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Time for Key to show some backbone

Written By: - Date published: 4:06 pm, August 24th, 2009 - 63 comments
Categories: child discipline - Tags: , ,

John Key thinks there’s no need to change the law in the wake of the smacking referendum, but he does think there’s a need for ‘increased safeguards’ to prevent parents who mete out ‘inconsequential’ smacks from being prosecuted. He’s also stated that he agrees with the result of the referendum, stating that it is ‘totally inappropriate for a New Zealand parent to be prosecuted for lightly smacking a child’.

I think we should be suspicious of this response for three reasons. First, when the referendum question was first posed, Key said he thought it was ambiguous and agreed with Phil Goff that the poorly worded question was a waste of taxpayer money. Why he is paying attention to the result now is a bit of a mystery.

Second, the question was, whether Key now admits it or not, ludicrous. It was loaded, leading and complex. It’s simply not a reliable measure of public opinion.

Third, why is Key so obviously kowtowing to the smacking lobby? The acceptability of even light smacking is clearly far from a consensus in New Zealand, and there’s good reason to think it’ll be pretty hard to draw a legal line between acceptable ‘light’ smacks and unlawful ‘too hard’ smacks. Key’s ‘safeguards’ won’t clarify that line, they’ll only invite argument as to where it should be drawn.

The repeal of s 59 was an opportunity for New Zealand to evolve a progressive attitude to parenting. It was an opportunity to give our children unconditional protection from physical violence.

It’s a shame the current government doesn’t appear to have the backbone to see it through.

63 comments on “Time for Key to show some backbone”

  1. Lew 1

    You’re right, anonymous guest poster – guidelines are worthless here – but the reason he’s paying attention is obvious: even if the question was stupid, more than a million people think it wasn’t, and those people have votes. Any government who ignores a result that strong will lose elections, and Key certainly doesn’t care enough about this issue to accept that.

    I think at this point that continuing to oppose the anti-smackers will be counterproductive. They have a strong tailwind and their referendum result will be used as a riding crop against anyone who stands in their way. The way forward is to starve them of publicity – pass the Borrows amendment and be done with it. Principle has lost on this issue.

    L

    • Ag 1.1

      Who are they going to vote for if Key does nothing? Hardly anyone is going to transfer their vote to a minority party over this one issue, and it will all have blown over by the next election anyway.

      New Zealanders have proven gutless when faced with a united front of politicians. I can’t see this being any different.

      • Tim Ellis 1.1.1

        While I agree with the thrust of your point Ag, New Zealanders haven’t proven gutless when faced with a united front of politicians and really that approach is a pretty arrogant way to treat voters. When politicians try to band together to exclude groups of voters, that tends to give rise to groups like the Maori Party, at one end, and Winston Peters at the other end.

      • Lew 1.1.2

        This is a good point as well, and Key might just stare ‘em down – but I don’t think he has the bottle for it, and he certainly doesn’t have the support of his caucus.

        This has a lot of sound and fury behind it. Last time we had this many people up in arms about something was Foreshore and Seabed, and we know how that turned out.

        I’m worried. Call me a scaredy-cat, but there it is.

        L

        • RedLogix 1.1.2.1

          Well if you want me to draw a brutal comparison with the S&F debacle, it turned out very badly for the party in power at the time.

          Maybe we should roll over and let National reinstate the right for parents to hit their children (however ‘lightly and lovingly”)… and when the eventually the rising tide of dead and abused children finally sickens this nation to it’s stomach, and we finally wake up to the fact that the root cause is our love affair with violence in all it’s forms… then maybe National would finally get hung with the albatross.

          Call me cynical if you like.

          • jcuknz 1.1.2.1.1

            “Risng tide” … must be a spring low of all time. Relate the 11% ‘Yes’ vote to the 54% who posted in and you get less than 6% …tail wagging the dog comes to mind. People in the main are too sensible to confuse a smack with abuse.

  2. RedLogix 2

    So how many more principles are we going to roll over for Lew?

    I’ll tell you what. If one smack with an open hand is ok, then is two? Or ten? Or a hundred?

    Can I smack a two year old twice, and a three year old three times?

    How hard? Do I have to smack girl less hard than a boy?

    Can I do it until red marks appear, or bruises? Am I allowed to hit a brown child harder if the bruising doesn’t show? Or just hard enough so a teacher doesn’t notice the next day?

    Can I use a ruler, a hairbrush (big one or little one), a wooden spoon, a light leather belt, or a heavy one. How about specially made little electric shock prods with an adjustable dial for differing levels of ‘correction’?

    I’ve never seen any of the pro-smacking lobby ever answer any of these questions honestly. And the NZ Parliament is going to make a total arse out of itself if it tries to legally define ‘acceptable force’ because no-one will ever agree on it.

    • Lew 2.1

      RL, I’m not advocating rolling over, I’m advocating damage mitigation. I think there’s a very real likelihood that if the anti-smackers are ignored – or feel ignored – then they’ll push for a full reinstatement or something very closely resembling it, which allows for people to be hit with a wooden spoon as one of those nutters wants. On the numbers they have, they just might get one. That’s a worst-case.

      On the other hand, I think if the Borrows Amendment is passed with due haste, the whole thing will die down and things will remain more or less as they are now – more or less; with only slightly reduced protection for children, but at least no chance of substantially-reduced protection. That’s a second-best solution.

      L

      • lprent 2.1.1

        The problem is that Burrows amendment is ambiguous as the original clause that got removed in the eyes of the law.

        What exactly is a light smacking? Enough to cause blood blisters or so light you cann distinguish it from a caress. That was the reason that judges were writing such nasty judgments as they had to acquit people under the old clause because of that level of a difference of opinion. That is also where the s59a repeal came from in the first place – getting rid of ambiguous legislation that was resulting in crazy people getting off beating their kids excessively.

        Leaving it up to the police and the courts is the correct thing to do. Then a series of people have to be convinced that it is worth charging and convicting over. Binding the judges hands is more likely to result in injustices to kids than the other way around.

        Besides most of the arguments of the No lobby are just spurious. Any parent who is so gutless as to not do something required for their kids regardless of consequences probably doesn’t deserve them anyway. I cannot think of a parent who wouldn’t do what is required to bring up kids. But there are a *lot* of alternate ways to do anything.

        • Lew 2.1.1.1

          Lynn,

          The problem is that Burrows amendment is ambiguous as the original clause that got removed in the eyes of the law.

