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The Standard

Child beating petition falls short

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, April 29th, 2008 - 93 comments
Categories: child discipline, election 2008, families - Tags: , , , , ,

Family First’s petition for a referendum on reversing the amendment to s59 of the Crimes Act that removed the defence of reasonable force for assault on a child (try saying that three times fast) has failed to get enough signatures. It needed 280,275 signatures and seemed to have enough but the Office of the Clerk found many of them were multiple or fake names.

Now, the pro-beaters have 2 months to find the 15,000 extra signatures they need to force a referendum. On the surface, that shouldn’t be hard. Family First has the money to get people out to collect names and polling data from David Farrar’s company Curia to help targeting groups. But it remains to be seen whether they will be able to get so many more names in time, they were already scrapping the barrel to get the names they have and some of the energy must be lost from their campaign after this failure.

93 comments on “Child beating petition falls short”

  1. Steve Pierson 1

    The delay may also raise problems regarding whether the referendum can be run simultaneously with the general election. The election is six and a half months, at most, away. The pro-beaters have two months to get the names they need. The Office of the Clerk then has two months to check they are valid and there are enough of them. The Governor-General then has one month to set a date, which can’t be too soon after for practical reasons.

  2. Matthew Pilott 2

    The question asked was “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?”

    Would that be the actual question in the (non-binding) referendum?

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but how in Christ’s name would such a mindless Stuff/NZH opinion poll style question be of any use in a referendum?!

  3. Scribe 3

    Steve,

    Your “pro-beaters” language is charming. 265,000+ people signed the petition, and they’re all child abusers according to your language.

    That’s six times the number of people who signed the daylight savings petition that went through by right. Trust me, they won’t have any problem getting another 15,000 signatures, despite your attempts to paint those people signing it as child abusers.

  4. Matthew Pilott 4

    Scribe – you’re the one who implied they’re child abusers, as opposed to beaters. Guess it’s all semantics, but how do you really define that from a ‘loving smack’ and all that bullshit? A loving smack could be pretty damn hard, if you really loved them, right?

  5. Tane 5

    Scribe, I don’t believe for a second that everyone who signed the petition beats their children.

    However, what can not be disputed is that the petition, if successful, will legalise the beating of children including assault with items such as horsewhips.

    It is therefore entirely reasonable to label it a pro-beating petition, and its leaders as the pro-beating lobby, because that is precisely what its effect will be.

  6. Ari 6

    I don’t I’ve seen anyone imply that supporters of s59 are themselves child abusers. (although I’m sure both sides have their extremists who’ll say such stupid things) The real worry however is as Tane said, that with s59 in law, cases of violent child abuse, often using weapons, will be excused under the reasonable force defense- as they have been in the past.

    It’s also mystifying why we should need this special defense for parents, when the law serves perfectly well in cases where victims are far more able to defend themselves, and far less likely to be seriously hurt from the same level of force. If s59 were really necessary, it would apply to everyone, not just children.

  7. Scribe 7

    Tane,

    However, what can not be disputed is that the petition, if successful, will legalise the beating of children including assault with items such as horsewhips.

    Well, for a start, the petition, if successful, would only bring about a non-binding referendum, so I think you’re getting slightly ahead of yourself.

    And any rational person leading this discussion recognises that the use of items like horsewhips is totally unacceptable. No politician would have legislation that would allow such abuse — which that would undoubtedly be. I would imagine people like Family First and the petition’s initiator, Sheryl Savill, would want the use of “weapons” to discipline children prohibited.

    It is therefore entirely reasonable to label it a pro-beating petition, and its leaders as the pro-beating lobby, because that is precisely what its effect will be.

    Am I right in saying you’re a journalist, Tane? If so, write “pro-beating petition” and “pro-beating lobby” in your next story on this topic and see how it works out for ya.

  8. Tane 8

    Well, for a start, the petition, if successful, would only bring about a non-binding referendum

    Clearly. I guess we have different definitions of success.

    I would imagine people like Family First and the petition’s initiator, Sheryl Savill, would want the use of “weapons’ to discipline children prohibited.

    She may, she may not. The goals of the petition seem pretty simple – reverse the amendment to Section 59 of the Crimes Act. Nor does beating require weapons.

    Am I right in saying you’re a journalist, Tane? If so, write “pro-beating petition’ and “pro-beating lobby’ in your next story

    No, I’m not a journalist. But I’ve seen the misleading and loaded term ‘anti-smacking’ used frequently enough to know the media are hardly using neutral language in this debate.

  9. Steve Pierson 9

    Scribe. The effect of the petition is intended to be a reversal of the amendment to s59. before the amendment, beating your kid with a riding crop (or your bare hands) was legal, now it’s not – advocating a return to that state is, therefore, advocating a return to legal child beating.

    Obviously, I’m just talking about the leaders of the petition – not every signatory.

