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Your views (part 3)

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on May 3, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Your views (part 3)
Thursday, 03.05.2007, 10:41am (GMT12)

Phil Concerned Grandparent (Whangarei)
This intrusion by the long Govt. hand of the land is but only the beginning of total control in the affairs of its citizens. I fully understand the logic behind this ‘smacking Bill’, but the tarring of everyone with the same brush is past my understanding. Has not the history of Dr Spock who advocated this ‘no smacking’ tell us that its just madness. Even he admitted the generation of children with no discipline became largely criminals, these are our future leaders, Hello! So now we have as an example a 13 year old who vandilises school property, resulting in many not able to continue with there School work. He gets caught red handed, he never was disciplined and he is under the age to pay for an adult crime, although he was very capable to do exactly what an adult could do. He should get 6 of the best on the part which sends a message to the brain that tells him what he did was wrong and must never do something like that again. But now the long hand of the land tell us to use a gentle tap on the wrists, and say to him in a calm voice,” You have been a very naughty little boy, you must not do that again?” This law makes what is right wrong and wrong right.

Once again we see politics ahead of common sense. This will still be “bad law” as it doesn’t spell out exactly what “is” legal. For law to be enforceable, it must be black and white. In any case, the people that the law is supposed to clamp down on (those that already terribly abuse both physically and psychologically) will simply disobey anyway. The police will have more of their time wasted on trivial items rather than catching the real crims in our society.

St Heliers
No. What about cyfs?

Still doesn’t mean parents cant be prosecuted & we will have more state control in the home!

This bill still doesn’t protect children from the violence of the state. Children can still have dogs set on them, be tasered, be beaten with truncheons, be locked up with violent offenders and even be shot. Funny how the politicians promoting this bill are claiming that all parents can discipline their children without violence, but don’t apply the same logic to themselves.

I hope police prosecute any parent who hits their children,even if it’s a light smack.Adults can’t hit other adults,husbands can’t hit wives,so adults should not be allowed to hit kids,even lightly.

No. Lawmakers are they real people living in the real world. I live in South Auckland and if you think this will change peoples opinion what a waste of time the whole smacking bill is a waste of time. Lets get laws made to immediately help children who are at risk and children are not at risk from being smacked by there parents. Children are at risk from parents who chose to beat there children. The range of circumstances are as varied as the type of parents who do this – poverty, stress, alcohol, drugs, unsupported parents, children who have children come on you politicians. lets look at the causes not the results.

National has sold out. Police discretion is a cop out with connotations of a police state. Light disciplinary smacking should be legal and defined. National should now make it a part of their election policy that they will change the bill.

Well, well. We have been betrayed again. Our law makers have just agreed to the second worst Pontius Pilate act in history. They cannot define smacking and so they toss the matter over to the police to decide. This action justifies MPs supporting the Bill. This confirms New Zealand as a Police State as police need to draw up guidelines. All the MPs passing this Bill, must resign.

Jayjay (Te Atatu)
What a relief! Sense at last.

Rachel (BOP)
Interesting stuff – after all the fuss,what has actually been accomplished? Nothing at all. Children are no better or worse off than they were before. Sue Bradford’s own press release, dated 22 August 2005 states “Section 194(a) of the Crimes Act already outlaws assaulting children under 14 and imposes a maximum two-year prison term on anyone who does. In situations such as these, as in all assault investigations, police already use their discretion and consider the amount of force used before deciding whether to lay charges.” So why are we amending this law at all??? In all of my voting years, I have voted for Labour, and recently supported the Greens. In all the voting years I have left, I will support neither. I cannot in good conscience support a party who would ignore the people they were chosen to represent to this degree, and waste their hard-earned taxpayer dollars on these kind of political games.

Gone are the days when you can actually discipline your children for mis-behaving. Now the Government dictates it’s at the “discretion” of the police on whether the parent gets charged for doing so. One must wonder whether the children/teens who kill pizza delivery boys and throw rocks over the bridge onto unsuspecting vehicles were ever disciplined at all…I guess the Government knows best.

Jerry (Auckland)
New Zealands children at last will have the same protection as animals. They can celebrate protection from assaults from adults. Shame on those who kid themselves that whacking children is somehow loving. Learn to raise your kids in love – and learn the power of using timeouts to achieve this.

It’s still ambiguous as it stats “Not in Public Interest”. What about Famous people where public interest is high? What about the interest of the victim?

Absolute joke. Sue Bradford is supporting the amendment because it doesn’t make the slightest bit of difference to the bill. I can’t believe that John Key is supporting this. The only way forward is to leave the current law untouched and to remove Labour from Government!

Ridiculous. I have not spoken to a single person who agrees with this pathetic Bill, which is taking up so much of the public’s money and time.