          I don’t agree. For one thing, ‘not transitory or trifling’ is much clearer than ‘reasonable’; and for another thing, there’s been so much discussion by the pro-smackers about the definition being intended to specifically exclude cases such as the Timaru riding crop that I think the courts and juries will be in much less doubt as to what it means.

          I don’t think it’s ideal, but I do think it is worse than risking a return to the bad old days.

          L

        • jcuknz 2.1.1.2

          Leaving it up to the police and the courts is totally unsatisfactory becuase the police are a closed society away from the public view and to go to court effectively means the expense of lawyers etc. In the later case I think it very bad that a good parent has to spend money to prove they are justified.

    • oftenpuzzled 2.2

      and aren’t we back to the problems of the original Act the definition of what is ‘reasonable force’? We seem to have come a complete circle!

    • Steve 2.3

      RedLogix.

      Can I use a ruler”
      You mean a rule that is used to measure? A ruler? who is this ruler?
      You smack of illiteracy.

      • Tigger 2.3.1

        ruler
        Noun
        1. a person who rules or commands
        2. a strip of wood, metal, or plastic, with straight edges, used for measuring and drawing straight lines

        Steve, get some new put-downs – your current ones are full of holes.

        • Lew 2.3.1.1

          Heh, reminds me that the aphorism “give ‘em an inch and they’ll take a foot, give ‘em a foot and they’ll think they’re rulers” certainly applies with regard to this sort of thing.

          L

  3. tsmithfield 3

    Any form of discipline taken to an extreme will result in dangerous and criminal behaviour.

    For instance, shutting someone in a room for a week without food or water would be criminal and dangerous behaviour. This does not mean that shutting someone in a room for twenty minutes is in the same category.

    Given that most of you would consider that “time-out” cannot be equated with the abusive and dangerous behaviour mentioned above, then how is it that a light smack as discipline be put in the same category as vicious assaults on children.

    Therefore, if the logic is to hold, “time-out” should be illegal along with light smacking. Or both should be legal.

    That is not to say I actually prefer smacking as a desirable disciplinary method.

    • Maynard J 3.1

      I find this argument to be a bit straw-man-ey because there is no real way to define when a smack stops being a smack and becomes abuse, but if you ‘time out’ till someone checks out then you have clearly withheld the necessities of life which is an offence in its own right.

  4. outofbed 4

    One of the main reasons i didn’t vote was for the same reasons that Key and Goff stated, that it was an ambiguous question.
    If the leaders of both major parties were in agreement on this prior to the vote.
    I felt it was pretty safe that the referendum would be treated for what is was a waste of time and money. However if It appears I was wrong and now feel I should have voted. I wonder how many other people felt the same ?

    • Ms X 4.1

      I do, for one. I feel quite let down having been assured by the PM that he wouldn’t vote because of the bad wording, that it would be meaningless. Now it’s not?

    • Steve 4.2

      Only stupid people like you feel like this.
      The question was clear. Time and money? ask Clark why it was not done at the last Election

  5. RedLogix 5

    The idea that we can legally define ‘light smacking’ is ludicrous. It’s the same reason why the law on assault between adults does not define any minimum acceptable force. ANY unwanted, intentional contact between adults is technically an assault, yet I’ve never seen a wave of hysterical panic over ‘criminalising’ ordinary people for ‘trivial’ light contact.

    It’s stupid to even think about trying to define what would be a legally acceptable contact between adults, yet for some reason we think we can do it when the victim is a powerless, voiceless child.

  6. outofbed 6

    Its a continuum, a light smack on the hand at one end, a severe thrashing at the other.
    Most people will be at one end but some will have a different definition of what a light smack is. As the whole point of smacking is to cause pain to a child it is a good idea to draw a line in the sand and not allow anything at all on the aforementioned continuum particularly when there are other very effective non violent methods. Smacking is completely unnecessary
    If no hitting of children is allowed at all
    There is no ambiguity, no grey areas and very slowly we can make inroads into stopping child abuse
    eg If I want to beat the fuck out of my kids i Ican justify it because the middle class tossers down the road are allowed to hit their kids

    The whole no vote thing is completely and utterly selfish its obviously not about children’s welfare its about “my right to do what the fuck I like’

  7. no leftie 7

    “so obviously kowtowing to the smacking lobby?”

    That’s a stretch isn’t it. Maybe if they’d decided to change the law. But a review of procedures?

    There will be a lot of the 87 percent of people who voted against the law who will be very unhappy to see their views being ignored.

  8. bobbity 8

    “Second, the question was, whether Key now admits it or not, ludicrous. It was loaded, leading and complex. It’s simply not a reliable measure of public opinion.”

    Oh FFS how long are you going to continue running the meme that all those that voted are so retarded they didn’t know what they were doing. Take Lew’s advice on board it’s considered and sensible – unlike the hysteria from either end of the spectrum on this issue.

  9. Ianmac 9

    To define a smack is to invite legal argument down the line. As most are saying, if you say a light smack is OK then it defeats the purpose because in court I could argue that the smacking was legal. Only matter of degree. As Outofbed says, no hitting of kids at all would eliminate ambiguity.

    • Lew 9.1

      I agree, buit this might be a choice between unpalateable alternatives. If you had to choose between ‘light smacks are ok’ and a return to ‘reasonable force is ok’, which would you choose?

      L

      • RedLogix 9.1.1

        If you don’t mind Lew can I offer a little technical criticism around your “use your terminology” and in the interests of “making sure your methods are rigorous’… could you please define:

        1. “Light smacking”

        2. “Reasonable force”

        I would want to be certain that I understood rigorously what it was you were asking me to choose between.

        • Lew 9.1.1.1

          RL, happy to oblige.

          The former, under the Borrows Amendment, is force which is trifling and transitory according to the ordinary definitions of those words. The courts have already defined the latter as including, in some cases, force exercised using implements such as riding crops and leaving bruising.

          Seems an easy choice, to me.

          L

          • RedLogix 9.1.1.1.1

            Somehow I don’t think that ‘trifling and transitory’ is going to satisfy the nutjobs who believe it is their Divine Right and Duty as parents to ‘beat the fear of God’ into their children.

            Marginalise them as extremists if you like, but you cannot overlook that they are the ones who have organised this reactionary petition and kept the heat in the issue.

