How big an issue is smacking?

Colin Craig has generated a lot of media attention in promoting his anti smacking law campaign focus. There has also been discussion in social media. But how much of an issue is smacking for the wider public who don’t bother about what’s going on in politics?

‘Dime’ at Kiwiblog suggests:

Its pretty clear this is still a huge issue for a lot of people.

That’s not clear at all. If Craig didn’t keep bringing it up most people would have forgotten about it. Most people won’t have noticed Craig’s attention seeking and still won’t care. A bit of media and blog reaction is not representative of wider public interest.

In the last Roy Morgan poll in July 2013 to look at “Most Important Problem Facing New Zealand” smacking didn’t figure at all.

  • Economic issues totaled 51%
  • Social issues totaled 18%,  and of that:
    • Child Abuse/ Lack of Care of Children/ Bringing up Children Wrongly 2% (down from 5% in January 2012)
    • Breakdown of Family Unit/ Family Violence 1%

It’s possible that Craig’s attention seeking will raise the profile of the smacking issue, and Craig only needs 5% support to reach the MMP threshold – he may need to make the threshold if he scares off National support for his Conservative Party.

But will that many people vote for a single issue that isn’t actually affecting their lives?

The next Roy Morgan poll on party support will be interesting, it should be due out soon. Craig may well have timed his media campaign to coincide with the polling period. The Conservatives have failed to make an impression on polling late last year despite Craig getting media to promote him then.

Craig’s efforts may eventually be enough to win poll support. Or he may cement in place a “Crazy Colin” perception.

Leave a comment


  1. Four posts in a row on Colin Craig and smacking, and you have to ask how big an issue it is?

    How about you go and ask your extended family who have children. You might be surprised at the answers you get.

    For me is not about smacking as such, it’s the principal, as I’ve said to you directly before.

    The Government has no right to interfere in parental control of children where there is no harm involved, and mild pain from a smack does not equate to harm. That the Government has legislated in this area shows a complete disregard for the family and it’s role in bringing up children. It should be repealed on that basis alone.

  2. It negates anything they might ever say on smacking. They are ideologes on the issue.

    I’ve been one of them and I saw the error of my ways, so I understand the mentality.


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