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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 | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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