            • Lew 9.1.1.1.1.1

              RL,

              I don’t either – but it will satisfy the vast majority of the rest of the population. It’s not the extremists we have to convince – it’s those who are on the margins of buying what they sell.

              L

            • QoT 9.1.1.1.1.2

              THIS. The argument that on the one hand smacking is an effective disciplinary technique but also doesn’t actually, you know, do anything is ludicrous.

              It’s like trying to say “I demand the right to put my child in time out but only, you know, as long as they want to stay there.”

              ASW: “hits”.

        • no leftie 9.1.1.2

          That’s the 64 thousand dollar question isn’t it.

          What is this mythical “light smack”, which is apparenly OK and when does it become a “heavy smack”, which is assault.

          I look forward to twisting and turning from the Government to come up with a definition that will equally piss off both sides in this debate.

  10. Tim Ellis 10

    My wife smacked our kids occasionally when they were young and it didn’t do them any harm, but times have moved on and I think now there are much better methods of disciplining a child. I don’t think the smacking debate is really very helpful or constructive as it just gives air time to the lunatics from both sides. I would really like to see the heat go out of this issue, and it seems there will always be heat in the issue as long as 88% of the population’s view is ignored.

    I think there are much better things that we should be talking about to improve the lot of at risk children rather than whether an occasional smack should be lawful.

  11. tsmithfield 11

    Maynard “I find this argument to be a bit straw-man-ey because there is no real way to define when a smack stops being a smack and becomes abuse, but if you ‘time out’ till someone checks out then you have clearly withheld the necessities of life which is an offence in its own right.”

    No, not straw man at all.

    The argument used against smacking is that ‘if it is illegal to hit another adult, why should it be legal to hit a child?”

    By the same logic, if it is illegal to shut an adult in a room against their will, it should be illegal to do the same to a child. I am not a criminal lawyer, but I suspect it is a criminal offence to force an adult into a room against their will and confine them there. This being the case, time-out is illegal.

    This logic seems fairly water-tight to me.

    • RedLogix 11.1

      It’s legal for consenting adults to have sex together, so it must be ok for adults and children to do the same, even if the child consents?

      The logic seems fairly watertight to me. Stupid yes? We can twist ourselves into this kind of pointless knot all night.

      The fact is that NZ does not currently have a problem with adults locking children into rooms and starving them to death. We do have a problem with children being beaten to death. The root cause of this is that violence is far too many parent’s first and only resort to problems with their children.

      How about sticking to the problem at hand rather than creating a false dichotomy with another problem we thankfully don’t have.

  12. outofbed 12

    88% of the population’s view is ignored.?
    I don’t think that’s right its less the 50% isn’t it

    • Lew 12.1

      Yeah, schoolboy error of assuming the non-voters break down along the same lines as those who did vote.

      Or not an error, but used for polemic purposes. Either way, wrong and stupid.

      L

      • tsmithfield 12.1.1

        I understand the turn-out was about the same as the referendum for the change in the electoral system, so it shouldn’t be sniffed at.

        I agree, it is wrong to make assumptions either way about the intentions of those who did not participate. We can only base assumptions on the responses of those who did.

    • jcuknz 12.2

      If you use the same argument you find that the ‘yes’ vote is less than 6% of the population. Maybe it is safer to say 89%/11% and have a ‘margin of error’ like the polls do. They pronouce on much smaller samples.

      Unless a smack hurts then it is the proverbial ‘wet bus ticket’. It really is quite simple that abuse is the repeated use of force past that required to discipline the child. Discipline is measured administration of justice to correct a wrong doing by the child. It should also be done before the parent looses their cool …idealistic that but …..

  13. Ruth 13

    Well done John Key. He hasn’t caved in to the baying mob.

  14. Ianmac 14

    If it was me choosing between the two, I would do a Rodney trick. There will be neither because I will stick to my principles and if I do not get my own way, I will um, um, refuse to feed the sparrows ever again! Take that!

  15. tsmithfield 15

    Redlogix “The fact is that NZ does not currently have a problem with adults locking children into rooms and starving them to death.”

    But we do have a problem with theft.

    So, perhaps you could advise me on this:

    It is illegal to take someone else’s property without their consent. That is theft.

    My child has purchased a cellphone with their own money. Am I allowed to confiscate it if he misbehaves? Or am I committing the illegal act of theft by doing so?

    • Ianmac 15.1

      TS. This could go round and round…… But if I confiscated my son’s pocket knife because he was threatening his sister with it would I be acting responsibly or would I be taking the knife illegally? I think that legally it has to be shown it was taken for my own use or to profit from it. Round and round…….

    • RedLogix 15.2

      My child has purchased a cellphone with their own money. Am I allowed to confiscate it if he misbehaves?

      Legally whose property is it? Can a minor ‘own’ property independently of their parents? Maybe someone can tell us the correct answer, because I really don’t know the answer for certain.

      If the answer is no, then the parent has every right to confiscate the cell-phone as it is not the actual property of the child, but of the parent.

      If the answer is yes, then it amounts to a ‘trifling and transitory’ confiscation of property, that the police would almost certainly use their discretion not to prosecute.

  16. David S. 16

    I supported the changes made to the law regarding child discipline,
    and I voted “Yes” in the recent referendum to confirm that support.

    Although I believe that the current law is an improvement over the old
    one, there’s a great deal of confusion about what effect subsection
    (2) and (3) have on (1). My take on it, and I’m reasonably certain
    that this was the intent of the law, was that the acts layed out in
    subsection(1) and ‘correction’ were meant to be different
    justifications for the use of force on a child.

    It’s an improvement over the old law, but it’s certainly not perfect.
    The main issue is the fact that it’s confusing, surely if you use force to prevent a
    child from harming themselves or acting up, it’s a form of
    ‘correction’ as well? This is what has lead to the widespread belief that smacking has been banned. The two subsections need a simple guideline to
    differentiate between the concept of ‘correction’, and the acts layed
    out in subsection(1).

    Personally I think subsection(3) should be changed to say something
    along the lines of -

    “If the amount of force used is more than what is necessary to perform
    the acts layed out in subsection(1), then subsection(2) prevails over
    subsection(1)”

    This would more clearly differentiate between the purposes of the two
    subsections. The word “necessary” provides a more objective separation between the the two concepts.

