them face to face about the ideas he put forward in his speech today.

    “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.”


    2 Responses to “File these under the “what the hell is National’s John Key thinking” file?”

    1. Jay said

      Dunne is a self-centred dork.
      A legend in his own mind. So keep it

    2. Jay said

      oi, give Key a chance, he is still under warrenty.
      Anyway, most of the ‘lemons’ > (Stuffed Units) come under the heading, Labour party> Greens or other riff raff.

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