  10. jh 10

    The state has made a one size fits all rule by making smacking a technical offence and that case is helped if you believe that light occasional smacking is harmful. Despite what the Childrens Commisioner maintains about “meta analysis”, that say it is “never ok to smack” that is contradicted by the Otago Multi disciplinary Health and Development Study. People have their own life experience to draw on.

  11. Hillary 11

    I think it does not serve free speech or the left well to label the petition ‘the child beating’ petition. I don’t align myself in any way with Family First – quite the reverse – and will not be signing the petition because of the agenda they represent. But in terms of the repeal of s.59, I think alot of ordinary New Zealanders, myself included, feel quite alienated.

    I don’t defend beating children, which parents sometimes got away with using s.59 as a defence. But clearly beating is not ‘reasonable force’, and how juries could ever have found it was is beyond me.

    To compare the relationship between a parent and a child to any other human relationship is laughable. Children are the source of the greatest joy and the greatest despair possible.

    It’s a shame that s.59 has become so politicised as it detracts from far more important issues. If we are serious about child abuse, addressing alcohol and drug abuse and mental health problems would be far more effetive, but also far more difficult.

  12. Scribe 12

    Tane,

    “Anti-smacking” was Sue Bradford’s own language, so don’t blame the media for using it.

    Steve,

    Beating your kid with a riding crop was not legal, but parents did have a defence of reasonable force. If judges and juries made some very poor decisions, that doesn’t necessarily mean the law needed changing.

    I think the petition supporters, and I’ve spoken to some of them, would like to see some sort of middle ground whereby a smack has no chance of leading to criminal charges while people who use riding crops and bamboo or power cords are punished harshly.

    That, to me, would be a good compromise. In fact, it’s not far from what Chester Borrows suggested.

  13. mike 13

    I stopped reading at “the pro-beaters ”
    There are dickheads at both extremes of this debate. You are quite clearly one extreme SP

  14. randal 14

    either/or again…and again..and again…family first would have more cred if they spent some time working out why New Zealand has a pervading aura of violence and what we can do about it. otherwise just more blather.

  15. Billy 15

    It’s funny, isn’t it Mike. Any time any of our Standardista friends gets accused of being a communist, they point out that being a social democrat doesn’t mean you are a communist. But, if you think parents are in the best position to decide what punishment suits their kids and want to allow a parent to lightly smack their child, there are no such shades. You are a child beater equivalent to someone who beats electrical cord.

  16. Jum 16

    Hillary

    I agree with most of what you say, (1.56pm) especially about Family First, but when a group trivialises a serious piece of law by calling it the ‘anti-smacking bill’ then it encourages like-minded retorts with the ‘child-beating’ petition.

    Who is to say that down the track if the repeal is repealed, ‘they’ won’t want to repeal the outlawing of rape within marriage?

    Family First is even blaming feminists for child abuse. I wasn’t aware incest started in the 70s. Michael Bassett is blaming feminists for the breakdown of the family. I wasn’t aware women had so much power, except in the ability to attract violence.

    Now if there was a bill repealing Family First/Destiny Church/Promisekeepers/religionists which is all about taking away the small hard won freedoms of women and children in the dynamics of family set ups, I’d definitely vote for that.

    Scribe

    You’re saying a smack is a smack is a smack. It is not. It can be a smack or a whack or a hit or a clip or a belt or a bash, by another child, by an older child, by a large woman, by a small woman, by a large man, by a small man…….

  17. Billy 17

    “who beats a kid with electrical cord

  18. Scribe 18

    Jum,

    Check out this link. As I said above, anti-smacking is Bradford’s language. http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/PR6778.html

    Bloggers and the media should call it what the bill’s author called it, shouldn’t they?

  19. Matthew Pilott 19

    Scribe, unless you think police are not fit to be trusted with the application of our laws, the compromise you propose is already in place.

    Billy – it’s probably more of a reference to the conservative right-wing fundamentalist christian organisers, then the members of the public who were taken in with this talk of a ‘loving smack’ and all that other crap. If parents were perfectly honest, 99% of the time they smack, they do so in anger, after losing their tempers. That’s an attitude we’d do well to change, no?

    It is strong rhetoric, prevalent on both sides of the debate (as is often the case with a highly charged issue); I don’t believe that everyone against the repeal deserves to be called a ‘beater’ – but I will admit to a certain frustration with those that insist the law has done the country ill, with no evidence to back the assertion.

  20. Scribe 20

    Matthew,

    unless you think police are not fit to be trusted with the application of our laws

    Now we’re getting somewhere ;-)

    If parents were perfectly honest, 99% of the time they smack, they do so in anger, after losing their tempers.

    An unscientific assumption, but I’ll let it pass. I think a lot of parents try other methods that don’t work and they often find that a smack on the hand or the bum works, so they use that if other methods fail.

