Posts Tagged Debate

Whatever happens, the hiding has had its day

August 11, 2009

John Roughan writes in the New Zealand Herald (8/8/09) that the men behind the smacking poll are so confident of its result they have prepared their next move by drafting a bill that would allow parents to use reasonable force for “correcting” a child’s behaviour.

He writes that they expect the vote for their “good parental correction” to be so decisive that John Key will have to surrender his stated wish to leave well-enough alone.

When they sent the bill to Roughan they said, “This is what government will adopt after the referendum.” So definite, And wanted him to report that the bill, sponsored by Act MP John Boscawen, expressly forbids the use of “any weapon, tool or instrument”.

“That is progress,” he wrote.

He then engaged on the No Vote team in an email Q&A to seek clarity.

“The bill would also make correction illegal if it “causes the child to suffer injury which is more than transitory and trifling” or, “is inflicted by any means that is cruel or degrading”.

“So that is what their correction is not, but what exactly is it? It is not simply the instant admonitory smack that the law now specifically permits. They want to add correction as a distinct permitted purpose.”

He concluded: “I don’t need a right, he does. But there it is; they want the right to smack long after the event, “as long as it’s not abusive … as long as the child associates the punishment with the wrong behaviour … haven’t you heard of parents taking time out … ?”

“I find the idea of parents taking “time out” to plan a punishment quite repugnant if what they plan is physical.

“Whatever the referendum result, I think justice will decide the hiding has had its day.”

NZ’s premier debating society hosts a show down

August 7, 2009

Do parents have the right to smack their children?

The referendum on smacking is sparking controversy nationwide. As a result New Zealand’s premier debating society is hosting a show down between prominent Yes and No Voters in 2009.

The debate; open to the public, with entry by gold coin koha, is being organised by the Victoria University Debating Society and is sponsored by the University.

Side affirmative will be represented by champion student debater Udayan Mukherjee, commentator and former journalist Dave Crampton (who blogs at and Wellington lawyer Michael Mabbett.

Green Party MP Sue Bradford will speak for the negative side, as will founder of Lobby Group EPOCH and former UNICEF NZ Advocacy Manager and Beth Wood.  They will be joined by Victoria University Debating Society President Polly Higbee.

Each debater will have around ten minutes to speak, and a show of hands at the end will determine the winner.

Tea and coffee (and heated discussion) will be served after the debate.

  • Details:

“That parents have the right to smack their children”

Monday August 10, 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Lecture Theatre One,

Rutherford House, Pipitea Campus, Victoria University

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

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