  17. tsmithfield 17

    Ianmac “TS. This could go round and round But if I confiscated my son’s pocket knife because he was threatening his sister with it would I be acting responsibly or would I be taking the knife illegally? I think that legally it has to be shown it was taken for my own use or to profit from it. Round and round ”

    But if I discipline my child by confiscating something they own aren’t I teaching them that you can solve your problems by stealing things? Just like smackers teach their children that you can solve your problems through violence. Right?

    I don’t see this as going round and round. I just see this as arguing a principle consistently. Thats what you pride yourselves in doing here, right?

    • Armchair Critic 17.1

      There is a difference between stealing and confiscating. You could return the knife, but you can’t unsmack the child.

      • nic 17.1.1

        I think the legislation as it stands is perfectly clear. Force for the purpose of correction is illegal. This includes all smacking, light or otherwise. The other stuff is really only in the the legislation to ensure parents can use “force” to physically remove children from dangerous situations, restrain them where appropriate, etc. This is still “force” and between adults would be considered assualt.

        For the record, I think that using pain to alter a child’s behaviour strikes fundamentally at their dignity as a human being and should absolutely be illegal. But I also think the spin from Bradford et al. has been bordering on absurd. It’s pretty clear from the result of the referendum that 1) even light smacking is a criminal offence in law, despite the very slim chance of prosecution, and 2) the vast majority of NZers don’t think smacking should be a crime, despite the very slim chance of prosecution.

        I disagree, but I think liberals who stand up for the rights of the child should be realistic about how much support they have from the wider population.

        (As an aside – I find this post presents an interesting contrast with the supercity post immediately above it. It seems, for both the left and right, that when popular opinion is on their side they are all for “democracy” and “the will of the people”. When popular opinion isn’t on their side, it’s suddenly more important to “have a backbone” and “do the right thing”. Just sayin’.)

  18. Ron 18

    Gutless. Gutless on the Maori seats, gutless on this.
    As gutless as Labour was on the Seabed and Foreshore issue.
    Gutless.

  19. RedLogix 19

    I just see this as arguing a principle consistently.

    No you are not. You are merely putting up a bunch of false comparisons that have nothing to do with the issue.

    What you are really getting trying to do is assert the question of parental rights and responsibilities.

    As a society we impose various responsibilities upon parents to feed, shelter, care for health, educate and generally protect the children from harm. In order to do this the law explicitly admits to parents various right to caregivers to direct and control many aspects of their children’s lives that they would not have over other adults. The right to direct what they eat, where they live and so on. None of that is in question.

    What is also clear is that those rights are not absolute, nor unlimited. The wider community already places many limits on what parents are allowed to do wrt their children.

    What we are discussing is whether or not it is reasonable for the law to tell parents that it is not permissible to use force to ‘correct’ their childs behaviour. If society expected parents to teach children moral values and social norms , BUT hypothetically there was no other option known to mankind to get children to behave other than to beat it into them… then outlawing corporal punishment would be unreasonable.

    But frankly ts you have other, more effective choices. I urge you to avail yourself of them.

  20. Ianmac 20

    Redlogix. Agreed with all of your thoughts above.
    There was a Probation Officer who had remarkable success/rapport with young people reporting in on probation. I asked what was the common factor. He said listening to the kids when they reported in. They soon arrived on time and even after their time was up they kept on dropping by. He reckoned that whether from rich or poor families, these kids felt disconnected and that they welcomed someone to just notice them and listen. So please add that to your above summary. Ta :)

  21. tsmithfield 21

    Redlogix “In order to do this the law explicitly admits to parents various right to caregivers to direct and control many aspects of their children’s lives that they would not have over other adults.”

    Quite agree. So you would agree that the argument that “we don’t do it to adults so we shouldn’t do it to children” is flawed with respect to smacking?

    Don’t assume that I am personally fond of smacking, however. I just think the law is a bit of an ass, thats all.

  22. RedLogix 22

    So you would agree that the argument that “we don’t do it to adults so we shouldn’t do it to children’ is flawed with respect to smacking?

    Not at all. As I’ve pointed out above, parents and caregivers do have SOME specific rights over their children that they would not have over other adults, but those rights are neither absolute, nor unlimited. And those rights are subject to change as society’s attitudes and expectations change.

    For instance it was once taken for granted that husbands could beat their wives, pretty much with impunity. That changed and the world is a better place as a result. (Note carefully that the same fundie nutters who backed this referendum will quietly admit to a hankering to have this ‘Biblical right’ restored to them as well… but don’t let me digress too much.)

  23. tsmithfield 23

    Redlogix “Not at all. As I’ve pointed out above, parents and caregivers do have SOME specific rights over their children that they would not have over other adults, but those rights are neither absolute, nor unlimited. And those rights are subject to change as society’s attitudes and expectations change.”

    I agree with you. However, the results of the referendum do not show any evidence that societal attitudes have changed with respect to light smacking. In fact, quite the opposite. Given the result of the referendum, and your own argument for discipline practices subject to societal norms, would you agree that the referendum result suggests that society is enshrining a parent’s right to lightly smack a child?

  24. RedLogix 24

    However, the results of the referendum do not show any evidence that societal attitudes have changed with respect to light smacking.

    Well no. All the rather foolish referendum question has confirmed is that no-one really wants parents to be actually prosecuted for light/ trivial/inconsequential/trifling/transitory [insert euphenism of the day] smacking. (Me included.)

    Which stupidly enough is EXACTLY how the law is written at present. So what precisely what did you want changing?

    • Lew 24.1

      RL, at the risk of worsening your already-low opinion of me by playing the devil’s advocate:

      If the law already permits [euphemistical] smacking, why not make it explicitly say that, and solving the issue so we can all go back to bickering about whether Smith or Marx had it right?

      L

  25. tsmithfield 25

    Redlogix “Which stupidly enough is EXACTLY how the law is written at present. So what precisely what did you want changing?”

    At the moment police are guided by guidelines from politicians on how to apply the law. Probably at the moment the law is working fine and not causing too many problems. However, it would be very easy for an incoming government to change the guidelines without going through any political process. An explicit law change would create a higher barrier for politicians to cross in order to change the way in which the law is applied.

  26. RedLogix 26

    No Lew, not so much a low opinion, as low level exasperation that you so consistently piss away your undoubted talents in hair-splitting sophistry. I wouldn’t mind the constant criticism, if only it more often took us some place constructive.

    Motor vehicles are capable of harming people at ANY speed. From a safety point of view the ideal speed limit is zero km/hr. But because most people don’t want to give up their beloved cars (and they have few other options) we tolerate the fact that cars kill 4-500 people and main thousands more every year. Instead we explicitly define acceptable speed limits that we permit people to drive within.