Discretion of police? What has our nation become? Are we becoming a Police State? What next? Although I am not a Destiny church member, I will be now be giving them my party vote and member vote. Its now clear that there is no opposition in Parliament to represent the people. This country needs righteous Government with morals and common sense, who can clean up the mess.

Most stupid law
For goodness sake ( and all people) does the govt and these do gooders not realise that we have so much trouble today because we have got rid of corporal punishment ( more so in schools) and todays children are allowed to do just about anything they want to. I suppose when one looks at what we have in Parliament, is it any wonder why N.Z. is in the state it is in. Just look at some of these new laws the present Govt has brought in since it took over power. I believe if we could get back respect which is just not here today, All would benefit. Although I have voted for Labour in the past, I think this so called Labour Govt, is a disgrace.

“Inconsequential” is what Sue Bradford didnt understand. Thank goodness her ridiculous bill got some finer tuning to still allow me to smack my children. Would have been good if the same resources this debate consumed were actually put into educating parents, identifying at-risk groups and showing parents ways of dealing with stress. Good on you John Key!

Carl von Clausewitz refered to war as the extension of politics by other means. Basically when you can’t get what you want by all reasonable means, you use violence. This is the way the world has always worked and all nations, governments and police forces apply this strategy. Sue Bradford’s opposition to violence is not sensible. Parents should be able to use it under the same criterion as the government uses it – that is, when all other reasonable strategies have been exhausted. While this wont happen often I do think there are cases when a smack is perfectly reasonable. It’s clearly a concern when governments say “you can’t do it, but we can.” Implicit in this is that they know better and I can see little evidence that that is universally true. The amendment does not address the issue from my perspective.

I don’t quite understand this, they are removing the defence of reasonable force, but saying that if the police think it would be unreasonable to prosecute somebody using reasonable force, then they wont prosecute? How much are we paying these guys again?

This is in replyto Peter (from Auckland): Why are we stupid for having a different opinion to you? The fact that something like 80 per cent of the population don’t want this bill to be passed does that make 80 per cent of the population stupid? Of course not. I think Peter is missing the point its not about the right to smack a child its about our right as parents to raise our children how we see fit. How would you feel if the government put fwd a bill to ban children from watching TV or reading books?( which knowing this government I wouldnt be surprised)Would you not be outraged that the government was telling you how to raise your children?… of course you would. It is very simple this bill is not going to stop child abuse because the very people who are the “abuses” don’t care what law is brought in there not going to stop. How can some one no one voted for make up new laws its ridiculous.

Personally I feel this new amendment does not go nearly far enough, because again, it tells us we should have absolute faith that the police will never get it wrong. I believe most of the cops out there are decent people, but they’re also human, and they do indeed get things wrong. There will still be no protection in law for giving your child a light smack on the bum as correction. With that said, I also think that right now this was the best we were going to get. Labour has made a deal with the Greens that they were going to ram this through, come hell or high water. The Maori Party were also prepared to ignore their constituents on this, which meant the bill was set to go through completely unamended, despite the massive public opposition. This new amendment is at least something, and it will hopefully do some good in the interim before we can either get a referendum on the subject, or the next election allows the law to be amended again. I think John Key realised that this was the best he could do for now, and decided to concede and get something rather than keep opposing and get nothing. It’s not great, but for now, it is better than nothing.

Jerry Flay
Helen Clark has once again shown she is a master of political maneuvering, and exposed the political naivety of her opponents. Sue Bradford is crowing victoriously. New Zealand is sinking.

Hooray! The Bill will pass! Well done Helen Clark and John Key.

Dave (Tauranga)
Very strange how in the present debate about the anti-smacking bill there is barely a whisper from anyone about the level of abortion taking place in our ‘civilised’ society. What hypocrisy – especially in the liberal left.If people really believed in children’s right to life & health & wholeness why overlook the approx 15,000 children a year aborted in the womb. Abortion is not just bad discipline & beating – its worse – a deliberate extinguishing of a life. No wonder in UK there is a shortage now of finding doctors to do abortions – they know deep down that it is wrong, unless they override their consciences. When will we as a nation wake up to the wholesale murder of the most vulnerable people in our society?

Stephen Murphy
Finally commonsense has prevailed with the latest amendment. Why wasn’t this sorted out at the beginning? Maybe now our pollies can get on with some really important stuff like improving the economy for our exporters.

Great news; I was not for the bill but it appears common sense has prevailed and we have a bill that should for the most part work. Good to see the parties come together and work it out. However this will not fix the problem. This will not stop the people who kill or injure(physically and mentally) their children…period. Just like the micro chipping of dogs…thats just been a winner [yeah right] Why do we continue to park the ambulance at the bottom of the proverbial cliff. Because it is easy we pay those in power truckloads lets some return on our investment.

