Basher bill puts pressure on Key

Written By: - Date published: 2:13 pm, August 26th, 2009 - 104 comments
Categories: act, child discipline - Tags:

John Boscawen’s private members’ bill to amend s59 of the Crimes Act has been drawn from the ballot.

Essentially it would take us back to square one in the smacking/child assault issue. The bill would allow parents and adults to assault* children for the purposes of correction as long as the level of the force is reasonable.

‘Reasonable force’ would be defined in the legislation, whereas before it was defined in case law. The definition of reasonable force in the bill is pretty restrictive (weapons, cruelty, and lasting physical damage are out). But the definition is pretty restrictive in case law too and we still had people getting away with bashing their kids using s59 as a defence, which is why Bradford’s amendment was introduced in the first place.

I think we have to ask two things.

  • Would this amendment leave children with less right to be free from assault to their person than an adult?
  • Would it potentially allow a defence for people like Jimmy ‘punch in the face dad’ Mason (who punched his five year old son in the face but didn’t do last damage)?

The answer to both questions looks like yes, and that’s not good enough. Leave the law like it is, anything else will just end up once again offering legal sanctuary to people who beat up kids.

This Bill will only get past its first reading if National backs it. The Greens and Maori Party will certainly oppose it, meaning even if Labour backs it there isn’t a majority without National. So, the pressure goes on Key to keep his word and retain the law that is working or bow to public pressure even though he knows it will endanger children. It’s an unenviable position.

*don’t get upset about the use of the word assault there, in the law the slightest touch constitutes an assault.

104 comments on “Basher bill puts pressure on Key ”

  1. J 1

    A lot depends on how reasonable force is defined. I believe in Canada that the common law has defined what is reasonable in ‘smacking cases’ and the solution they have come up with is that:
    1) it cannot be to the head
    2) you cannot use implements of any kind
    3) you cannot use a closed fist

    On a first, albeit superficial glance, that appears to provide for a light smack to a child without making it a criminal offence

    • snoozer 1.1

      If you follow the link, you’ll see the definition of reasonable force in the bill:

      “(2) Without limiting the circumstances in which the use of force may be found to
      be unreasonable, subject to subsection (3) the use of force is unreasonable
      “(a) it causes the child to suffer injury that is more than transitory and trifling or materially contributes thereto; or
      “(b) it is inflicted by any weapon, tool, or other implement; or
      “(c) it is inflicted by any means that is cruel or degrading.

      That’s a lot more broad than the Canadian rules.

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        “it causes the child to suffer injury that is more than transitory and trifling or materially contributes thereto”

        Does this mean that if I wish to beat my kid I should smack him once and have an accompanying doctor certify before I smack him again? Should I also have my lawyer present just in case?

        What if I miscalclulate the momentum of my blow and deliver too much force? If my child moves during the process of striking him but thereby increases the damage caused to him am I then liable?

        Should I film any beating just in case? Or is this too risky?

        I would have thought that a straight out ban would be easier to manage as well as being safer for parents.

        • Ianmac

          Too right MS. A simple ban on hitting kids would be unequivocal. (Then you would haveto prove justification. :)) I did hear Sue Bradford say as aside during a radio interview a couple of years ago, that she thought that that is what will happen eventually, but NZ isn’t quite ready for that. Prophetic.

  2. outofbed 2

    Key said at question time that he will announce at 4pm wether the Gov will support the basher bill

  3. Ianmac 3

    Tricky. If Key says yes but gets outvoted by Greens, Maori, Labour, then in the eyes of the public (esp NOes), Labour gets the blame. Is Key therefore playing cunning game by waiting till 4?

    • lukas 3.1

      National ACT and United Future have the numbers without Labour, the “greens” or the MP… who knows where the prostitute of politics Peter Dunne stands on this, and we all know that Jim “I really have my own political party” Anderton will do what Labour does.

  4. I find this debate fascinating. Never has there been so many signatures, so much overseas hard right christian money, so much angst and wailing and gnashing of teeth on what the Police have identified as being so little change.

    Imagine what could be done with a real issue if this effort was put into it.

