Posts Tagged john key

Prime Minister commits to action on child abuse

June 25, 2009

Media Release: UNICEF NZ (UN Children’s Fund)          24 June, 2009

The UN Children’s Fund in NZ is pleased that the Prime Minister has made an emphatic statement of the Government’s intent to do something about abused children.

“New Zealand’s grim record of child abuse is a national shame and needs urgent attention” says UNICEF NZ executive director, Dennis McKinlay.

“The Prime Minister has recognised this and it is heartening that he has shown leadership with his statement in the House yesterday that not enough has happened and that his government intends to do more.

“We need this commitment to support what communities and individuals are already doing. It is gratifying that he has acknowledged that it’s not enough and that more needs to happen.”

Mr McKinlay referred to the lack of public education following the amendment of S.59 of the Crimes Act in 2007 and believes that if New Zealanders had the opportunity to be well informed about the new legislation, there would be more understanding of and support for the amendment.

“Removing the defence of reasonable force is a step towards eliminating child abuse. Acts of abuse that were previously defended through the old legislation are no longer defensible.”

Mr McKinlay says that he will seek a meeting with the Prime Minister and offer UNICEF’s support in his efforts to deal with our unacceptably high level of child abuse.

“Our youngest citizens are at risk. Support for parents and education about constructive discipline need to be prioritised in the Government agenda to help eliminate child abuse.”

Note: Tuesday 23 June

Hon JOHN KEY: “I go back to the point I just made: members on this side of the House care about abused kids. We look in the hospitals of New Zealand and see thousands of abused kids, and Christine Rankin has spoken out about the damage that is happening to those kids. We are going to do something about abused kids, because not enough happened under the previous Labour Government.”

Bad question, but it’s still important to vote!

June 19, 2009

The last few days have seen many public statements from journalists and MPs expressing disapproval of the referendum question and of the cost. The Prime Minister’s reassurance that he believes the law is working well and that he will not be changing the law is very welcome. Many people say that they are “over” the debate about child discipline.

So it may be tempting to ignore the referendum altogether. But there are some excellent reasons to vote in the referendum, and support A YES Vote.

  • To demonstrate that people are not fooled by the referendum’s tricky question.
  • To continue to demonstrate to politicians that there is support for the law.
  • To address attempts to undermining public confidence in the law.
  • To achieve some quiet time for the law to bed down peacefully and have a positive effect on the way children are disciplined in New Zealand.
  • To observe over time, and in an unbiased way, how it is working in practice.

If over time we find that there are cases where prosecutions would have been best avoided because they involve trivial assaults and the stress caused by prosecutions is counter-indicated lets look at measures outside law to ensure that these are handled in a compassionate way. We do not need to re-introduce a law that says some assaults on children are acceptable and that physical punishment is ok part of family discipline.

A YES Vote strengthens support for the law.

Others have commented on this as well; see The Standard’s Still Voting Yes, and Kiwipolitico’s fascinating Game Theory Analysis of Voting in the Referendum.

Campbell Live: Larry Baldock issues ransom letter to John Key

June 17, 2009

Tonight’s Campbell Live asks the question, “What would you do with $9 million?”  A txt poll taken by Campbell Live shows that 61% of respondents believe that $9m on a referendum is a waste of money. Larry Baldock, the person who organised the referendum, seems confused about how best to spend $9m of taxpayer money.  But not too confused to try to take advantage of the situation.

Baldock has issued a ransom letter to John Key stating that he’d withdraw the referendum if the government removes subclause 2 and subclause 3 from Section 59 of the Crimes Act… in other words, reintroduces “reasonable force” as a defence against assaulting a child.

That’s unlikely.  We the taxpayers get to pay the price for Larry’s Folly.

Watch the video.

Politicians kick for touch

June 17, 2009

Both John Key and Phil Goff have now said that they won’t be voting in the referendum, because the referendum question is so poorly worded.

Key went further to say the government would be unlikely to change the law no matter what the outcome of the referendum.

Phil Goff agrees: “The question implies that if you vote ‘yes’ that you’re in favour of criminal sanctions being taken against reasonable parents actually nobody believes that.”

True enough, but that’s only one way to read the question.  Tariana Turia and Russel Norman agree with us that a YES vote is the only way to indicate your clear support for the law.  There is near universal agreement that the referendum is a waste of money, as the Child Discipline Law is working as intended.

TV3 Evening News story on the referendum

June 15, 2009

Sia Aston of 3News filed a story on the referendum on tonight’s news, featuring Murray Edridge, Sue Bradford, John Key and Bob McCoskrie.

Nice, balanced reporting.  Good work, TV3!

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

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