    Cool. The speed of a motor car is a single scalar number, you can measure it, and with some decent engineering analysis, make some reasoned judgements about what speeds create acceptable injury and death rates, in various environments. So a speed limit (ie a zone of legally acceptable speed) is a reasonable, if still fundamentally flawed thing. It would be better if we had an alternative universal transport technology to motor cars that didn’t kill people at all… but we don’t.

    But as we’ve said over and over, how do you go about reasonably defining an ‘acceptable smack’ in law? You can’t. So you do exactly the same as was done with the law around assault between adults and make ANY unwanted, intentional contact technically illegal…. and leave it to the Police to use their nonces.

    Besides, it’s not like you HAVE to hit your children, you have a choice.

    • Lew 26.1

      RL, that’s just what Chris Trotter said, but there’s an argument for another day.

      I agree with your argument about the difference between speed and smacking, but ultimately you’re missing the point: this is not a policy question; it’s symbolic. People voting weren’t voting yes or no to the question; they were voting yes or no to what they reckoned the question represented. The sanest policy in the world will be of no use in convincing people who are symbolically engaged with a matter like this unless it addresses their deeper, less rational concerns. I’d argue that the repeal we have is just that policy: perfectly functional by any objective standard, but unpalateable to a large chunk of the electorate for more ephemeral reasons. Hence: the Borrows Amendment, which takes the wind out of their righteous symbolic sails by making some kinds of smacking ok, and yet should have a minimal impact on children.

      I didn’t back the Borrows Amendment at the time because I figured NZ had to thrash these issues out, and I did entertain the hope of an indecisive response; but with NZ having had the argument and being alert to the issue, and having no electorally-realistic alternative, I think things are different now.

      L

    • RedLogix 26.2

      this is not a policy question; it’s symbolic. People voting weren’t voting yes or no to the question; they were voting yes or no to what they reckoned the question represented.

      Not forgetting the 46% who either couldn’t be arsed answering or thought the question too loaded and/or stupid to be worth answering.

      Yes I agree the real issue is symbolic. The problem I have with the Borrows Ammendment is not the rather mimimal legal impact it would have, but the much larger symbolic message it would convey, i.e. that ‘hitting your kids is actually ok, just don’t get too carried away and get caught’.

      Until as a nation we face up to the reality that hitting children is fundamentally NEVER ok, the horrors stories will keep on decorating the front pages month after month. Bradford never said that she thought the S59 repeal would technically change much, but that it represented a much larger, as you rightly say, symbolic challenge to the attitudes of NZ’ers.

      One that we are dismally failing.

  27. So Bored 27

    The result of the vote did not surprise me, I have long been aware that the Kiwi psyche has a very dark undercurrent of violence that backs authoritarianism. We profess to not like being told what to do by government (especially by women) but we as a nation meakly follow the strong. We cut down tall poppies, and crush dissent socially by ostracism. We love conformity so long as it is mainstream, that which our conservative nature dictates. And now as a spineless pathetic bunch we enmass follow the Old Testament dictates of the Christian right, our homegrown version of the Taliban. Smack our children into obedience, imprison crims and throw away the key etc etc.

    I think it time we promoted the counter to these authoritarian patriarchal nasties, namely kindness, inclusiveness and forgiveness. And perhaps just a littl more love for our children, not do as I want you to or I will smack you.

  28. oscar 28

    So Bored

    I agree with your sentiments.

    We seem to have a long way to go before are into the brightness of enlightenment.

