The Yes Vote – NZ Referendum on Child Discipline 2009


Aotearoa New Zealand is becoming a place where children are secure, confident, understand limits and boundaries and behave well – without physical punishment.

In 2007, by an overwhelming majority of 113 to 8 votes, Parliament granted children protection from assault by their parents. The law is working well as shown by increased awareness of positive discipline and other nonviolent parenting techniques as well as compassionate and sensible implementation of the law.

The results of the poorly worded referendum of 2009 did not lead to a reversal of the 2007 law, and a Private Members Bill aimed at re-introducing a statutory defence into the Crimes Act was soundly defeated in September 2010.

We can be confident that children are benefiting from the 2007 law change and that parents and the public are coming to see the law as a positive influence on the way children are treated in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Thank you to our supporters for the significant part you played in ensuring a better future for our children. Although the referendum campaign is history there is still a need for positive promotion of the 2007 law and positive non-violent discipline.

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

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