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.

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

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