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    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Voting starts tomorrow!
    On the telly, in the papers, on the Net, billboards on almost every street corner – it’s hard to miss the fact that there’s an election coming up. Everyone’s trying to win your vote on Election Day, September 20, (this...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • Collins inquiry a whitewash before it has even started
    The farce whitewash that Key is trying to push through here for the inquiry into Judith Collins role in a hit on the SFO should enrage any NZer, regardless of how they vote. Whaleoil won’t be forced to appear, it’s...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • Press Leaders Debate – Round 2 – 7pm tonight
    This debate is live in a Town Hall, Key has done well at these in the past, but since the hate politics exposed in Dirty Politics, expect real fury directed at Key. My guess is that Key will attempt to use whatever he...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • MANA hit speed wobbles – why Annette Sykes will win Waiariki
    MANA are my favourites. But of late, their transition from crawling to sprinting has hit some speed wobbles. Hone’s and Pam’s aggressive attitude towards the media recently is very understandable in light of how connected many of the media were to...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • Soz Cam – PaknSave boycott of whaleoil continues – time to start a boyc...
    Cam is so carcinogenic now, not even his mates in the Tobacco Industry are talking to him any longer. I suspect only the Israeli Defence Force propaganda department are paying for content on whaleoil now. Cam says that PaknSave have dropped their problems...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • The Rock Fuels NZ Roastbuster Rape Culture
    This is making me feel pretty uncomfortable. Here we have an instance of Jono and Ben posing like “exposed celebrities”. But do you know what I’m seeing? I’m seeing two dudes who basically “roasted” a woman online (exposed pictures of...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – Why beneficiaries need advocacy
    There are times when I am wrong. I was wrong recently when someone suggested to me that AAAP should be eligible for government funding to continues its advocacy work. That was before. Before dealing with advocacy on a weekly basis...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • TheDailyBlog September Political Poll Has Been Kicked Off
    The Daily Blog’s August poll has concluded and the September poll has been kicked off, asking readers: What party will you likely vote for at this year’s General Election? You will see this month’s poll in the right-hand sidebar of...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Jamie Whyte, leave that poor seal alone!
    Worse than showing mere lip service to Rainbow inclusion, ACT leader Jamie Whyte showed stunning arrogance when appeared at a candidates debate on rainbow issues hosted by the Auckland University Students’ Association last Thursday. The stunning hypocrisy was evident as...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Right wing can’t help but use scum
    Some people have been shocked that the traditional right wing party in New Zealand politics is so deeply embedded with scum like the blogger Whale Oil. We need not be so surprised. It takes a certain type to support the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • EXCLUSIVE: National’s Ohariu candidate admits contact by Simon Lusk
    . . Wellington, NZ, 31  August – At a meet-the-candidates public meeting in the Rongotai Electorate, National’s Ohariu candidate, Brett Hudson, confirmed that he had been approached by “a mate”, who passed on a message from  National Party operative, Simon...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Auckland Broadcasting Debate 2014
    Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Auckland Broadcasting Debate 2014...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Petition for Governor General of New Zealand to Investigate all the allegat...
      Now we see the inquiry will be a whitewash, that is secret, won’t be consulted with the Opposition, will have limited scope and will ignore Nicky Hager’s book, we must demand the Governor General step in and demand an...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Ashburton, 1 September 2014
    I NEVER WENT BACK to Aramoana after the killing. I had been a frequent visitor to the tiny seaside village back in the late 1970s and throughout the 80s. Its tall cliffs and broad beaches providing a colourful backdrop to...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Checkmate in 1 move – how could Slater have known what was in OIA request...
    And now we get down to the final few moves before checkmate. If the following investigation is right, how could Slater and Collins have known what was in the Secret Intelligence Service Official Information Act request that hadn’t been released...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • The Edge Posts Naked Photos Of Jennifer Lawrence Without Consent
    Today the Edge website – owned by Media Works – published fully naked photographs of Jennifer Lawrence without her consent. It is not OK to publish naked media of any woman without her consent, full stop. It is absolutely disgusting...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Bomber, Laila and Maggie – a highlight from Auckland Broadcasting Debate ...
    Bomber, Laila and Maggie – a highlight from Auckland Broadcasting Debate 2014...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, how good was I i...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Maggie Barry slags Laila Harre & blogger, audience erupt
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting held their public meeting in Auckland last night and it became a fiery shouting match when Maggie Barry decided to slag Laila Harre and me off. 250 people packed into the Pioneer Hall off High...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • It has to be a full independent public inquiry and Key MUST front
      You know things are bad when images like this start appearing in the media.  It isn’t a ‘left wing conspiracy’ to point out the over whelming evidence of what is clearly a right wing conspiracy! If it looks like a conspiracy, sounds like a conspiracy...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Political Party social media stats – National playing Dirty Politics on s...
    Interesting data from friend of the blog, Marty Stewart, on social media likes and it shows an interesting question that post Dirty Politics should probably get asked…   …it’s interesting that Key has so many personal followers.  One wonders if...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • The depth of the National rot and the compliance of our news media
    I’m so tired. Aren’t you? I don’t want to read the news anymore. It’s awful and I feel ashamed of it. We live in a country that people all over the world would give an arm, a leg; their life...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Conservative Party candidate links smacking ban with suicide, sexually tran...
    If Chemtrails, faked moon landings and climate change denial weren’t enough, welcome to your new Minister for Spanking,  Edward Saafi... The anti-smacking law is to blame for youth suicide, youth prostitution and even sexually-transmitted infections, a leading Conservative party candidate...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word on the canonisation of Matthew Hooton
    Before we all start the canonisation of Matthew Hooton, let’s consider some home truths here shall we? While the Wellington Ruminator Blog, the blog who was previously mates with Judith Collins, now seems to have a crush on Matthew Hooton… …I...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word on undercover cops in bars
    Dunedin police booze operation labelled ‘creepy’ Undercover police officers drank in Dunedin bars as part of an operation targeting liquor licensing offences. While police said the inaugural operation was a success — with most bars found compliant — the Hospitality...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Judith Collins press conference
    Judith Collins press conference...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Angry Lawyer – Collins, Odgers, Williams and legal ethics
    We deserve better lawyers than Judith Collins Three of the worst offenders exposed in Dirty Politics are lawyers: Judith Collins, Cathy Odgers, and Jordan Williams. What Nicky Hager exposed them doing would be out of line for anyone, but from...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Necessary Defence
    Increasingly climate change is becoming the main fracture line between political parties. Where political parties stand on climate change defines political parties and movements like no other issue. The Mana Movement like the Maori Party it sprang from, came out...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Why it is all over for John Key
    Image: Melanie D I’ve been confident that National will lose this election and that our focus should be on what a progressive Government needs to establish as its agenda in the first 100 days. Past that point, the establishment pushes back...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word to everyone who voted National in 2011
    I received this interesting email from a National Party supporter today… …let me say this to anyone who voted National last election – you should be ashamed by what has been revealed and what your vote ended up enabling but...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • EXCLUSIVE: Déjà Vu All Over Again: John Ansell confirms his participation...
      THE MAN BEHIND the Iwi-Kiwi billboards that very nearly won the 2005 election for Don Brash and the National Party has confirmed his involvement in businessman John Third’s and former Act MP Owen Jennings’ campaign to drive down the...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Public Broadcasting Auckland debate 6.30pm tonight now with Colin Craig &am...
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting debate on public broadcasting happens tonight at 6.30pm in Auckland at the Pioneer Women’s Hall, High Street, Auckland City.  In the light of Dirty Politics and the manipulation of the media, public broadcasting is more important for...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Winners & Losers in Collins sacking plus what’s the latest on Slater...
