Turei slams NZ First in child protection

Green co-leader Metiria Turei has strongly criticised NZ First for proposing a referendum on the ‘anti-smacking’ law.

Winston Peters brought this up in a speech in March – see Who wants to re-visit the ‘anti-smacking’ law? – but it resurfaced on Q+A yesterday, where NZ First MP Tracey Martin was interviewed along with Sue Bradford.

10 years on from the so called “anti-smacking” law – NZ First calls for a binding referendum

NZ First MP Tracey Martin told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that the law change has had a “chilling effect” on NZ parents including herself.

“Well, we’ve always argued, for 25 years, around binding a referenda on issues like this, where our citizens need to speak. We have a representative democracy. 113 temporarily empowered politicians decided this for all the parents of New Zealand. The parents of New Zealand need to be able to speak on it,” said Mrs Martin.

“I remember me being a parent when this bill went through, and I felt that the language that was being used, the politicians that were telling me that if I lightly smacked my child, I was then committing abuse. I found that personally offensive. It had a chilling effect on my parenting. And I believe other parents out there feel the same,” she said.

However, Former Green Party MP and the architect behind the law changes Sue Bradford disagrees.

“For New Zealand First to want us to go backwards on something that’s so important for our babies, children and young people, I just find incredible.”

“From the point of view of protecting our children and babies and saying actually our young kids should have the right to grow up without violence,” says Mrs Bradford.

Turei responded: NZ First putting politics before child protection

NZ First has chosen to put political game playing ahead of the safety of children by proposing a referendum on the ten year old amendments to the Crimes Act.

NZ First MP Tracy Martin said on Q&A this morning that her Party wants to hold a binding referendum to repeal the 2007 amendment to section 59 of the Crimes Act.

“I think it’s appalling that NZ First is willing to remove a basic protection for our kids in the hope it’ll buy them a few votes in election year,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“This law change simply removed a legal loophole that had allowed people who assaulted children to escape charges by claiming it was ‘parental correction’.

“Parents aren’t being prosecuted for lightly smacking their children. NZ First is trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.

“It’s sad that a political party would choose to use its resources to campaign on removing child protections rather than finding solutions to child abuse,” said Ms Turei.

But it’s election year and populist vote pandering seems to take precedent over protection of children from violence.

 

31 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  June 19, 2017

    Everybody knows Winnie’s just making the usual cynical ploy to raise his profile & ensure a few votes from the older anti-nanny state brigade. That amendment’s not going to be repealed. I don’t there’s any great hullabaloo about responsible parents giving the very rare corrective tap to a really tantyed up kid who just won’t stop whatever naughty or nasty thing they’re doing.

    All Metiria is doing is advertising for Winston.

    • Gezza

       /  June 19, 2017

      * line 3, insert “think” where obviously missing 😕
      Terrible proof-reader at my whare.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  June 19, 2017

      Had a screaming two-year old on our flight out a week or so ago. Parents highly embarrassed but couldn’t do anything to stop it for what seemed like hours. Made the flight a misery for everyone around them. Needed a quick clip on the bum but no can do now. Thanks Metiria.

      • Gezza

         /  June 19, 2017

        Time out in the toilet. Best thing.

      • Gezza

         /  June 19, 2017

        Boy or girl?

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  June 19, 2017

          Boy. Screamed until we landed.

          • Gezza

             /  June 19, 2017

            Figures. You can just talk to a little girl. They like to chat.

      • Hitting kids is not an effective way to stop crying. It’s more likely to make them worse.

        • Gezza

           /  June 19, 2017

          It’s a boy. Only other thing you can do is let them in the cockpit. Too big a risk & against aviation regulations unfortunately.

          • Brown

             /  June 19, 2017

            Reward bad behaviour. That’ll work long term.

            • Gezza

               /  June 19, 2017

              Well, exactly. And their arms are too short to reach the control column, & legs too short to reach the pedals as well, so they’d be bloody useless at flying the damn thing. So I’m not in favour of the idea either Brown.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  June 19, 2017

          Couldn’t have got worse, PG. It was full volume I’ll scream till you give me what I want. No doubt well practised at home and successful. Good luck raising that kid.

          • How do you know it wasn’t something like ear problems? That’s not uncommon with kids flying.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  June 19, 2017

              He was plenty old enough to tell them that. And it started well before the descent. Usually that is babies and pretty obvious.

            • Gezza

               /  June 19, 2017

              I am a bit curious PG.

              Assuming there was not a painful ear pressure problem for this lad, it was just a tantrum over something, & you’re the parent, & the child doesn’t have a problem like autism – what would you have done?
              … … …
              @ Al, any chance the boy might have been somewhere on the autism scale, do you think? An unending screaming fit of the duration you’re describing is somewhat unusual.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  June 19, 2017

              Quite possible, G. I wouldn’t have any way of knowing. He didn’t throw himself around or attack his parents other than verbally though.