    The selection of private members bills lately have also been as if by divine intervention. Twyford’s “Not yours to sell” bill, the Greens protection of Maui dolphins bill and now this. It makes you wonder if the supreme entity (if there is one) is having a bit of fun with National. Their blue green reputation is in tatters as is their promise not to privatise public assets “in the first term”.

    What will they do now? Is that lanky tired looking individual continuously trying to straddle inbridgable positions really the nice Mr Key that was going to be Labour lite?

  5. Nick 5

    *don’t get upset about the use of the word assault there, in the law the slightest touch constitutes an assault.


    The slightest touch does not necessarily constitute assault.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      The slightest touch does not necessarily constitute assault.

      Yes that is true. In general assault can be any contact that is both intentional (ie not an accidental bump in a crowded place), and unwanted (ie it should be plain from the context that the contact was non-consensual, unwelcome or intrusive in some manner, so a polite hand on an elbow to guide someone elderly is unlikely to be an assualt).

      But what the assault law does not attempt is any definition of a minimum force or consequence. Any contact, however slight, is potentially an assault if it is both intentional and unwanted. This covers odd scenarios like someone walking up and down a crowded rail platform gently touching women on the head, or stroking their hair for instance.

      In reality of course most technical assaults that do not involve any injury or lasting harm, the Police use their discretion not to prosecute because it would not be in the public interest to do so.

      • Ari 5.1.1

        I assume you’re talking about the current assault law and not the proposed amendment? 😉

        Still, the thing about democracy is that you don’t have to be right to have your go. This deserves to be voted down fairly in the house. 🙂

      • Gordon Shumway 5.1.2

        Are you guys deranged? You realise that bringing up children it is sometimes necessary to do things that would constitute assault (probably sexual assualt) if done to an adult.

        I’m not sure exactly what my view is on the changes to the smacking law issue, but I do know it’s intellectually dishonest to pretend the rules should be exactly the same as for adult-to-unrelated-adult relationships.

        Should you ask permission before wiping your two-year-old’s ass?

        I will say one thing on the law – it is not good enough that “the police can use their discretion”. Laws have to be drafted in a way that there is clear guidance on what is criminal and what is not (rather than making everything criminal and saying “don’t worry the Police have discretion”.

        You guys on the Left know how police power can be abused. Amazed that on the smacking issue your principles go out the door and all of a sudden you’re happy for the police to be judge, jury and executioner.

        • Spectator

          “You realise that bringing up children it is sometimes necessary to do things that would constitute assault (probably sexual assualt)”

          There are words for the sort of person who thinks that it is “necessary” to sexually assault a child. Such words are generally uttered by a Judge immediately before pronouncing a sentence of preventive detention.

          • Gordon Shumway

            Fuck you Spectator. Are you intentionally being an idiot for the comedy value? You can have the biggest slice of moron cake.

            How do you wipe the feces from around the ass of your 2 month old daughter without committing “assault” by your definition? Now are you saying that should be a crime?

            I am amzed that anyone with half a brain could read my post and reach the conclusion “this guy is into sexual assalt”. Fuck me you are stupid. That”s the “sort of person” you are – a stupid, stupid tool.

            [lprent: You’re a fool to jump on a site without reading the policy. Read it now before I start treating you as being a ignorant dickhead who is incapable of maintaining an argument. The only thing stopping me from banning your arse out of here is that you
            1. attempted to have a point.
            2. are clearly new at this.
            3. don’t understand that sysops and moderators are malevolent and your best best defense is not to attract their attention by acting like a cretin who thinks that their systems are yours to command.]

            • stdlunacy

              Someone bites back after being accused of condoning sexual assault on kids and gets a warning from the sysop ???

              FFS the blogosphere is going nuts !

              [lprent: It was a comment saying that by GS’es definition, what he would be looked at severely by a judge. The response was disproportionate for what was a mildly amusing quip that did not even specifically target GS. I’d suggest GS grows a sense of humour rapidly and hardens up, otherwise he’ll never survive here. I hate to think what he’d react like when someone like felix slides a truly nasty barb in. ]

            • Spectator

              Gordon, to most people there would be nothing sexual (or of the characteristics of assault) about wiping anyone’s arse. Otherwise every hospital and nursing home in the country would be in deep trouble. I strongly suggest you re-think what you openly consider to be sexual activity.

