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Lies, falsifications, and untruths from the Bradford Bill camp – listed at

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on April 30, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

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

Sue Bradford and Others On Section 59


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  • What would be lost if s59 is repealed is the power to beat children into submission.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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2 Responses to “Lies, falsifications, and untruths from the Bradford Bill camp – listed at”

  1. Jay said

    Admit it Bradford, no one wants your Bill or You. Stay on whatever planet you are on, but do not try and drag us there.

  2. Jay said

    A dicky bird tells me a Snr Cyfs boss has been deported to the South Island to sort out cyfs’s Problems: ” 1,2,3, Now Laugh!”

    Just another bozo to run their ‘Too Hard Bin.’ Cyfs is top heavy with overpaid middle and top management, who have no idea about the real world.
    only thing they are good for is: giving each other productivity Bonus’s.
    The more the screwup, more the bonus’s

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