Posts Tagged deborah morris-travers

Yes vote discussion on Access Radio

July 10, 2009

Deborah Morris-Travers joins the team at Access Radio’s Collaborative Voices to discuss why people should vote “YES”

Yes Vote on YouTube

July 2, 2009

Yes Vote on YouTube

Three days left to call referendum off

June 30, 2009

Media Statement                                     30 June 2009

Promoters of the child discipline referendum are increasingly damaging their own cause by failing to take the opportunity to call it off.

“With just three days left until the Governor-General issues a writ for the referendum, its organisers are coming off as arrogant, inflexible and unconcerned at the massive and unnecessary expense they are responsible for,” said Yes Vote spokesperson, Deborah Morris-Travers.

“Even among those who support their question, there is an overwhelming belief that the whole exercise is a terrible waste of money.

“Demanding an amendment to the child discipline law in return for calling off the referendum is outrageous.  The law grants children the same legal protections as all other citizens have.  This is fair and reasonable, especially when law is being administered sensibly and sensitively.

“By trying to place responsibility for the referendum’s cancellation in anyone’s hands other than their own, its promoters are dodging their responsibilities as its creators.  Sheryl Saville, Larry Baldock and Bob McCoskrie started this farce and they are the only people with the power to withdraw it.

“The leaders of the two main parties have shown remarkable courage as leaders in standing by the current child discipline.

“They are not doing so to be popular, but because they know from their constant exposure to the reality of New Zealand’s high rates of family violence that this law is an important step towards creating safe, loving environments for our children to grow up in the 21st century.

“The Yes Vote coalition repeats its call for the referendum organisers to do the right thing, call off the poll before this Friday, and save the country at least $6 million,” concluded Ms Morris-Travers.

  • Contact: Deborah Morris-Travers, Tel 0274 544 299

Referendum instigators called on to withdraw their petition

June 25, 2009

Media Statement                                  June 25, 2009

If the instigators of the citizens initiated referendum are serious about making life better for children in New Zealand, they should exercise their ability to stop the referendum and save some of the $9 million committed to this futile PR stunt.  This is money that could be applied to making a real difference for New Zealand’s children and their families.

“The promoters of the petition forcing the referendum, Sheryl Saville, Larry Baldock and Bob McCoskrie, have a short window of time in which they could demonstrate some common sense and commitment to New Zealand families in these hard economic times, by withdrawing their petition,” said Yes Vote spokesperson Deborah Morris-Travers.

Legally, the petition can be withdrawn by its promoters before the Governor-General issues the writ for the referendum, which must be done by Friday 3 July 2009.

The Yes Vote coalition is calling upon them to act responsibly in this matter.  It is clear from the referendum debate over the last two weeks that the question is misleading, many people remain confused about the application of the law, and there is no political will to change the law when it is working effectively.  The outcome from the referendum therefore will be of little value.

The Yes Vote Coalition represents the major agencies working with communities to support parents and families.  We support the child discipline law and we support parents.  We see and understand the challenges faced by families throughout New Zealand and we know those families don’t want precious government resources being wasted on a referendum that will add little to the future well-being of their children.

“We call on the petition promoters to withdraw their petition while it is still possible to do so,” concluded Ms Morris-Travers.

  • Contact: Deborah Morris-Travers. Tel 0274 544 299

This is good parental correction? What happened to adult self-control?

June 23, 2009

Media Statement                         23 June 2009

Promoters of the referendum on child discipline must be truly desperate if they are willing to make a father who repeatedly pushes over his seven year-old their new poster-boy for “a smack as a part of good parental correction”, says The Yes Vote.

“The no vote campaign would have used the so-called ‘ear-flick’ Dad as their example of supposed injustice against parents until he was convicted of punching his child in the face.

“Now they are pointing to an angry father, who pleaded guilty to assault, as a ‘great Dad’.

“We all get tired and frustrated as parents, but actions such as those described are anything ‘good parental correction’.  They are a loss of adult self-control, pure and simple.

“If ever there was an example of why the new child discipline law is a step in the right direction to creating a society in which violence towards children is no longer tolerated, this has to be it.

“A Yes Vote in the referendum is a vote to ensure children and adults are protected equally.”

  • Contact: Deborah Morris-Travers  Tel 0274 544 299

Constructive debate called for on second anniversary of child discipline law

June 21, 2009

Media Statement: The Yes Vote Coalition 21 June 2009

Debate ahead of the August referendum on the child discipline law risks being the same polarising, wasted opportunity as it was in 2007, says the Yes Vote coalition.

“The Yes Vote welcomes the fact that all political parties, except Act, have pledged their support for the child discipline law, which came into effect two years ago today.

“While the last week has been an important demonstration that our political leaders understand the importance of retaining the law as it is, the debate has reignited some of the angry and abusive tone that characterised debate in 2007…

“The reality is that when it comes to stopping New Zealand’s appallingly high rates of child deaths and abuse by international standards, we are all on the same side,” said Yes Vote spokesperson Deborah Morris-Travers.

