Posts Tagged paula bennett

The sixth police review: The Child Discipline Law is still working well

March 7, 2010

The New Zealand Police released their 6th review of the implementation Crimes (substituted section 59) Amendment Act 2007 on Friday 5th March 2010. It covered the six-month period from 24 June 2009 to December 22nd 2009.  You can read the Police media release, or download the full report.

The report  indicates that the number of complaints about smacking and minor acts of physical discipline have remained fairly constant since the law changed. In the recent six month period there were two prosecutions – one for smacking and one for a minor act of physical discipline. Both were resolved by way of Diversion. In the cases were there was no prosecution made many parents were given warnings and a significant number were referred to organisations that could provide or direct families to support and guidance.

There has been an increase in the number of complaints in the category “Other Child Assault” which refers to more heavy handed assaults on children. As the police say the increase is consistent with “reduced tolerance and increased reporting of child assault events”.

We do not know whether or not the law change has contributed to the welcome decrease in tolerance of violence to children or n fact reduced assaults on children – relevant baseline data does not exist.

The continual cry from pro-smackers that the law change has not reduced serious child abuse is a distraction aimed at undermining the law.  The Child Discipline Law is not a quick fix – this kind of change will take years, and results from a wide range of efforts. An independent group of experts convened by Social Development Minister Paula Benett last week recommended a multi-faceted approach.

The claim that the complaints made to the Police are a waste of precious Police resources is quite unfounded.

It is entirely appropriate that Police investigate all reports of violence to children – any physical discipline can be a precursor, or indicator of, more serious child abuse. It is also appropriate that most cases of minor assault do not end in prosecution – there are more constructive options for helping to change aggressive parental behaviour. Punishment of parents is not a primary objective of the law change. Social change is.

Latest Section 59 review says the law is working well

November 11, 2009

Yet another review of the Child Discipline Law confirms that the law is working well.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennet says in her media release:

“The review has found no evidence to show that parents are being subject to unnecessary state intervention for occasionally lightly smacking their children.
“I think this review goes some way to comforting parents that the law is being interpreted in the way it was intended.”

So if report after monotonous report confirms that the Child Discipline Law is working to protect children without putting parents at risk, one might ask some hard questions about the true agenda of the Orwellianly-named “March for Democracy” as they march by this weekend.

Read the full MSD report.

Paula Bennett: The Child Discipline Law appears to be working

August 3, 2009

Wellington, Aug 2 NZPA – Social Development Minister Paula Bennett will not vote in the smacking referendum she said today.

Instead she will “shut up” and listen.

“I think this is a time for politicians to listen, actually it wouldn’t do any harm for some of us to shut up for a while, see what the public think and then make some plans from there,” Ms Bennett told TV One’s Q+A programme.

Politicians had the opportunity to put forward their views every day, she said.

However, she said the current law appeared to be working.

“Certainly I suppose I see that through Child Youth and Family, and through being the minister for that, that I am not alarmed by anything that seems to have changed drastically in the last couple of years.”

New Children’s Commissioner John Angus supports the Child Discipline Law

June 10, 2009

New Children’s Commissioner John Angus backs the current Child Discipline Law in today’s Herald saying:

I think the law as it currently stands is satisfactory and is a good piece of law for the children of New Zealand.

Dr Angus said he supported the new law because vulnerable children should get the same legal protection against assault as adults, and because smacking was not usually a consistent or effective form of discipline.

Significantly, Paula Bennett chimes in:

The Government’s position on this legislation is clear – that should good parents be convicted for a light smack, we would look at changing the law, but so far we have seen no evidence that the law is not working.

We wouldn’t want you to consider this information out of context – we encourage you to read the whole article.

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

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