Phil Goff on ‘Smacking’

June 21, 2009

The value of the referendum is undermined by having a loaded and ambiguous question. It implies that a “yes” vote supports criminal sanctions being applied against good parents who lightly smack their children. I do not believe that should happen or is happening.

By voting “no” the implication is that the law should be changed. I believe the law as it is is working well and does not need to be changed. Parents who beat their children can no longer hide behind the legal defence of “reasonable force” and will, where the circumstances justify it, face charges.

Since the law has passed however, good parents have not been criminalised for giving their children a light smack, despite fears whipped up by the law’s opponents.

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

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