New smacking bill defeated
Wed, 08 Sep 2010 11:31p.m.
A bill that would have effectively repealed the anti-smacking law by again allowing parents to use "reasonable force" to discipline their children was defeated in Parliament tonight by 115 votes to five.
The member's bill was sponsored by ACT MP David Garrett, who said that although police had discretion over prosecuting for a light smack, it was still an offence in law and had to be removed from the statutes.
"The law has turned good parents into criminals, in the same category as those who bash and kill their children," he said.
Mr Garrett said the law hadn't worked anyway because since the legislation was passed 20 children had been murdered and notifications of child abuse had increased.
Labour's deputy leader Annette King said the law was passed by a majority of MPs after a compromise was reached between then prime minister Helen Clark and John Key when he was Leader of the Opposition.
"This is a political bill, we have all moved on and it should be removed from the House as soon as possible", Ms King said.
National's Hekia Parata said the anti-smacking law was working, and a review had shown that.
"I'm personally applaud the fact that we are opposing it," she said.
Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei said the bill was a waste of Parliament's time.
"It seeks to injure children. Wouldn't we do better by finding ways to build safe, warm homes for them," she said.
ACT MP John Boscawen drafted the bill but couldn't sponsor it because he became a minister last month.
He said current law created confusion because of police discretion and a referendum had shown 87 percent of voters wanted it changed.
"This bill stands up for the rights of those people," he said.
Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell said punitive approaches to discipline were wrong and the law didn't criminalise parents.
"The law is working well, parents are prevented from using the defence of reasonable force and we reject this bill absolutely," he said.
ACT's five MPs were the only ones who voted for the bill.
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9/09/2010 5:04:51 p.m.
Ngati Porou wrote:
"Notifications of child abuse had increased". That can only be a good thing. Hopefully it means that more people are reporting it.
9/09/2010 3:33:11 p.m.
REsign RIGHT Kim, its like National are trying to teach everyone to run backwards to help everyone understand their adoption ADOPTION of Labours nonsense law. Its lucky democracy have HUMBLE ACT still to vote FOR!!!!!!!!!
9/09/2010 3:05:40 p.m.
Idont think its fare for open homes to take children who ha ve been placed with grandparents off them for a smack that did not cause any abuse to the child .and that parents and grandparents a like shouldnt get in to trouble for this as long as they are not abusing the child isnt it better to keep familys together than pull them a part.
9/09/2010 12:37:10 p.m.
John Key has lied again. He stated that if the anti smacking law wasn't working as intended he would repeal it. Well if the intent of the law was to stop children being beaten to death it is obviously not working as intended with 20 children beaten to death since the law change which is pretty much the same statistic as before the law change. If this result is what was intended the govt shoulkd resign but if its not they should stick with thier promise to repeal this useless law that will never make a difference to child abusers.
9/09/2010 9:21:40 a.m.
As National jump in bed with Labour and make their OWN BABY THE BETTER!
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