Concerned Parent (Auckland)
OK so after all this debate the Government has decided to change the misleading “reasonable force” to “inconsequential”. In other words, the problem of irresponsible judges deciding what is reasonable force has changed to the police deciding whether the smacking is inconsequential. Right. Surely the correct amendment (if any) is to specify what is reasonable and what is not as is in NSW.80 per cent of New Zealanders did not want any change in the law, this has clearly shown that democracy in New Zealand does not exist.

A pathetic compromise. No victory for Key, just a wimpy cave-in. The legislation is outrageous, and National should have pledged to abolish it. Ms Bradford, an unelected MP has shown that MMP is a disastrous system – and the whole thing has made a mockery of MPs’ individual conscience vote. MPs have disgusted and shocked the country over this.

George Goldsmith
So much for National and John Key saying that they dont block vote.If “all” of National will now vote for the bill does this mean national MPs are now being told to vote in a certain way? Yet again we see that our prime minister is able to put the rights of New Zealanders above political expediency. This bill (and its now rewording) is for the protection of our children.Who could claim that Labour is a populist Goverment who only make the easy decisions. It looks as if John Key has finally understood the need to protect our children.

There are laws to say I cant hit my wife or my work colleagues, why shouldnt there be a law to say I cant hit my kids? I do have children and I would feel like I have failed as a parent if I had to resort to smacking (be it a light smack on the bum)as a form of discipline. And by saying things like “my parents smacked me and it didnt do me any harm” is probably the reason you are smacking your own kids. Dont hit, slap, lightly tap, smack your kids. They are smaller,more vulnerable and very prone to picking up your good and bad habits. There are bigger things going on in this world today, lets not get hung up on things we should or shouldnt be doing already.

Anne (Auckland)
I know that smacking is not necessary and do not like it used, however, I disagree with the proposed legislation for a multiplicity of reasons – too many to go into here. The amendment to the proposed smacking legislation is meaningless. At a time when the public is more aware than any other that Police personnel cannot always be trusted, leaving such a serious decision to their ‘discretion’ is just insulting. It is ridiculous to say that many Police personnel are ‘good’. The fact is, some cannot be trusted at all and where that is the case, they are ‘protected’ by their own structure and people’s lives are ruined.The most dangerous and disturbing thing I see happening in this country is the totalitarian nature of our present government. The ongoing implication of the last several years is that they know the truth and everyone else is too stupid or ignorant to share in the determination of how we should live our lives. We appear to have returned to a ‘feudal’ system where only a privileged few get to say what happens because ‘they know what is best’. Justice for parents will now be in the hands of a very fallible police force whose power grows daily, and not for the better.

‘Dad of six’ = on to it. ‘Peter’ = get real. Just because you can threaten to take away one child’s privileges that doesn’t mean it’s going to work on all children. To use an example we have just discussed, if your child is pulling on the cord of a kettle are you going to say “Stop it Johnny, or I’ll not let you watch TV…”. Or are you going toe threaten or even actually smack the child to save them from hurting themselves or causing damage? Abusers will keep abusing, not being able to discipline our own children will make this society become an even more ridiculous disobedient one than it is (one example running red lights…)

It is all well and good to give direction to the police, but any touch is still an offence. The real danger are CYFS, who are completely unaccountable. They will be able to force police to take action, regardless of the circumstances. They can take children into care on grounds justifiable only to themselves and cannot be in any way made responsible for their actions. The many cases of children abused and worse, while in CYFS care, show that this group has the aim of making children the property of the state, without concern for the right to a family upbringing.In my wide circle of friends and relatives, I have yet to meet anyone who supports this bill. Passing legislation against the will of the people will have consequences in the next election.

CB (Tauranga)
It doesn’t matter because Sue Bradford will now withdraw the whole bill as she threatened to. Right?

T (Auckland)
That we have to explicitly state, in law, what should be common sense is unfortunate. It’s not as if people get regularly prosecuted for trivial claims of assault at present. But since there is effectively no change in the bill with this amendment, if it makes the opponents happy, so be it.

I can just see it now. Someone is going to smack their child in a fair but firm way. Someone is going to complain and someone will prosecute them. The whole country is going to rally around them with family and friends saying they are great parents and this in unjust. The family will go on Campbell live. My friends daughter came home from school the other day telling him her teacher said that if he smacked her he would go to jail. Aren’t teachers great. His response was “yes I will, and I’ll go to jail, and you won’t have any money for food, clothes and Playstation games.” She had no response. Anyway – most jugs are cordless now.

Simeon Brown
This is just more reason to get signing the petition against this bill faster and I will vote for the party that is against this amendment.

