Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Maori MPs set to make Criminals of Parents

The Maori Party's four MPs have decided to support Sue Bradford's private members bill, which would make it illegal for parents to discipline children. Their support is likely to help the bill become law, and make criminals of tens of thousands of caring parents.

The Green Party MP's anti-smacking bill has split Parliament, with some parties divided on their support, although most of the "Gumment" (as Sue calls it) will vote in favour. (Labour MPs have no choice, their party doesn't believe in democracy. That means even the likes of Muslim MP Ashraf Choudhary are being forced to vote for it).

Family-friendly United Future leader Peter Dunne will support Bradford's bill, but his other 2 MPs will vote against it. At least two New Zealand First MPs including former school Principal Brian Donnelly are also supporting the anti-discipline bill.

Interestingly, former (?) corporal punishment practitioner, school teacher David Benson-Pope is backing the move to ban the use of smacking or other force against children.

National Party MP Chester Borrows was hoping to win the support of MPs including the Maori Party, for an amendment which would allow parents to use limited force (like a light smack). However, Sue Bradford said she'd withdraw her bill altogether if that amendment looked like succeeding.

New Zealand's Popular and Competent PM Hillin Cluck is expecting the bill to pass. She claims she was only smacked once as a child, and remembers feeling "resentful" afterwards.

As a few commentators have noted, perhaps if Sue Bradford had been disciplined a little more as a child, she might have turned out a nicer and more reasonable person. Bradford wasted many hundreds of thousands in taxpayers' money during her years as an "official protester" and activist for unemployed workers (she's been arrested at least 40 times).

Christchurch broadcaster and father of four, Simon Barnett, has described the anti-smacking bill as "a home invasion". Barnett says it would criminalise caring parents, meaning parents could not smack or restrain their child for corrective purposes, or even forcibly send them for a "time-out".

Saturday's Hutt News reported that a rebellious Upper Hutt teen has already called in CYFS, after his mum tried to get him to go to school by threatening to smack him.

Apparently the mother told him he had five minutes to get ready or he would get a whack. She has hit her two children around the back of the legs, but never beats them. The CYFS social worker who visited the home said that her son decided not to press charges, but that the mother could have been prosecuted.

* See also CYFSwatchNZ...

* NZ Herald: Smacking bill now almost certain to pass

* ACT: Parliament to Ignore Public on Smacking Bill
* Andrew Falloon's Diary: Rodney Hide + Epsom against smacking ban

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