    I agree with you that we need to change the attitude of people, and I think that whoever wins this election should think long and hard about offering parenting classes, especially for first-time parents, to train them.

    People parent based on what they experienced growing up, and if that included physical discipline, and we deem that’s now inappropriate (which it is if violent and premeditated, rather than correctional), then the parents of tomorrow need to be edumacated.

  21. jh 21

    Scirbes right, it is an antismacking bill and that is the issue :the state came down on the side that it is never ok to smack and so dictate how people should behave with their children. When you do that you have to be right or be able to persuade people that you are right.

  22. Ruth 22

    Green MP and bill sponsor Sue Bradford is not surprised at the result, saying people have come to realise there are better ways to bring up children that do not involve violence.

    Bravo Sue Bradford! If you cannot raise and teach a child without resorting to hitting them, you do not deserve the privilege of raising one. And I speak as a mother of 3!

  23. Billy 23

    Sorry, Ruth. Didn’t realise you had three (count ‘em) kids. That obviously makes everyone else’s opinion invalid.

  24. Matthew Pilott 24

    Scribe – “now where getting somewhere?”

    My problem with this is that it seems that police are perfectly adequate to make these judgements on a daily basis with any other number of laws, but not with the disciplining of children. Can you tell me why this law is different?

    To use the most obvious example – a rugby game. Participating won’t get you done for assault, yet it’s not specifically mentioned in the crimes act as an act/activity to be excluded. If you give someone a wee clip in a maul, you might get a card, and a disciplinary hearing. If you king-hit some poor chap you might get arrested (although it’s not that likely), especially if they end in hospital with a wired jaw. However in all this, police excercise discresion. Every action we take could theoretically be seen by police and acted upon. Why must this be treated differently?

    I definitely agree with your other comments – education is the good for people’s. Over and above that, the repeal of S59 is no threat to that, and if it helps change attitudes – keep it! What is to be gained by reenacting a law that allowed for violence in the guise of ‘correction’?

  25. lprent 25

    Scribe was having problems entering this this afternoon with whatever was making the server go AWOL. So he e-mailed it for me to put up.

    Scribe writes

    Hillary,

    Good points.

    It’s a shame that s.59 has become so politicised as it detracts from far more important issues. If we are serious about child abuse, addressing alcohol and drug abuse and mental health problems would be far more effetive, but also far more difficult.

    What’s been lost in this “pro-beating” discussion is the fact that there was a second petition circulated along with the one we’re discussing that called on the Government to urgently examine the causes of child abuse and family breakdown in NZ, or words to that effect. That would be money well spent.

  26. Ruth 26

    Hardly “Billy”.

    What is irritating to many good parents is the fact that the pro-smackers have always said “How many kids do YOU have?” to anyone who supported this law change – as if it is a given that those who have children use pain as punishment.

  27. Linda Axford 27

    From Wikipedia ‘cos I couldn’t remember the details, just that it was a mother of a question:
    “The other referendum held in 1999 asked “Should there be a reform of our Justice system placing greater emphasis on the needs of victims, providing restitution and compensation for them and imposing minimum sentences and hard labour for all serious violent offences?”. This measure passed by 91.78%.”

    aladin

  28. Steve Pierson 28

    Linda. interesting thing about that question, apart from being awfully worded in general was that some voters from the term ‘imposing minimum sentences’ ambiguous – some thought it meant ‘minimial sentences’ and polling staff were not allwoed to give voters any direction as to interpretation of the question (for obvious reasons).

    So it probably would have got even more votes for it without the confusing wording.

    But asking people, essentially, whether they hate crime is like having a referendum on whether you would like a tax cut – it totally ignores the complexities and costs of the choice.

  29. spanner 29

    Just shows you how much both National and Labour care about addressing shameful child abuse statistics! What another sad indictment for the vulnerable kiwi children!

  30. outofbed 30

    I guess that if in the bible it said ” and lo Jesus said we shall not smite the small and defenseless but send their parents to a positive parenting course, Family first would have a different perspective.
    However it doesn’t. so lets apply some commom sense
    Basically if you are doing the job of parenting with love and skill there is absolutely no need whatsoever to smack children,lightly or otherwise,
    So if you are under pressure and feel the need to hit children may I suggest that you toddle of to the nearest parenting centre and enroll on a course. Your kids will love you for it

    Be aware though it will take more time then signing a petition

  31. Dean 31

    Tane:

    “Scribe, I don’t believe for a second that everyone who signed the petition beats their children.

    However, what can not be disputed is that the petition, if successful, will legalise the beating of children including assault with items such as horsewhips.

    It is therefore entirely reasonable to label it a pro-beating petition, and its leaders as the pro-beating lobby, because that is precisely what its effect will be.”

    You’re so close to being right but so damned wrong that it’s not even funny. Your inability to debate this issue dispationately – just like Steve’s post (no suprise there, however) – leads me to believe that you could never engage in debate on this subject meaningfully.