            • Gordon Shumway


              I am pretty happy to stand corrected, but if I forcibly and without consent, went up to another adult, and without consent pulled their pants down and wiped their ass, then applied talcum powder, then dressed them in a new pair of underpants, that WOULD constitute assault and quite possibly sexual assault.

              The point was very very simple. Despite what the original poster said about assault, that is not the final word on what you should/should not be allowed to do when bringing up your own children. Adult assault definitions are not transferrable across to parent/own child relationships. The issue is a lot more delicate than just transferring adult relationship norms to parent/child relationships. Why? Because children are not always capable of giving consent, and even if they are capable, it’s sometimes better that their desires/preferences are ignored.

              Your hospital/nursing home example is noted. You’ve pointed out that adult assault definitions have exceptions even in adult-adult relationships (usually where consent cannot be given or is not required). The law has developed in a way to deal with these special circumstances and that’s good.

              People who oppose the anti-smacking law believe that the law has gone too far in removing an exception to assault. Just like your hospital example, they are saying that there are “special circumstances” in the parent-child relationship and the total ban on smacking does not acknowledge those special circumstances.

              Not quite as simple as “all smackers like child abuse”, is it?

              So now that you understand the issue, why not back the fuck down a bit and apologise for suggesting (strongly initially, less strongly second time) that I am some sort of deviant or sexual predator?

            • felix


              Please forgive me if I’ve misunderinterpreterated you, but aren’t your concerns about bottom wiping fully covered by the following part of S59(1)?

              (d) performing the normal daily tasks that are incidental to good care and parenting.

            • Gordon Shumway


              (apologies for long post.)

              No you’ve not misinterpreted me at all – in fact you’re getting to the exact point I was trying to make.

              I assumed that the law would not be stupid enough to apply adult-to-adult definitions of “assult” to the relationship between parent/child. That’s why I was getting annoyed at people (including the original poster) who say things like “allow parents to assault their kids” and try and argue this complicated area solely on adult norms. They are just not that relevant. That’s why I said:

              “You realise that bringing up children it is sometimes necessary to do things that would constitute assault (probably sexual assualt) IF DONE TO AN ADULT”.

              (Spectator chose to leave the words in caps out. That’s because Spectator is a Tool).

              I didn’t know what the exact wording of the provision/exception is, and I must say it’s interesting to see it: “good care and parenting”.

              I’m not an insider, but that kind of explains where the referendum people were coming from, doesn’t it? i.e., it seems to me they were trying to say “do you believe it’s possible to smack your child but still be a good parent?”.

              Now I reckon a lot of NZers would answer that question “yes”. The problem is, the law currently makes those people technically criminals (the exception you’ve identified will no longer cover them). After the ant-smacking law change, the law now says, by implication, “smacking is always bad parenting/illegal, but the cops will decide whether or not to charge you”. You can see why some loving parents who smack might get upset by that new paradigm.

              What we should have been able to do in a bi-partisan way is say: “In this day and age, the meaning of “good parenting” has changed, so let’s now define that in greater detail”.

              As I’ve said elsewhere, I am amazed this has descended into partisan bullshit. The argument is just not advanced my saying “you want to assault kids”. Some of the crazy religious nutters might truly believe that severely paddling their kids is “good parenting” – THAT’s the attitude that we need to change first up, not the “any smack is automatically bad parenting” approach which the new law takes.

              More sympathetic stewardship of the law change would have avoided a lot of problems/wasted money and energy. When you see the exception you’ve pointed out, it become obvious what we’re really talking about – what is “good care and parenting”?

              I would say clarifying the law to say the following would have helped but not alienated the middle ground (and I know this is poorly worded): (1) striking with an implement is not good care and parenting, (2) striking on the face or head is not good parenting, (3) striking with an open hand on buttocks or child’s hand can be good parenting (police have discretion where repeated smacking in this way).

              Maybe in 50 years time parents won’t be smacking their kids on the ass either. Great. But the MAIN problem is parents punching, kicking, whipping, burning and killing their kids. Today’s law change should deal with today’s biggest priorities.

