Opposition weakens

June 28, 2009

Media release: Students Against Violence                        June 28, 2009

It has interested me to watch the debate heat up once more over the last few weeks, once again the so called ‘anti-smacking law’ was headlining the newspapers.

The attention moved from the law itself to the referendum and the question itself. It is interesting to see that the New Zealand public haven’t been fooled by the question and are simply going to ignore it, perhaps in the shadow of our countries political party leaders John Key and Phil Goff.

New Zealanders appears to be questioning the credibility of the ‘No Vote’ campaigners amidst the controversy of Christine Rankin and the ambiguous wording of the question, which has now backfired on the instigators of the referendum.

It amazes me how desperate the ‘no vote’ campaign has come. Their claims of ‘parents being criminalised’ are seriously miss-leading and it makes my stomach turn to think of the children in these situations.

The stories are all about parents who have been made out to be good, loving and caring. What disgusts me is the absolute belief from these campaigners that the cases all represent good parental discipline!

Not only that, I also notice stories, which supposedly headlining their campaign, now having been removed from the No Vote website. They are now very difficult to find. Consequently, I believe the public have realised these stories have no credibility and that the parents were never criminalised for them.

The past few weeks have seen the opposition get weaker and weaker from Larry Baldock getting absolutely toasted in an interview by Sean Plunket, to John Key and Phil Goff declaring they aren’t interested in the referendum and the general public supporting the child discipline law.

Let’s face it, if this law wasn’t working parents would know about it. Good parents would be getting thrown behind bars and our friends and whanau would be living in complete fear.

Christine Rankin’s pathetic fear tactics haven’t fooled many and have simply caused more controversy about her position as a families commissioner rather than the actual content of the article.

I strongly believe it’s time the opposition threw in the towel and just gave up. Every day New Zealanders have adapted to our zero tolerance of violence in the home and our leaders are all indicating there won’t be a change in the law. The question means that the answer you give can never clearly represent your views on the issue and will have no direct impact on the government’s decision to keep the law in its current form.

  • Johny O’Donnell, youth advocate for the Child Discipline Law, chairperson Students Against Violence

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

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