    Physically injuring children was never legal, and you know it. The law was very clear in this regard. Of course you’ll debate the semantics of this but you are dead wrong. You are simply parroting the Greens and their mindless mantra. Which is disappointing to me given that I’d always regarded your responses and posts as being reasonably balanced.

    Every person who has ever used physical discipline on their child is not a criminal. Even Clark said so a few years ago, before she chose to flip flop on the issue. Can you tell me why she had the change of heart?

  32. I’m sure its mostly tongue-in-cheek labelling it “the ‘child beating’ petition”, considering the same groups who opposed the end of the section 59 clause “the anti-smacking bill”.

    If they can’t stand the heat, they should get out of the kitchen.

  33. Dean 33

    Policy Parrot:

    “I’m sure its mostly tongue-in-cheek labelling it “the ‘child beating’ petition’, considering the same groups who opposed the end of the section 59 clause “the anti-smacking bill’.”

    If you’re that out of touch with the prosecutions that have occured then I suggest that you refrain from commenting on the matter altogether.

  34. Dean – a woman in Timaru beat her child with a riding crop. She was charged and put before a jury and plead section 59. She escaped conviction based on this defense. This situation happened reasonably often. I just don’t get why you would be against repealing a law that allowed this.

  35. randal 35

    probably because the only person he can beat with impunity is a child..q.e.d.

  36. Lyn 36

    “Physically injuring children was never legal, and you know it. The law was very clear in this regard.”

    The question is – is causing physical pain, even if not visible injury, to someone smaller and more defenseless than yourself ever actually ok? As Jum points out – how do we ever determine what exactly counts as acceptable? Obviously there have been significant problems in doing so in the legal system given what Robinsod has pointed out above. The safest thing is to just draw the line at physical contact intended to cause pain.

    I believe it’s the bible that says a man may use the rule of thumb to determine the thickness of the rod that he uses to beat his wife and there’s no way I’d want to go back to that, or legalised rape within marriage, or the “it’s just a domestic” argument. Activism followed by legislative changes and changes to police culture have made it completely unacceptable for adults within a family to hit each other. Why children shouldn’t enjoy the same protection is a mystery to me.

  37. mike 37

    “This situation happened reasonably often”

    Yes RS there were kids getting beaten with riding crops all over NZ until Aunty Sue and uncle Helen came to the rescue.

  38. Felix 38

    Lyn, I agree. In years to come this episode in NZ history will be seen in the same light as we now view the outlawing of rape within marriage, the homosexual law reform and just about any other progressive social legislation you can name – aggressively opposed by the creepy-with-agendas crowd, with everyone else looking back and wondering how it could have ever been a serious question.

  39. Lyn 39

    Felix – I certainly agree with the sentiment but (at the risk of showing a misreading of your comment) I think that these law changes are not just opposed by the “creepy-with-agendas crowd” – the surrounding debates always involve a significant chunk of the community and that’s why they’re so important – they really mark a shift in social thinking, so that after the fact posterity then has the luxury of thinking “how could that ever have been a serious question”. The Labour government has given us a number of really important pieces of progressive legislation and I reckon it’s what they’ll be remembered for most.

  40. Dean 40

    Rob:

    “Dean – a woman in Timaru beat her child with a riding crop. She was charged and put before a jury and plead section 59. She escaped conviction based on this defense. This situation happened reasonably often. I just don’t get why you would be against repealing a law that allowed this.”

    A guy in Christchurch got convicted of child rape and many years later most reasonable people see that as a miscarriage of justice.

    It doesn’t mean that the law needed tightening in the first place, but good on you for pretending that a few isolated incidents mean that we have to have an overreaction to correct it.

  41. Dean 41

    “The question is – is causing physical pain, even if not visible injury, to someone smaller and more defenseless than yourself ever actually ok? As Jum points out – how do we ever determine what exactly counts as acceptable? Obviously there have been significant problems in doing so in the legal system given what Robinsod has pointed out above. The safest thing is to just draw the line at physical contact intended to cause pain.”

    Sorry, but if you’re having problems comparing a light tap to a child compared to a savage, brutal beating – which you’ll notice haven’t stopped since the passing of the law – then you’re in need of more help than the people who wanted the law passed in the first place.

    It’s called common sense. You know, like the kind Annette King would like to espouse.

    “I believe it’s the bible that says a man may use the rule of thumb to determine the thickness of the rod that he uses to beat his wife and there’s no way I’d want to go back to that, or legalised rape within marriage, or the “it’s just a domestic’ argument. Activism followed by legislative changes and changes to police culture have made it completely unacceptable for adults within a family to hit each other. Why children shouldn’t enjoy the same protection is a mystery to me.”

    Sorry, but arguing with anything in the Bible is just utter BS. Argue with the contents of the Koran and what to do with homosexuals next time if you like; it makes just as much sense.