“Yet some of the mud slung at supporters of the current legislation obscures this important fact of national unity.

“We have never promoted the view that simply passing a law would either instantly change attitudes or national child abuse statistics.  To expect that would be naïve.  However, opponents of the law continually cite individual abuse cases as “evidence” the law isn’t working,” said Ms Morris-Travers.

“There is a slow shift occurring in New Zealand, which has already occurred in many countries, away from physical discipline as an acceptable element of parenting.  The child discipline law has an important contribution, over time, to reducing the attitudes and behaviours that put children at risk of abuse.

“I suspect that in 10, 20, 30 years time, we will look back with the same surprise as we now look back on racial segregation, opposition to the women’s’ movement, or native forest clear-felling and we’ll wonder what this debate was all about.

“Change takes time and leadership.  The Yes Vote welcomes the political leadership shown over the past week.

“We have noted the many public statements from journalists and MPs expressing disapproval of the referendum question and of the cost, however, we see this as an opportunity to better inform people about the child discipline law, how it is working two years on, and the importance of ensuring a focus on the interests of children.”

Ms Morris-Travers concluded by saying, “We look forward to constructive participation in a national debate as the referendum unfolds and we remind people there are some good reasons to vote in the referendum, to support a Yes Vote:

  • To demonstrate that people are not fooled by the referendum’s tricky question.
  • To continue to demonstrate to politicians that there is support for the law.
  • To address attempts to undermining public confidence in the law.
  • To achieve some quiet time for the law to bed down peacefully and have a positive effect on the way children are disciplined in New Zealand.
  • To observe over time, and in an unbiased way, how it is working in practice.”
  • Contact: Deborah Morris-Travers.  Tel 0274 544 299

Deborah Morris-Travers and Gordon Copeland on TV3

June 15, 2009

TV3 News have just posted their story “Barnados calls for ‘yes’ vote on so-called ‘anti-smacking law’” on their web site, with clips featuring Deborah Morris-Travers and Gordon Copeland.

Audio: Morning Report story on the referendum

June 15, 2009

National Radio ran a story on Morning Report today on the referendum, with guest spots by Deborah Morris-Travers, Sue Bradford, Larry Baldock, and Bob McCoskrie.

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Minister’s comments on child discipline law welcomed

June 10, 2009

Media Statement - 10 June 2009


The Yes Vote coalition welcomes Social Welfare Minister Paula Bennett’s statement in the NZ Herald today in support of the child discipline law as it stands.

Ms Bennett’s statement contradicts claims by opponents of the law that she does not support it.

In an interview with the NZ Herald on those claims, Ms Bennett said, “”The Government’s position on this legislation is clear – that should good parents be convicted for a light smack, we would look at changing the law, but so far we have seen no evidence that the law is not working.”

Deborah Morris-Travers of the Yes Vote coalition welcomed that statement, which is consistent with statements by the Prime Minister, John Key.

“As is so often the case, the claims by opponents about the legislation are shown either to be false or grossly distorted.”

Labour leader Phil Goff has also been recently misrepresented on the issue by opponents of the child discipline law reforms of 2007.

In a written response to a Yes Vote coalition supporter on May 25, following those claims, Mr Goff said: “Labour is opposed to reversing the repeal of section 59 of the Crimes Act.  We believe that the law is working as intended and has not resulted in criminal sanctions against good parents who do not harm their children.”

“It appears that the political consensus that secured the passage of the law in 2007 remains and this is good for children, families and New Zealand,” concluded Ms Morris-Travers.

Yes Vote welcomes OCC Child Abuse Report

June 4, 2009

The report released by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner today on New Zealand’s horrific levels of child abuse reiterates just why it is so important that our  law draws a line in the sand on physical punishment,” says Deborah Morris-Travers, spokesperson for the Yes Vote coalition.

“The report says that one child is admitted to hospital every week as a result of intentional assault and builds on previous work illustrating the need to change attitudes about violence against children.

“The vulnerability of infants and small children in homes where family violence is prevalent, parents are unsupported, there is poverty, and dysfunction, demonstrates the need for political and community action that addresses child abuse and maltreatment on a number of levels, including in law.

“While some claim these results represent an argument against having a law that removes a parental right to physically punish their children, the Yes Vote coalition sees the law as one key part of a vital social change for positive, non-violent parenting that is occurring in NZ.

“We find it baffling that opponents of the current child discipline law so strongly oppose child abuse while simultaneously working so hard for the right to be allowed to physically punish their own children.  This contradiction draws little media attention, providing evidence of society’s tolerance of violence against children,” concluded Ms Morris-Travers.

Plunket Barnardos Save the Children Unicef Jigsaw Ririki Parents CentrePaediatric Society Womens Refuge Epoch

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