              This who thing should have been as easy as removing the provocation defence will be. Our politicians, media (and blog commentators) have let us down by not thinking clearly about our goals, what the issue REALLY is and what a good long-term strategy would be to change approaches to “good parenting”.

            • Gordon Shumway

              lprent – Why not let Spectator justfy the shit they wrote rather than come in as the great defender? Spectator slectively quoted my post (took out the words “if done to an adult”, which were kinda important don’t you think?) then used that selective quoting to call me a “type of person” who is thinks sexual assault of children is necessary. Explain for me how that is supposed to be funny?

              So I called Spectator as a fuckwit and a tool and a moron, and nothing you’ve said has convinced me otherwise.

              If Spectator had any class at all, he/she would apologise or at least clarify that he/she was not making the sort of personal attack that is obvious on a plain reading of what was written.

              I will survive absolutely fine on the occasions when I come here unless you decide to block/ban me. Since my views often differ from yours (I tend to see a bit more grey than you) it’s probably just a matter of time… Like I said, I don’t really give a shit. Instead of having a proper analytical debate, you can keep having the dialogue with sycophantic morons like Spectator and enjoy their rollicking sense of “humour”.

          • Gordon Shumway

            Sorry, just to clarify the above: “You are a fucking dumb tool, Spectator”.

          • Gordon Shumway

            lprent – Spectator has come in and accused me of being into sexual assualt. It was an outrageous comment from him/her and deserved some sort of censure from you as moderator. You didn’t give that censure because he/she is on your side of the argument.

            I called Spectator out for being fucking stupid and insulting. Am I wrong?

            There is absolutely nothing about my original point that is in any way trolling, with the possible exception of the word “deranged”.

            The point is very simple – it’s nonsense to suggest definitions of “assault” as between adults somehow settle the question of how parents/children interact. A bunch if posters were going back and forth about minute detail on adult assault as it it added something to the issue of child abuse – it doesn’t.

            Frankly you can ban me if you choose. I have never insulted a poster on this site who didn’t have a crack at me first. I have absolutely no problem at all maintaining an argument. Your own moderation has become increasingly partisan and ranting recently. Carry on having a dialogue amongst yourselves if you want – I don’t give a shit.

            [lprent: Go and read what Spectator actually said.

            It was your interpretation that it was about you. To pretty much anyone else it was an amusing quip. You mis-interpreted the comment and reacted. The reaction was a flame starter – so you got warned. I moderate on behaviors, not opinions – happens on both sides.

            IMHO in general leftie’s mostly tend to value the site and change behavior when warned. Some of the right don’t and prefer to be martyrs. Pretty much your choice – I really don’t give a shit what you think when I’m in moderator mode. ]

            • luva

              Well said

            • Gordon Shumway

              Spectator did not make a quip. Spectator selectively quoted then attacked. YOU go back and read what I wrote (“if done to an adult”), and what Spectator quoted back. Then explain how anyone could possibly deduce from that that I am the “type of person” who believe sexual assual of children “is necessary”.

              If nothing else, Spectator’s hilarious joke was totally fucking irrelevant, based as it was on the distorted quote.

              Because you jumped in so fast in “ban the troll” mode you missed the selective quoting and you’re determined now to read what Spectator wrote with a positive spin.

              Go on. Admit you missed the selective quote and the fact that Spectator’s “joke” would make no sense if the quote was complete!

        • Ron

          Police have and use discretion all the time.
          Very few rugby field fights end in assault charges. Speeding drivers get off with warnings. Cops break up fights on Saturday nights all over the country and don’t charge the participants. Liquor ban laws are often enforced by a friendly reminder. Under age drinkers get chucked out of pubs every weekend and not charged.
          It’s actually intellectually dishonest to require this law to be enforced any differently from any other.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Laws have to be drafted in a way that there is clear guidance on what is criminal and what is not

          The problem with that type of law is that it’s far too easy to abuse – see Nationals funneling of anonymous funds through trusts that weren’t technically against the law but most definitely against the spirit of the law.

    • snoozer 5.2

      It does unless there’s a justification or an excuse (eg licence – implied or express, self-defence etc). Prima facie, a touch is an assault. Of course, the law does not concern itself with trivial matters and the police don’t prosecute on them, so technical assaults aren’t necessarily going to be grounds for a court case.