    Your selective moral equivalencies are, quite simply, stunning.

  42. Draco TB 42

    It needed 280,275 signatures and seemed to have enough but the Office of the Clerk found many of them were multiple or fake names.

    What a surprise – people who wish to be child beaters lying.

  43. Dave 43

    Many were false names?? Hahahahaha dont make me laugh. Family First’s petition? Hahaha again. It is not Family First’s petition. Get basic facts right.

    I know how many were illegible, how many were duplicates and how many were triplicates in the sample.It needed 285,027 signatures ( your number was incorrect.)

    If you want to see the facts on this this is the only place to go to date.

  44. AncientGeek 44

    I heard on the radio that they presented about 304k signatures. Now they need to get about 15k more. So about 35k or thereabouts must have been invalid. Over 10% is quite high.

  45. Dave 45

    Ancient Geek

    According to the petitinors, they handed in 324,511 signatures. The sample was 1/11th – so 29,501 signatures were checked.

  46. Lyn 46

    Dean – my point is simply that there should be a clear line drawn in the law. Otherwise its possible to get into situations where the law is interpreted in such a way that a riding crop beating is ruled essentially equivalent to a light tap. This is not about commonsense. If it was we wouldn’t need the law in the first place, since commonsense dictates that it’s not acceptable to hit children with a riding crop but there are still instances, however isolated, where this *is* ruled acceptable.

    If you read my comment with a little more consideration you’ll realise that my mention of the bible’s rod is really an allusion to the fact that setting parametres on violence is essentially impossible and that interpretation thereof is a bitch. I’m not entirely sure what you mean by “selective moral equivalencies” since the mention of the bible was a rhetorical device, however sadly this failed to register with you. Basically I think it’s shit that some humans were legally entitled to beat and enact other kinds of violence on other humans within the confines of the family. Socially and in law it has become unacceptable for men to do this to women, and now, with s59 it is defined as unacceptable for adults to do this to children. And these are changes I agree with. Call the mention of the bible a macguffin if it eases your mind. Really, I wasn’t being that deep.

  47. spanner 47

    Great to see that callous and selfish kiwi politicians are doing NOTHING to address rampant CHILD ABUSE and INFANTICIDE !!!!

    What a disgraceful Nation run by heartless and cruel aliens!!!!

  48. randal 48

    this country went down the drain after national brought in policies for people to self regulate along with post modern scepticism in the schools and what we have now is the result of 9 years of people doing what the damm hell they liked…ideas have consequences and now it is almost impossible to impose any sort of regulatory laws because of the howls from the rugged individuals protecting their freedoms…get it right spanner. you cant have it both ways.

  49. vto 49

    “pro-beaters”. ha ha you bunch of idiots.

    The state is the biggest “beater” of them all. The only way they get compliance with laws is through threat of physical action/internment. Same thing. Grow up.

  50. Steve Pierson 50

    vto. yes, the State, controlled by people that we elect, has the power to enforce the rules our elected officials set. Really insightful.

    spanner. Are you Peter Burns, Republican Party candidate for Christchurch Central and known as dad4justice? Becuase D4J is banned.

  51. vto 51

    whats your point mr pierson?

  52. Matthew Pilott 52

    Good call vto – since we need police to maintain law and order, I might go beat the crap out of a few kids. Any other witty remarks to contribute?

    (cap – syria wholesale – not if al-Assad has anything to do with it!)

  53. lprent 53

    Ummm. I have a look later. Sure looks like him.

    I stored his IP ranges before removing them from moderation, but he may have picked up another link.

    spanner is almost certainly Absolute Power, who has annoyed me previously. That was on a quick scan on IP’s, and it would not surprise me if he is a couple of other people as well.

    I’ll run a check later. I’m putting all of the current suspects into moderation. While I check it out.

    Sorry to anyone who gets caught there, but d4j is a real pain.

  54. AncientGeek 54

    Dave: I stand corrected, I dropped 20k should have been 324k presented. So that is an estimate based on a sample drawn from the petition.

    I read your link, and then went on to the NoRightTurn (your link to there is broken).

    Looks like a valid technique. Using the 99% confidence level seems reasonable as well. After all you’d hate to get to the presenting the petition and then failing on a full count.

  55. vto 55

    Matthew Pilott you are an idiot. Why do you keep referring to “beating”? What a waste of space your post is.

  56. Matthew Pilott 56

    Right-o vto, you’ve yet to make something approaching a useful or comprehensible (let alone intelligent) point, but keep it up if you will.

    If it helps you, feel free so substitute “beat” with “lovingly smack” in my last post, is that better?

  57. vto 57

    yes it is better mr pilott.