Thank goodness reason has for once prevailed over beaten-up political hysteria. People who use force to discipline their children need take heed of this legislation which doesn’t say it is OK to beat your children it just guides the police to do what they do every day ie decide not to prosecute where there is no public interest. Violence on children is a major problem in NZ and the support of major parties tells us that while many parents who beat their children may do little or no lasting harm, that sense of ‘ownership’ of children which parents believe entitles them to hit children is understood by those who have to work with abused children to be the root cause of violence. This is a small step in telling NZers their children aren’t their possessions.

Alan Wilkinson
You can’t make bad law good with weasel words which is exactly what this amendment is. It could and should have made it mandatory for police not to prosecute in trivial cases. New Zealanders will not be fooled and this political manoeuvre will just reinforce public disrespect for our political and legal systems.

It is a compromise, and better than nothing. It will stop the right wing fundamentalists who live by their Old Testament values of ‘justifiable violence’, and at the same time stop those who reward their childrens bad behaviour with a lolly from clogging police phones every time they see a parent lightly disciplining a child. The whole thing seems to be bad law, badly written. However, Sue Bradford should be encouraged to do more of this sort of thing, as it will cement in the thinking voters’ minds the absolute necessity of getting rid of this government and electing one that hopefully will have the numbers to govern without the pressure of so-called coalition partners.

Brian Spicer
The ammendment seems to me to be nonsense. Contrary to what I have understood in the past, this amendment seems to suggest that one only breaches the law when one is caught or is prosecuted.The amendment also doesn’t block CYF acting.

Latest reactions are typical rightwing conservative ones, people who have always been in favour of corporal and capital punishment. The same types who would have been against reforms which disallowed wife-beating, slavery,…the list goes on.

This amendment has made no difference to the original proposed legislation, as it will still be an offence to even lightly smack your child. The police should not have to rely on discretion. The bill needs be amended to legally allow the use of a light smack. If this cannot be achieved we should maintain the status quo, and therefore dump Sue Bradfords bill.

With this amendment, it is still an offence to smack a child. The police have the discretion to not prosecute, but this makes no difference as they always have that discretion. The use of a light smack is still an offence under this new proposal, so it really makes no difference to the proposed legislation.

Richard Z
I would like to thank Sue Bradford. She has done all of us who have been hoping and dreaming for an end to the Labour regime a huge favour by providing the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Matt Pilott
I love the comments about a referendum – what exactly do people think the government is for? As well as needing parenting courses (which isn’t a bad idea at all – if not mandatory they should be encouraged with incentives such as medical support, but that’s another issue), I think we need Representative Democracy courses!! I’m all for the amendment – now the pro-child beaters (e.g Destiny Church and other Christian Fundamentalists such as Family First) will have to show their true colours and insist on the right to abuse children instead of hiding behind the “parents criminalised” argument. Well done Labour, and the Greens for bringing this about. Hopefully a watershed in NZ’s children’s rights record.

The move by Labour to amend the bill is simply a political lifesaver that Helen Clark hopes will be swallowed by the public, in order for Labour to continue in Government come next year. Had she not made this move – which only weeks ago was “out of the question” – it would have been the death knell for this Government. Does anyone find it interesting that despite the fervent, and some would say desperate, pleadings made in favour of total repealment of s59 by certain politicians, that we are now in a position where Chesters amendment will now be presented as Helen’s lifesaver?

The compromise does not make light smacking legal – it only gives the police the discretion not to prosecute. Smackers will all be criminals by definition. I’m not sure many people will be happy to throw themselves on the mercy of the police!

No, it is simply not good enough. The police can be biased they are only normal human beings. How would they handle cultural differences especially if the parents speak another language? This Bill have the potential to divide and destroy families.

Jenny Petchell
Looking at the results of the NZ Herald poll today as well as previous polls on the above subject, the numbers are resoundingly against Sue Bradford’s bill. Why then, are our elected representatives not listening to their constituents? Is it a case of the “squeaky wheel” gets the attention to get rid of it?

I disagree with the comprimised amendment This bill more or less makes the public responsible for policing other parents, which isn’t much better a communist decision. John Key will probably lose my vote, hopefully Destiny NZ will make the MMP vote criteria.

Sarah K
It amazes me still that this is supposed to be a democratic country and yet we have not had a nationwide vote on whether to pass this ridiculous and vile bill. I don’t care that they have re-worded this bill to keep the good parents ‘safe’. It is a farce, this country should go back to using the voting system – first past the post. But I suppose we wouldn’t be allowed to vote on that either.

The Helen Clark-led Labour party has put 80 per cent of good New Zealand parents through anxiety and anguish in their stubborn refusal to listen to the majority of law abiding Constituents. Well, this last minute change of heart to finally accept a common sense amendment suggested by Chester Barows will not be enough to save you at the next election. Its time for the Labour party to go to the political abyss for your arogance, 80 per cent will make sure of that.

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