      Make no mistake, there was no way this was a resignation, it’s a face saving way out for Collins, she was sacked.  My understanding is that National internal polls are haemorrhaging and that the powers that be within National...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Third party propaganda attacks incoming Labour-led government
    . . Further to a report by Daily Blogger, Chris Trotter, on receiving information regarding planned attack-billboards, the following billboard is highly visible to traffic on the southbound lane of the Wellington motorway, just prior to the Murphy St turn-off....
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Labour wins the Internet
    I’m sure I’m not the only one who tried to vote online for the leaders debate and couldn’t because the website was down. The next option was the txt vote, 75c a pop of course. So I’m not surprised that...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Rotherham and the need to challenge willful bl...
    I haven’t been following the events in Rotterham too closely.  I’ve read about the basic issues and the culture of silence that stopped action been taken even after complaints were made.  That culture of silence is incredibly familiar, and described...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Review: Hairspray
      Oh Hairspray! What fun! Somehow I managed to miss the movie when it came out, I had no idea really what it was about though I felt it had a vague relation to High School Musical. In retrospect, that...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Mounting global pressure against Timor-Leste’s ‘death sentence’ media...
    East Timor’s José Belo … courageous fight against ‘unconstitutional’ media law.Image: © Ted McDonnell 2014 CAFÉ PACIFIC and the Pacific Media Centre Online posted challenges to the controversial ‘press law’ nine months ago when it emerged how dangerous this draft...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Spies, Lies and When Campaigns Are Fried
    Like most of the rest of the nation’s political classes, I was eagerly affixed to TV One from 12:30 on Saturday afternoon to witness the downfall of Judith Collins.Whenever we witness the crumbling of a titan of the political landscape...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • BREAKING: Whaleoil crushes Crusher
    Judith ends up shooting herself A new email has been released suggesting that Collins was attempting to undermine the head of Serious Fraud Office with the help of far right hate speech merchant Cameron Slater. Unbelievable!   She has been forced...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • BREAKING: Rumours Judith Collins gone at lunchtime
    Brook Sabin first of the mark with rumours Judith Collins is about to resign – PM announcing a statement at 12.30pm… …Paddy follows… …Vance confirms..   …if Collins is gone by lunchtime, it will be because the PM understands the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • BREAKING: UPDATE on DIRT ALERT!
    Thanks to the information passed to Chris Trotter by “Idiot/Savant” from No Right Turn it is now possible to identify at least some of the persons involved in this latest example of attack politics. What follows is Chris’s response to Idiot/Savant’s timely assistance: Well done...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Comparing burning puppets, hip hop lyrics and drunk student chants to black...
    Watching the mainstream media try and obscure Cunliffe’s surprise win in the leaders debate  is a reminder the Press Gallery is in depressed shock. The current spin line from the Wellington bubble media in the wake of Dirty Politics is that...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Why has it all gone quiet on Charter Schools?
    They’re one of ACT’s flagship policies and the National Party have been gung ho in supporting them. So how come we’re not hearing Hekia Parata, Jamie Whyte, Catherine Isaac, et al singing from the rafters about what a resounding success charter...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Moment of Truth – September 15th – Auckland Town Hall
    Moment of Truth – September 15th – Auckland Town Hall...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • EXCLUSIVE: Dirt Alert! Are the Greens and Labour about to become the target...
    WE’VE SEEN IT ALL BEFORE. In 2005 pamphlets began appearing all over New Zealand attacking Labour and the Greens. For a couple of days both the parties targeted and the news media were flummoxed. Who was behind such an obviously...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: the Press Council’s decision
    . . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • The difference between Cunliffe & Key in the debate
    It was with much interest that I watched the leaders debate on Thursday night.  I watched with an open mind, always happy to have my opinion changed.  Maybe John Key is all the wonderful things that many say about him,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – When Did We Agree To Our Data Being Shared with ...
    New shocking evidence has emerged from Edward Snowden’s trove of documents about a program called ICREACH under which data collected by the GCSB is shared with 23 US spy agencies. Under new sharing agreements which appear to have commenced immediately after...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Why Internet MANA are the best political friends the Greens could ever get
    Metiria at last nights #GreenRoomNZ: standing on the shoulders and camera cases of giants  NZers, regardless of political spectrum or apathy level, have a wonderful beach cricket egalitarianism about us. If we can objectively conclude a winner, then that person...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Independent Epsom Candidates ‘One Strike’ Crime Policy
    Best wishes to all of those who live in Epsom, Mount Eden, New Market, Remuera and of course the rest of New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Large majorities of NZ First voters would prefer Labour deal
    67% of those who voted for New Zealand First at the 2011 general election would prefer Labour to lead a coalition government if one is needed after September 20’s general election....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Jointly owned urban development agency for Christchurch
    “Given the strategic importance of the Canterbury rebuild, it is logical that the transition from emergency governance arrangements is overseen by the Prime Minister’s office, but to maintain momentum in the city centre an expert development agency...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Collins inquiry at best a Band-Aid, a permanent fix needed
    Collins inquiry at best a Band-Aid, a permanent fix is needed The Public Service Association (PSA) says the inquiry into Judith Collins’ behaviour must be accompanied by a process to restore the lost trust between Ministers and public servants if...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Association welcomes new Chief Executive
    “The New Zealand Police Association is pleased to announce the appointment of Heather Verry to Chief Executive. Heather picks up the mantle from Chris Pentecost, who recently retired from this position,” Police Association President Greg O’Connor said...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Young Voters Want Politicians to Grow Up
    Young voters want answers to the questions that directly affect them – but it seems as much as anything, they want politicians to grow up....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Climate Voter election debate to get big audience
    Auckland, 2 September 2014 - Tickets to tomorrow night’s first-ever Climate Voter election debate have sold out but an online audience will also get to see the event live....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • The Edge show disregard for consent
    The Edge has shown complete disregard for consent, for women’s bodies and in doing so has contributed to the wider issue of rape culture in New Zealand says specialist sexual violence prevention organisation, Sexual Abuse Prevention Network. Yesterday,...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • The Rock is Fuelling New Zealand’s Roastbuster Rape Culture
    The Rock are still displaying without-consent images of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities online. They are making fun of this without-consent action, saying that she was "asking for it", etc. They appear to be supporting this kind of...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • HRLA Condemns Murder of Filipino Human Rights lawyer
    Attorney Rodolfo R. Felicio, a member of the National Union of Peoples Lawyers , was gunned down while working on a land dispute in Rizal, east of Manila. Two caretakers of the disputed land were also injured in the attack....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • SFO lays charges for procurement fraud
    Two individuals have been charged in the Auckland District Court today with Crimes Act charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office for alleged fraud against Mighty River Power Limited relating to procurement for the Company’s Southdown power station....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Commitment to lifting wages good for New Zealand
    The Service and Food Workers Union has applauded the Green Party workers’ policy announced today....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Sykes: There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Winston Peters Shown up by the Civilian Party
    Even the satirical 'Civilian Party' has now offered the Taxpayers’ Union more credible figures for the ' Bribe-O-Meter ' than Winston Peters’ New Zealand First. The Taxpayers’ Union Bribe-O-Meter now includes, National, Labour, the Greens,...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Further criminal investigation into CTV Building collapse
    Police has today confirmed it will be advancing the criminal investigation into the collapse of the CTV building in February 2011....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Greens policy to restore link between effort and reward