    But better still, you fullas on the so-called ‘left’ keep things up. The public clearly think this labour govt is doing the right thing on many fronts – ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    [lprent: this one definitely looks like d4j as well – on file for later consideration]

  58. vto 58

    Well as usual, I dwell on my posts post-postage and regret the manner in which I lay out my ideas. Apologies for the roughness and rudeness to individual folk. I will try to keep it more seemly in future.

  59. vto 59

    I am not d4j btw.

  60. Millsy 60

    do you guys get off on hitting your kids? Is you willingness to hit your kids with jug cords and the like compensating for the lack of quality sex in your life?

  61. randal 61

    no millsy it is because of a general weakness in ego strength and compensating for it by beating people more helpless than themselves

  62. ropata 62

    why are socialist nanny control freaks so obsessed with taking over parenting and arrogating to themselves the right to attack families and decent parents? i surmise it is because they are disturbed individuals with no idea of boundaries, self-control, or healthy family life. so they are engaged in a mass psychological transference of their own problems onto normal kiwis. the lunatics are running the asylum!

  63. ropata 63

    do you think undermining parental authority is good for the future of nz? are you so demented that you cannot admit children need boundaries and occasionally forced to learn things anout life (not running away, not killing their sister, not destroying property) for their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around them?

    no you’d rather wreck a whole generation than give up your self-indulgent idealistic spoilt temper tantrums against families that recognise that children are children, and want to inculcate virtue and self-restraint. bradford and her venomous hordes of leftist outrage-a-trons are acting like bossy brats. god help us

  64. Lyn – fyi this is my first comment on this thread and I find it tragic for 180 000 of our children living in poverty. I bet none of those sad and vulnerable kiwi children would be the son’s and daughter’s of politicians.

    Lyn – fyi -yesterday ( my birthday) I was accused by anonymous camphylobacter keyboard creeps of murdering the Ashburton school girl Kirsty Bentley.

    What has New Zealand become?

  65. r0b 65

    Lyn – fyi this is my first comment on this thread and I find it tragic for 180 000 of our children living in poverty.

    Dad, I agree. Child poverty reached terrible levels under the National government of the 1990s, so that “New Zealand came third-worst in the developed world in a Unicef survey of child poverty around the year 2000″.

    Fortunately it has been slowly decreasing since.

    I was accused by anonymous camphylobacter keyboard creeps

    I’m very sorry to hear it. In what blog / place did that happen?

    What has New Zealand become?

    NZ has become and will become exactly what we make it.

  66. “I’m very sorry to hear it. In what blog / place did that happen?”

    My blog r0b. There is no doubt a sleeper cell from the insane extreme left who would like me off blogosphere permanently.

  67. r0b 67

    There is no doubt a sleeper cell from the insane extreme left who would like me off blogosphere permanently.

    I have no sympathy for aggressive extremists from either end of the political spectrum dad.

  68. higherstandard 68

    Child poverty reached terrible levels under the National government of the 1990s, so that ?New Zealand came third-worst in the developed world in a Unicef survey of child poverty around the year 2000?.

    Michael Cullen said it so it must be true.

    On a less cynical note while both sides berate each other it would be worthwhile having some useful measurements to detremine which kids are really missing out on education, going to school hungry and are at risk. The rather simplistic measures applied by the recent NZ report (I think it was looking at the percentage of children who lived in homes on 50% or less of the average wage) and probably similar reports from UNICEF while interesting and fodder for the politicians aren’t really getting to the crux of the matter.

  69. randal 69

    new zealand has become a nation of infantilised adults who think it is more important to have big bore cars and hardly davisions and trips to america to visit route 66 than it is to have social cohesion and harmony which they think they can obtain solely by coercing their children

  70. r0b 70

    Michael Cullen said it so it must be true.

    Ahh, Unicef said it HS, not Cullen. There’s no point in trying to deny the legacy of the economic policies of the 90s.

    it would be worthwhile having some useful measurements to detremine

    I agree. I’m not an expert in this area and don’t have time to look into it now, but perhaps someone with relevant expertise will comment.

  71. higherstandard 71

    r0b

    You live in some kind of delusional fantasy land if you think Cullen’s statements are not loaded with half truths.

  72. r0b 72

    HS, you’re a Tory, but you’re not usually a fool. So I’m going to assume that you’re just having a bad day today. I’ll say it again slowly.

    Unicef. Said. It. Not. Michael. Cullen.

    Ok? Clear now?

  73. “new zealand has become a nation of infantilised adults”

    No randal, sadly New Zealand has become a nation with high infanticide rates.

  74. higherstandard 74

    rob

    Your a socialist so I’ll assume you are being deliberately obtuse.

    I’ll say it again slowly – I don’t believe politician’s press releases and I suspect this one is much the same as the data on the trumpeting of NZ has the third best health system in the OECD that gets put up on this site every now and again which is also bullshit.

    Unless you can direct me to the actual study from UNICEF that says we’re the third worst amongst developed countries I will remain sceptical.

