In a Morning Report story today, Paediatrics Society spokesperson Russell Wills says that attitudes toward violence are changing. Parents are now approaching medical professionals saying, “I know I’m not allowed to hit my kids – can you help me?”.
The story points out that in the 2007-2008 CYF reporting year, although notifications involving smacking are up, cases requiring futher action have dropped – indicating that the law is working.
Kathryn Ryan interviews Prof Anne Smith, Murray Edridge, and Bob McCoskrie on Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon programme this morning.
Anne Smith is Professor Emeritus at Otago University’s College of Education, and discusses her research on child discipline that shows that less than 10% of parents feel that smacking is effective; she says that most of the parents involved in her study that smacked their children regretted it afterwards, and that the smacking had more to do with the parents’ state of mind, tiredness, etc than the child’s behaviour.
She also discusses parents’ reaction the current law. In her study, 47% supported the current Child Discipline Law, 27% were against it, with the rest undecided.
Prof Smith said that only a tiny minority of experts believe that smacking is effective, and that the present law is working well.
Murray Edridge (CEO Barnardos) and Bob McCoskrie (Family First) comment on the research and the referendum.
The question assumes that smacking is part of good parental correction – which is an assumption that John and many other people dispute.
Vote YES if you favour smacking being a crime, you want to keep the law the way it is, you support a violence free society, but you find yourself in the company of Sue Bradford and the Nanny State, and those people who think they know how to bring up your children better than you do.
Vote No if you’d like to go back to the previous law where “reasonable force” is a defence against physically hitting children, and you find yourself in the company of the whackers and the bashers and the wacky right and all of those people.
John is voting YES because he believes, along with Pita Sharples, that there has to be a better way of bringing up your children than smacking them.
Calling it the “anti-smacking legislation” is wrong – the purpose of the legislation is to protect children from being beaten up by their parents. It’s aimed at changing the culture of violence against our children that we clearly have in NZ.
$10m is being wasted on the upcoming referendum on a ridiculously worded question. We’ve had the debate already, and the Child Discipline Law was passed by a margin of 113-8.
The legislation anticipated an education programme that never occurred. The $10m being spent on the referendum would have much better been spent on the education programme.
The real referendum question should have been, “Should we be able to beat our children with a horse whip or a piece of wood and get away with it in court”, as happened before this legislation was passed.
Druis Barrett resigned from The Families Commission today in protest at Christine Rankin’s appointment.
In an excellent interview on today’s Morning Report (listen below), she says “I wouldn’t go as far as to say that [Christine Rankin] was racist, but she’s damn well close to it”. In the same interview, Hone Kaa agrees with her, saying that Rankin’s comments were unhelpful.
The Herald reports that Rankin’s comment that so upset Barrett was “Maori whanau don’t look after their own, and that [they] should be responsible for the many children that are at risk and have been killed”, implying that Māori were doing nothing about the problem.
In fact, groups like Te Kahui Mana Ririki, Save The Children, Barnardos and Plunket have been running Māori led programs to attack these problems for years.
Radio New Zealand’s Parliamentary Chief Reporter Jane Patterson covered the controversy surrounding Christine Rankin’s appointment as a Family Commissioner on Morning Report today, available for your listening pleasure below:
The report includes comments from Phil Goff, Tariana Turia, Peter Dunne, and Jan Pryor.
We think that the responsible minister, Paula Bennett sums it up best in her own words: “Hey, that’s politics!”
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The bottom line is that we want to play by the rules. We appreciate your support, but please act ethically, thoughtfully, and within the law.