Posts Tagged john roughan

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.”

John Roughan: Don’t be deceived by McCoskrie and friends

August 2, 2009

There was a nice piece in yesterday’s Herald by John Roughan: Sinister undertones to referendum instigators, in which John rightly brings into question what Bob McCoskrie and friends mean by “correction”.  He concludes that what the instigators of this referendum are really after is the restoration of their right to give their kids a good hiding.

There is something very creepy about this smacking referendum now arriving in the mail. What exactly do the citizens behind this initiative, men like Bob McCoskrie, mean by “good parental correction”?

Their publicity pretends they mean nothing more than the smack that an anxious or annoyed parent might use to stop or prevent dangerous or offensive behaviour. But that can’t be all they want because the law now expressly permits the use of parental force for exactly those purposes.

Roughan lays out a detailed analysis of why the existing Child Discipline Law allows “good parental correction”, and concludes:

Those who initiated the referendum know what the new law says. They know it permits reasonable force for all the preventive situations they are fond of citing.

They pretend it does not because they could not attract majority support for the restoration of the right to flog children. Don’t be deceived by them. Should a smack, as part of good parental correction, be a criminal offence in New Zealand? Absolutely.

Read the full article.

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

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