  75. r0b 75

    Your a socialist

    “You’re a social democrat” would be more accurate.

    I’ll say it again slowly – I don’t believe politician’s press releases

    Are you so desperate to avoid acknowledging the truth? The links I gave were to Herald articles, not press releases. One of them uses a stock photo of Cullen – who knows why because he’s not quoted. Is this the source of your confusion? Did you only look at the pictures?

    Unless you can direct me to the actual study from UNICEF that says we’re the third worst amongst developed countries I will remain sceptical.

    Knock yourself out: http://www.unicef.org/media/files/ChildPovertyReport.pdf

    Or see various summaries such as from Save The Children:
    http://www.savethechildren.org.nz/new_zealand/newsroom/nz_child_poverty.html

    “The Child Poverty in Rich Countries 2005 report shows that one in six children in New Zealand are still living below the poverty line. While this information was drawn from 2001 figures, the comparison against other developed countries is new, and provides a startling illustration of the fact that our international standing is falling, not improving.’

    It is no secret how this came about:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_National_Government_of_New_Zealand

    Richardson’s first budget, delivered in 1991 and named by the media as ‘the mother of all budgets'[1], introduced major cuts in social welfare spending. Unemployment and other benefits were substantially cut, and ‘market rents’ were introduced for state houses, in some cases tripling the rents of low-income people.[1] In combination with the high employment resulting from some of the 1980s reforms, this caused poverty to increase, and foodbanks and soup kitchens appeared in New Zealand for the first time since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

    Are you really so terrified of owning the legacy of the 90’s that you must try and write this off as a Cullen press release? Wake up!

  76. Billy 76

    Hey r0b, if National are responsible for poor social outcomes they must also responsible for the strong economy?

  77. Hoolian 77

    r0b, you’re a total knob. You cannot blame a 2005 report on the 1991 Budget (14 years before). If that is true, then none of Labour’s policies are going to help alleviate poverty/social welfare/social justice etc until, at least, 2014 (14 years on from the 2000 Budget). Now that’s ineffectiveness.

    It’s lazy politics. It’s not even worth arguing with you.

    But, while we’re making pathetically blind pot shots at random: I blame the Iraq War on David Lange’s Oxford speech, and the death of Mao is to blame for AIDS. How am I doing?

  78. r0b 78

    Hey r0b, if National are responsible for poor social outcomes they must also responsible for the strong economy?

    Billy, that seems fair. To the extent that it was strong (a different debate).

    r0b, you’re a total knob. You cannot blame a 2005 report on the 1991 Budget (14 years before).

    Hoolian, perhaps you should just let the grown ups talk here. The 2005 report was based on 2001 and earlier data which therefore reflects the performance of the 90’s (and the legacy of the 91 budget). Big complex social problems to not switch on and off like light bulbs, addressing them is a long slow process and the outcome is measured over many years.

  79. higherstandard 79

    According to the report you’ve kindly linked for me to there is no data that states we were the third worst country for child poverty in the developed world if you’re talking about the indicator of child income poverty in isolation I would suggest that this is a little misleading as it’s a household income measure and bizarrely the USA is the worst among developed countries.

    why not quote the deprivation index wherein NZ lies towards the middle or better of the field or medical deprivation etc etc .

    My point being as I said before it would be worthwhile having some useful measurements to detremine which kids are really missing out on education, going to school hungry and are at risk.

    r0b I also note your continued bleating about the previous National government and selective quoting from Wiki I’m not sure if you’re aware but Ruth Richardson is not running for parliament.

    captcha ate Copeland (no thanks)

  80. r0b 80

    According to the report you’ve kindly linked for me to there is no data that states we were the third worst country for child poverty in the developed world

    Well you’d better tell The Herald (which was who I was quoting). And you’d better tell Save The Children, because they seem pretty concerned.

    if you’re talking about the indicator of child income poverty in isolation I would suggest that this is a little misleading as

    First it was a plot by Michael Cullen. Now the stats don’t mean what they mean. Heaven forbid that HS is simply wrong.

    why not quote the deprivation index wherein NZ lies towards the middle or better of the field or medical deprivation etc etc

    Ask The Herald. Ask Save The Children.

    My point being as I said before it would be worthwhile

    So you did, and then you tried to blame it all on Michael Cullen.

    Ruth Richardson is not running for parliament.

    Which has nothing to do with the legacy of child poverty that her government left New Zealand.

  81. higherstandard 81

    r0b you clearly have no interest in rational debate keep on being a slippery socialist if you like….. sorry I mean a slippery social democrat.

  82. r0b 82

    Fine HS, and you keep trying to explain away the issues.

  83. higherstandard 83

    No that’s the politicans’ jobs … and yours apparently

  84. r0b 84

    HS, as the record shows, you have been desperately trying to first deny and then explain away the increase in childhood poverty that was a legacy of the National government of the 1990s.

