Posts Tagged cindy kiro

Gabriel Pollard: only 20 percent of people oppose the Child Discipline Law

June 3, 2009

The repeal of Section 59 from the Crimes Act in New Zealand has only 20% of New Zealanders opposing it. The often dubbed “anti-smacking law” removed the right for adults to use “reasonable force” to discipline their children.

43% of thosse  surveyed by UMR on behalf of the Office of the Children’s Commissioner responded positively to the anti-smacking law, 28% opposed; the rest were neutral. However, when asked the question, “Should children be entitled to the same protection from assault as adults?”, 80% said that they should. Lobby group Family First NZ is dismayed at this figure. National Director Bob McCoskrie said, “This figure should be 100%. But the Children’s Commissioner has simply caused confusion by misrepresenting the effect of the law and the difference between assault and a light smack.”

The Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 is fairly well known by the public, but specifics weren’t as well publicised. Perhaps this is why there has been a citizens’ initiated referendum (well over 200,000 eligible voters signed a petition supporting smacking). Children’s Commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro said, “Many parents are ready to move on and find positive ways of parenting that involve discipline without violence, so there needs to be support for that with information and education.”

In 1993 a survey was conducted around the theme, “is it alright to use physical punishment with children” which resulted in 87% agreeing. In 2008, it was at a recorded 58%.

The referendum is open to all eligible New Zealand voters will be held in August via postal vote.

Gabriel Pollard is a Journalism student in Christchurch who writes for Wikinews and blogs at Bird’s Eye News.

Cindy Kiro talks about “an effective law”

April 11, 2009

The Wellingtonian interviewed retiring Children’s Commissioner Cindy Kiro this week, who commented on the child discipline debate…

Wellingtonian: How important was Sue Bradford’s so-called anti-smacking bill?

Kiro: The debate was important. And it has proved to be an effective law. In the three six-month periods since it became law, the police have said they are not prosecuting more people, so, contrary to some fears, people are not being criminalised. But the law has had an effect. I don’t see people screaming and yelling and hitting their kids at places like supermarkets. I do see people talking to their kids and using other strategies for discipline.

Read the whole interview on

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

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