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Smacking Law Still Rejected, Widely Flouted – Poll

smacking-mai-chen-review-if-i-see-john-keyAlmost a decade on from the passing of the controversial anti-smacking law, a poll has found continued widespread rejection of the law and an admission that 2 out of 3 NZ’ers would flout the law if they believed it reasonable to correct the behaviour of their child.

“Despite having almost 10 years to prove the doubters wrong, the law has failed to convince anybody of its benefits or its effectiveness. In fact, the law has maintained its very high level of opposition, but most significantly, a high level of NZ’ers say they would flout the law despite the possible consequences. This proves the abject failure and rejection by ordinary NZ’ers of this highly controversial and flawed law. If it had any merit, it would have proved itself by now. Instead it has simply threatened and undermined good parents raising great kids,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

smacking-mail-chen-review-if-i-see-mai-chen“It’s time for the politicians to fix this law. One of the most significant things the new Prime Minister of the country Bill English could do is change the approach of his predecessor and respect the views of the NZ public and amend this law.”

In the independent poll of 846 people undertaken by Curia Market Research, only 23% of respondents believe a smack that is reasonable and for the purpose of correction should be a criminal offence – similar to levels in a 2014 poll. 72% disagree with the current law (72% – 2014) and 5% were unsure / refused to say. Opposition to the law was highest in provincial and rural areas, amongst current parents of children under 18, and National and NZ First supporters.

In a further question, 65% of respondents say they would smack their child to correct their behaviour regardless of the anti-smacking law. 28% said they wouldn’t, and 7% were unsure or refused to say. NZ First supporters were most likely to flout the law.

“A report at the beginning of last year analysing the 2007 anti-smacking law, “Defying Human Nature: An Analysis of New Zealand’s 2007 Anti-Smacking Law”, found that there was not a single social indicator relating to the abuse of children that had shown significant or sustained improvement since the passing of the law, and that the law has negatively impacted law-abiding parents.

Police statistics show there has been a 136% increase in physical abuse, 43% increase in sexual abuse, 45% increase in neglect or ill-treatment of children, and 71 child abuse deaths since the law was passed in 2007. CYF have had more than 1 million notifications of abuse and there has been a 42% increase in physical abuse found by CYF since 2007. And health data reveals a 132% increase in children diagnosed with emotional and/or behavioural problems and a 71% increase in children hospitalised with mental and behavioural disorders since 2007.

An analysis of the law in 2014 by Public Law Specialists Chen Palmer said that statements made by politicians to the effect that the new section 59 does not criminalise “good parents” for lightly smacking their children appear to be inconsistent with the legal effect of section 59 and the cases they analysed.

“New Zealanders predicted all of this before the law was passed, but their concerns were ignored. The politicians and anti-smacking lobby groups linked good parents who smacked their children with child abusers, a notion roundly rejected – and still rejected – by NZ’ers. The anti-smacking law assumes that previous generations disciplined their children in a manner that was so harmful that they should now be considered criminals,” says Mr McCoskrie.

Family First NZ continues to call for the government to adopt the ‘Borrows amendment’ which allows non-abusive smacking and which the National party had previously lobbied and voted for.

The nationwide poll was carried out during November and has a margin of error of +/- 3.4%.


– See more at: http://bobmccoskrie.com/?p=18327#sthash.XxnQIr9M.liOrdtH3.dpuf


Needing help for your home schooling journey:



Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttps://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/


Information on getting an exemptionhttps://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational:https://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online:https://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events:https://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading

3 thoughts on “Smacking Law Still Rejected, Widely Flouted – Poll

  1. Truly disappointed to see this post here, with all the spin that detracts from the very important change made with the repeal of section 59.

    From the original bill, Sue Bradford describes the REAL issue that was addressed:

    [prior to the law change] “judges and juries have it within their power to find parents not guilty of assault when, for example, they beat their children with things like belts, canes, hosepipes, jug cords, pieces of wood, and horse crops.”

    The argument put forward here, in this HE forum, is saying that our children do not have the right to live lives free from fear of violence. As parents we need to provide safety and advocate for them, as non-voters, and minors.

    There is always a better way than using violence on our children, always. We are all hypocrites if (especially as Christians) parents use force and violence to ‘discipline’. Jesus would not have smacked children.

  2. This bill was ill conceived from the beginning, child abuse was already illegal, those who broke that law will and have continued to do so. Teaching our children that there is a consequence for their actions is a fundamental need in raising strong and healthy adults. No child ever died from quick, just, controlled, smack on the hand or bottom. Child abuse is different from smacking. The law should be adjusted to reflect this and should not criminalize good fair parenting. Good parents understood this from the beginning, shame politicians did not!

  3. Thanks for commenting Angela.

    “Beating their children with things like belts, canes, hosepipes, jug cords, pieces of wood, and horse crops.” This is child abuse. There is a big difference between beating a child and using reasonable force. Please read this brochure: http://familyintegrity.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/spanking-vs-ca.pdf

    As Julie said above it is already illegal to abuse children. All home educators would agree that abuse of children is unacceptable. Infact the worse abuse of children is abortion. 100% of those children have lost their lives.

    As the article says the number of children who are abused and murdered has not decreased since this bill was changed. We were all led to believe by Sue Bradford that the Bill was about child abuse. It wasn’t it was about destroying good families.

    Yes, our children have a right to live lives free from the fear of violence. Using reasonable force is not violence. Children cower/flinch from their parents hands when they have been abused not when their parents have used fair, reasonable force. Children also have a right to be born and not destroyed before they enter this world.

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