    Perhaps you should ask yourself why you go to such lengths as persistently blaming Michael Cullen when it was repeatedly explained to you that he had nothing to do with the material cited. Why are you so desperate to avoid truth? Is it because you couldn’t bring yourself to vote for National if you acknowledged it?

    As a medical professional you must know first hand the long lasting health effects of child poverty (especially via maternal / prenatal / childhood nutrition). You are also presumably trained to evaluate facts. Perhaps you should take off your blinkers long enough to do so.

    This is my final contribution to a discussion that has gone on much too long. Farewell.

  85. higherstandard 85

    r0b your original link was to a press release from Michael Cullen’s office hence my scepticism.

  86. r0b 86

    HS, in a calmer mood now, and purely as a matter of fact here, my first post in this thread was “May 5, 2008 at 9:36 am” and contained links to two articles in The Herald. At no time have I linked to a press release from Cullen’s office.

  87. higherstandard 87

    Whatever r0b I pretty sure what I linked to originally but will take your word for it – as an aside in relation to your wittering about Richardson – remember why that budget was necessary.

    Helen Clark as deputy Prime Minister and Labour’s key strategist at the 1990 election helped perpetrate the big lie of that campaign.
    In 1990, New Zealand was teetering towards economic recession. But the Labour Cabinet kept claiming right up to election day that the Government’s accounts were in surplus.
    National Prime Minister Jim Bolger’s plans for a decent society were scuppered when he was confronted by officials just one day after the election with news of a serious fiscal crisis that they had kept secret under Labour’s orders.
    The Bank of New Zealand was about to go belly-up, something senior Labour ministers had known about for weeks, and the Treasury was forecasting a $3.7 billion deficit for the 1991/92 year which would blow out to a $5.2 billion deficit by 1993/94 unless drastic actions were taken.
    Bolger’s Cabinet had to cut costs to avert a major credit rating downgrade for New Zealand.
    These are the conditions that led to the mother of all budgets

  88. r0b 88

    Whatever r0b I pretty sure what I linked to originally but will take your word for it

    OK, that just pegged my bullshit meter again. You don’t need to take my word for it, the links are right there upthread for all to see. You bizarre Cullen obsession is yours and yours alone. I think you saw his photo in The Herald piece and just switched off your brain. Then you then ignored several direct statements that Cullen had nothing to do with it. Sorry HS, this is not your best work.

    as an aside in relation to your wittering about Richardson – remember why that budget was necessary

    Nice cut and paste plagiarism HS, that’s really putting the thought in. Yes, the incoming National government inherited a financial mess (though a much smaller one than the incoming Labour government before it in 1984). It was a mess created by the right wing extremists who went on to found ACT. Hurrah for right wing economic theory! And yes, bizarrely, that happened under the flag of a Labour government.

    A budgetary response was certainly required. But it didn’t have to be a sustained attack on the poor. Richardson could have raised taxes instead. She didn’t. The National government made a conscious effort to have the poorest members of society carry the can for failed right wing economic policy. This lead to increased poverty and child poverty in during the 1990s in NZ. Despite your delusional rearguard actions HS, the history of this period has already been written.

  89. Dan 89

    Looking back at Scribes comments on Bradford deeming it an “antismacking bill”, I am amazed to find that nowhere in his link does Bradford deem her bill “antismacking”.
    Have another look Scribe. Your comprehension skills are way off.

  90. higherstandard 90

    ‘She could have raised taxes’ – brilliant more insane carping from the Labour party

  91. higherstandard 91

    Get it Dan it’s “Child beating” anyone against this bill is supporting child beating and is a child beater – it must be true because the Standard said so.

  92. RedLogix 92

    hs,

    Yes the phrase “childbeating” is an err… beatup.

    But then so was the term “Anti-Smacking Bill”. That came from the well-funded fundamentalist groups who believe that they have a Divine Right to beat their children in order to instill the “Fear of God” into them. Yes I’m serious. I’ve listened to them with my own ears. But at the same time I accept that the vast majority of kiwis who have opposed the Bill are at the same time totally opposed to physically abusing children.

    So why then is it so hard to understand that those of us who supported the Bill were in the main not at all interested in banning the trivial and transient smacking that some parents occasionally resort to out of either monemetary frustration or lack of a better alternative to hand?

    The repeal of S59 was NEVER about most of the nonsense that has been spouted about it. It has however achieved two simple things:

    1. It placed the legal questions around assault on children on pretty much exactly the same grounds as assault on adults. There was never any reason why children should have enjoyed LESS protection at law than do adults.

    2. It has generated a long overdue debate over some deeply held and dysfunctional attitudes New Zealanders have around child-rearing, domestic violence. If it had done nothing else, this has made it all worthwhile.

  93. HIGHERSTANDARD 93

    Red

    agreed

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