            • Gezza

               /  June 19, 2017

              No. I know two. One’s Aspergers, the other not. They don’t fight or kick. They do have screaming fits like that when they’ve got no control over their situation. They both fixate on specific things & lose it when they’re dragged out of their comfort zone. Have to have their world organised around them. The Aspergers one’s adjusting to growing up quicker with special education, but the lack of that’s a strain on the parents.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  June 19, 2017

              Could well be, G. Very tough for parents of those kids.

            • Gezza

               /  June 19, 2017

              Yeah. Can be tragic too. Dad & Ma’s neighbours of 12 years had a boy & a girl. Mum worked in a bank & he was with the police in some senior civilian capacity. The lad had Aspergers. He walked out in front of a commuter train one night. Left a note. Just said he was sorry. Devastated them, as you can imagine.

            • Gezza

               /  June 19, 2017

              He was 15.

        • Gezza

           /  June 19, 2017

          I actually stopped one having a tanty in New World once. Mum was at her wits end. She had him by the hand & he was doing that swinging off it thing when they try to sit on the floor screaming & refuse to budge. Been going on for about 5 minutes. Irritating for everyone. I walked past, stopped, & yelled: “Little Boy ! Stop it & listen to your mum !” & walked on without looking back in case she didn’t like it. Shut him up tho.

  2. Tipene

     /  June 19, 2017

    How deliciously ironic that those who cry “listen to the voice of the people” only wish to do so when the “people” agree with them.

    Tracy Martin was supportive of the intent of the original bill – she just wants to remove the parental criminalisation of the amendment.

    Emotive language (“we must stop killing our babies”) keeps trumping real world consideration of this issue (if a parent lightly smacks a child for the purposes of correction, this actin shouldn’t trigger a mandatory CYF notification).

    I don;t know whether anyone here has had any experience with friends or family members dealing with CYF, but by all accounts, it’s not a pleasant experience.

    Bradford’s amendment was a sledge hammer cracking a walnut – a realignment of same would not go amiss, in my opinion.

    • I don’t think tweaking law that could never be worded perfectly is a waste of time. Peters is posturing for votes, not campaigning for kids.

  3. sorethumb

     /  June 19, 2017

    Ex Green party Staffer on The Nation
    David Cormack:
    That isn’t a reason to do something. You don’t do what the public thinks is right: you do what is right. They don’t necessarily mesh up.
    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/shows/2017/05/panel-david-cormack-and-heather-roy.html

    Ray Mliier [Ray-mond] said the same thing last episode.
    Just maybe elites do know best but there is also the wisdom of the crowd. As it happens the Dunedin Study didn’t back up the assumption that smacking was harmful. Sue Bradforn was trying to tar society in general for the actions of a minority.

    • “Sue Bradforn was trying to tar society in general for the actions of a minority.”

      The Dunedin Study, nor anyone else that I’m aware of, back that up either.

      Of course some smacking is not harmful. But it is equally as certain that some smacking (and other physical punishment) can be very harmful.

      • Brown

         /  June 19, 2017

        And sensible parents know the difference like they always have without activists telling us.

  4. sorethumb

     /  June 19, 2017

    Actually Ray [Ray -Mond] Miller called Peters populist for doing what people want. THAT’S NOT HOW WE OPERATE IN OR LEFT-WING UNIVERSITY!!!

  5. Pickled Possum

     /  June 19, 2017

    I always wondered if the anti smacking law was in force, when scum bag Eddie Smith tortured and murdered Delcelia Witika. Would/could the people who watched him do violence on her, would they have spoken up. I remember the outrage of what that step father did to the precious little girl. I am also reminded of Child Care and Protection days when over worked CCP workers just didn’t cope with the evilness of child abuse.

    Today we have children screaming on planes and supermarkets much to the horror of bystanders. I have a few theories on that score … anger management for children … works well as long as the parents are on board.

    I once heard a child say to HIS mother I am not going on that Fucken plane, but the mother just picked up the child and took him on, he screamed the whole entire flight and only stopped when we were in the terminal. I was talking to the lady who apologised profusely for her 4yo sons behaviour but he was shit scared of flying and a family emergency made it necessary. She then burst out crying as she got her boy and bag and left for Wellington hospital. I felt so much aroha for the 2 of them. Still remember it vividly.

    • Gezza

       /  June 19, 2017

      A four year old kid said to his mum “fucken plane”?
      Jesus. If I ever did that it would’ve been curtains,

  6. sorethumb

     /  June 19, 2017

    What about this. Could we be seeing young people being so mollycoddled they become snowflakes?

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