August 24, 2009
In an opinion piece in today’s Herald, Tapu Misa says that despite the referendum result, John Key must hold the line:
If the purpose of the referendum was to stop good parents being criminalised for “light” smacking, we don’t have a problem. So far no parent has been prosecuted successfully for that. The law allows “inconsequential” physical force – such as a light smack – in several circumstances, including stopping a child harming themselves or others.
But it rightly rules out the kind of parental correction that began with smacking and led to James Whakaruru’s stepfather beating the 4-year-old to death for bedwetting.
That’s an extreme example. Some people don’t recognise child abuse unless it involves a maimed or dead baby, but those who work with children know that the abuse continuum is less clear-cut. Hundreds of damaged children never end up in the public eye.
Read the full article at the Herald.