August 24, 2009
Chair of Te Kahui Mana Ririki Dr Hone Kaa said today that he is delighted with the government’s response to the citizen’s initiated referendum on smacking.
“Prime Minister John Key has maintained his position – the current law is working well and at this stage he has no intention of changing it.
“I am delighted that New Zealand will retain a law which effectively makes the physical punishment of children illegal.”
“This is especially important for Maori because our child abuse rates are so high.
“We must continue to promote a policy of zero tolerance of violence towards our young ones.”
Maori participation in the referendum was low with around a third of Maori voters taking part. 11.2% of those Maori voters voted yes to the question “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand”, and 88.8% voted no.
“We have always argued that the question was misleading.
“The debate has really been about the rights of children to live in homes that are free from violence and that right has been upheld.”