    The Green Party’s new workers policy articulates an alternative to wage repression and job insecurity based on restoring the link between effort and reward, according to FIRST Union. The core tenets of the policy include implementing an $18 minimum...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Greens workers policy supported by union movement
    The CTU is supporting the Green Party’s policy launched today focused on improving life for working New Zealanders. “This policy shows the Greens commitment to collective bargaining as the best and fairest way to improve workers terms and conditions. It...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Research Scholarships for Cannabis Treatments
    Medical cannabis research will be boosted by $140 million if the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party is elected on September 20. Pediatric epilepsy treatment will be one of the main priorities for the research scholarships....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Ngai Te Rangi Change to Tribal Elections
    Ngai Te Rangi has begun a postal vote of beneficiaries to change the way representatives are elected to the two Ngai Te Rangi tribal organisations....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Greens’ commitment to pay equity welcomed by workers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the 58,000 workers they represent will benefit from the announcement by the Green Party of a commitment to pay equity and to a living wage for core public servants and contractors....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Real People Powering Real Policy
    New Zealanders from all walks of life have helped the Internet Party create a full platform of strong, progressive and realistic policies that will create a better future for everyone, says leader Laila Harré....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • University of Canterbury to help with forestry safety
    The University of Canterbury is to launch a new research project to make sure New Zealand’s new forestry roads are safe and are established with minimal environmental impact....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Time to get serious about ending homelessness!
    New Zealand needs a comprehensive set of policies that address the housing and support needs of homeless people as well as significantly increasing the supply of affordable, good quality houses and flats....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Hundreds to join domestic, sexual violence march
    Several social service providers from across New Zealand have come together to call for an end to the epidemic level of domestic and sexual violence in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Students helped with debt repayments
    New Zealand students now living in Australia are being reminded not to ignore their student loan debt as Inland Revenue expands its latest tool to help with repayments....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Launch of GenderNeutral.co.nz website
    GenderNeutral.co.nz are excited to announce the launch of their new website, GenderNeutral.co.nz ....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Factory farming debaters to look chicken in the eye
    MPs participating in a panel discussion about factory farming will come face-to-face with a real live hen, rescued from the claws of the intensive farming industry. Hettie the Hen will demonstrate to the MPs what little space is afforded to...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Personal Statement by Matthew Hooton
    Personal Statement by Matthew Hooton 1 September 2014 For Immediate Release “This morning I made comments on Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon programme about an attempt by staff in the Prime Minister’s Office to interfere in the appointment...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Worm turns down for John Key
    John Key struggled to coax The Worm above the line in Thursday’s Leaders Debate, according to Roy Morgan’s Reactor, the original Worm. John Key struggled to coax The Worm above the line in Thursday’s Leaders Debate, according to Roy Morgan’s...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Edge Posts Naked Photos Without Consent
    The Edge website, owned by Media Works have published fully naked photographs of Jennifer Lawrence without her consent....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Statement from the Governor-General on Ashburton Shootings
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, has expressed his deep shock following the shooting of three people in Ashburton today....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Update on IGIS inquiry into release of NZSIS information
    In recognition of the public interest, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, took the unusual step of providing an update during the course of an inquiry and confirmed today that she would be summoning a number of individuals...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • An Open Government Plan developed in secrecy
    The State Services Commission sent NZ’s Open Government Action Plan to the international Open Government Partnership (OGP) Secretariat on 31 July. The countries involved in the OGP since its inception - from the UK and US to Indonesia and Brazil...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • KiwiRail; another year older and deeper in debt
    That is a lot of money and there are lessons that need to be learnt before we pour in another $1 billion....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Fonterra China Deal Demands Safe Supply Chain
    The future success of Fonterra’s deal to sell infant formula in China [1] requires all milk it uses be safe and for Fonterra to secure its supply chain from contamination by GE DNA and pesticide residues. There is now significant...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • HRC praises Auckland mum for speaking out
    Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy has praised an Auckland mother of four who went public after humiliating treatment by staff at The Warehouse....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Southern DHB refers disputed issue to Serious Fraud Office
    Following advice from forensic investigation firm Beattie Varley Limited, Southern District Health Board has referred the expenditure at the centre of its long running dispute with South Link Health to the Serious Fraud Office. The parties have been...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Letter 1 September 2014
    Last night’s TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll puts the left and right 60 MPs each. United and the Maori Party say they will go with the side that gets to 61 MPs. ACT just needs just 1.3% or 28 thousand Party...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Shopping Giveaway Harmless Fun For Kids
    Family First NZ is rubbishing claims by critics including Gareth Morgan that the New World ‘Little Shop’ promotion is harmful for kids, and says that kids should be allowed to be kids. “Children love acting like their parents and pretending...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Red Cross launches employment service for former refugees
    New Zealand Red Cross is encouraging employers to give refugees a fresh startwith the launch of Pathways to Employment, a nationwide work assistance service....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • EDS welcomes Labour’s Conservation Policy
    The Environmental Defence Society has welcomed Labour’s Conservation Policy including the key objective of halting the current pattern of indigenous biodiversity decline within ten years....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Poverty is falling and income inequality is not rising
    “A Roy Morgan poll shows that the issue people are most concerned about is income inequality. This just goes to show how the persistent repetition of a lie bewilders the public. Income inequality is not in fact rising. And the...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Rotary NZ responding to Fiji water and sanitation issues
    Clean water and sanitation are vital to health. In Fiji Rotary New Zealand have been targeting 22 communities that are experiencing severe hardship mainly because they don’t have access to clean water for their drinking, cleaning and cooking needs....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Work & Income shooting a Tragedy
    Kay Brereton speaking on behalf of the National Beneficiary Advocacy Consultancy group says; “Two people shot and another wounded, this is a tragedy and our deepest sympathy goes out to the family and whanau of the victims, as well as...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • 1080 Poison Deer Repellent not Effective – Farmers
    Four deer have been found dead within a farmer's bush block, after an aerial 1080 poison drop applied with deer repellent. The drop was part of a 30,000 hectare drop across the Northern Pureora Forest Park....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Employment Charter will strengthen migrants’ rights
    Establishing an Employment Charter for construction companies is a critical step to strengthening the rights of migrant workers that are fast becoming the face of the Christchurch rebuild, according to an alliance of union groups. The charter has...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Global March For Elephants and Rhino
    It’s a trans-national business that funds terrorist organisations, fuels conflict in Africa, and poses environmental, development and security challenges. The illegal wildlife trade is also a lucrative business, generating an estimated USD$20 billion...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • New series of videos aimed at disengaged youth
    From the people who brought you 'NZ Idle' (NZ's favourite web series about an artist on the dole) comes a new series about election time: Choice Lolz....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Picket Of Leaders Christchurch Debate
    KEEP OUR ASSETS PICKET OF LEADERS CHRISTCHURCH DEBATE TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 2nd, 6 p.m. ST MARGARETS COLLEGE, SHREWSBURY STREET, MERIVALE...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
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