  6. Maynard J 6

    I reckon the original amendment’s supporters should promise to try and get good parents criminalised if this law comes into effect because it is easier to abide by the law when there is an outright ban, as opposed to some half-arsed measure.

    Promise to report every one of them – because it is up to them to prove they are transitory and trifling strikers…

    • Ari 6.1

      Which will certainly help reassure worried parents who’ve been stressed out by the “no” campaign that weren’t not out to get them. ><

      • Maynard J 6.1.1

        I am talking pure evil blackmail 😉

        “Support this and you will see what can really happen to good parents – and here is what a bad law really looks like. Now, let me comfort you, after all you have been through because of that rat bastard Baldock. Yes, I know he was wrong…”

        • Ari

          And the very fact that you included the words “pure evil” in there should tell you why it’s not a good idea. 😉

  7. Nick 7

    Key has just announced national will support Boscawen’s bill to SC. Bradford has gone off. Fun!!

  8. Red Rosa 8

    Well, well…select committee time will be fun.

    I’m with mickysavage – what more can be said?

    But I’m waiting to see the US funded fundies arguing what a great difference a few good wallopings made to the baby Jesus………..

  9. gingercrush 9

    So John Key should have. Frankly I was disgusted that before his announcement at 4pm the only thing we got was a pathetic clarification of the law. No doubt the yes vote will be alarmed. They shouldn’t be. I agree the referendum did not say the anti-smacking legislation should be overturned. What that referendum did say was there were questions about that legislation. John Key should have announced a forum or inquiry. But he didn’t. Thanks to this bill coming out from the ballot we’ll get another look at things.

    • Ag 10.1

      Great. He’s gone up in my estimation for that.

      I guess he doesn’t want the National Party to go the way of the Republicans. No to populist authoritarianism and thuggery against children.

  10. outofbed 11

    kudos to JK

  11. r0b 12

    Yeah what was Nick on about?

    Current front page of = “Nats Say No – Prime Minister John Key has stymied a fresh bid to reignite the smacking debate, saying National will vote against an ACT MP’s bill to reinstate the defence of reasonable force when disciplining children”

    Key is holding the line. I’m impressed.

  12. gingercrush 13

    That is because TV 3 had on their website:

    ohn Key has announced he will partially support ACT MP John Boscawen’s private members bill on the anti-smacking law, which was drawn in today’s member’s ballot.

    Key said this afternoon he would support the bill through to the select committee stage.

    It was announced earlier today that the bill had been drawn.

    Sue Bradford said on her official Twitter site that the bill’s appearance is “unbelievable”, coming only days after the results of a referendum on the law were released.

    Over 87 percent of voters said ‘no’ to the controversial question: “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?”

    Mr Boscawen’s bill would, in its own words, make it “no longer a criminal offence for parents, and those in the place of parents, to use reasonable force for the purpose of correcting their children’s behaviour”.

    Ms Bradford described the bill as “very dangerous”, and “must be opposed at all costs”.

    Member’s bills are drawn at random from a ballot, so the timing of the bill’s arrival is purely coincidental.

    They still have it on their website. Idiots.

    Personally I think the bill should have at least gone to select committee.

  13. millsy 14

    Here we go again guys……

  14. Nick 15

    Yeah, TV3 was my source. Oh well, the fun has gone.

    • Bluebottle 15.1

      Pretty sucky day when you can’t rely on a major news outlet as a source for something like that. Not your fault Nick.

      • mickysavage 15.1.1

        Key may be the cause of the confusion. TV3 is now saying

        “Key earlier expressed partial support for the bill this afternoon, but has since clarified his statement and said there will be no support for the bill.”

        Quite a clarification to go from support to opposition.

        • gingercrush

          Where online does it say this? Seems to me Tv3 jumped the gun and is trying to save their hide.

          • mickysavage

            Key is sloppy with his language at the best of times and tries to agree with everyone. I would not be surprised if he did give an impression that then needed to be corrected. A transcript would be good.

            • gobsmacked

              John Key’s position on smacking explained:

              King of Swamp Castle: Guards, make sure the prince doesn’t leave this room until I come and get him.
              Guard #1: Not to leave the room… even if you come and get him.
              King of Swamp Castle: No, no. *Until* I come and get him.
              Guard #1: Until you come and get him, we’re not to enter the room.
              King of Swamp Castle: No, no, no. You *stay* in the room, and make sure *he* doesn’t leave.
              Guard #1: And you’ll come and get him.
              King of Swamp Castle: Right.
              Guard #1: We don’t need to do anything, apart from just stop him entering the room.
              King of Swamp Castle: No, no. *Leaving* the room.
              Guard #1: Leaving the room, yes.
              King of Swamp Castle: Look, it’s quite simple. You just stay here, and make sure he doesn’t leave the room. All right?
              Guard #1: Oh, I remember, uh, can he leave the room with us?
              King of Swamp Castle: No, no, no, no, you just keep him in here, and make sure…
              Guard #1: Oh yeah, we’ll keep him in here, obviously, but if he had to leave, and we were with him…
              King of Swamp Castle: No, just keep him in here…
              Guard #1: Until you, or anyone else…
              King of Swamp Castle: No, not anyone else. Just me.
              Guard #1: Just you.

              (with thanks to the Python team)

            • mickysavage



              New Zealand does feel a bit like a Monty Python skit lately …

      • gingercrush 15.1.2

        But this isn’t anything new. The Herald has on numerous occasions released info that isn’t true and they simply keep updating the article during the day. Stuff has released information when the Jury hasn’t even decided on the case yet.The mass media seem to think being wrong on the internet doesn’t matter.It does matters. Its shoddy journalism.

  15. Bright Red 16

    I’ve just been on the tv3 site. It now says:

    “Key earlier expressed partial support for the bill this afternoon, but has since clarified his statement and said there will be no support for the bill.”

    wow, supersonic flip-slopping

  16. outofbed 17

    I am immensely pleased with Mr Key today showed some common sense rather and balls
    Still would not vote for him though 🙂

  17. toad 18

    I’m pleased to see that, at least in this instance, John Key is taking an evidence-based approach. (Pity he couldn’t do the same with the Super Shitty Bill, where the evidence is that Maori are seriously under-represented on local authorities). But anyway, he deserves some praise for the stand he has taken on section 59.

    The attempt to overturn the anti-smacking law has just been administered a fatal beating.

    Prime Minister John Key has announced National won’t support Act MP John Boscawen’s Private Members’ Bill allowing the use of reasonable force by parents in correcting their children.

    He says it’s his party’s view the current law is working.

    Key says it will be changed if it’s proved not to be working but he doesn’t need a Members’ Bill to do that.

    The private members bill had been drawn from the ballot box on Wednesday.

    Boscawen’s Bill looks set to fail with Labour, the Greens, and the Maori party all expected to oppose it.

    Looks like it’s Dead Duck Day for ACT and the spankers.


    • Gordon Shumway 18.1

      Toad – is it only Maori representation on councils that you’re concerned about, or are you arguing for more accurate racial representation across the board?

      If the latter, are Asians currently under-represented as well? Should we guarantee Asian representation?

      Why is race important for Maori and not Asians?

      This sort of “Maori representation” crap starts is paternalistic, guilt-ridden bullshit. Either race is important and we can all be as racist as we like in our everyday lives, or it isn’t and we can start from the position that (a) anyone can run for the office (including Maori); and (b) anyone can vote for particular candidate for whatever reason they damn-well chose (including the fract that they are Maori).

      Of all the different reasons for voting for a particular candidate, would you vote for someone solely because they shared your ethnicity?

      Why do you people then assume Maori only want to vote in other Maori (or need other Maori in office in order to be properly “represented”)?

      [lprent: that one was better than the one you did further up. At least there was an argument in it rather than troll-like bile.]

      • toad 18.1.1

        No, Gordon, it is based on Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

        Maori are tangata whenua. The rest of us, be we Asian, Pacific Islanders, Pakeha, Australian, European etc are allowed to be here by virtue of us being Tangata Tiriti.

        But for Te Tiriti, Maori would be entitled to tell us all to piss off to wherever our ancestors came from.

        • Gordon Shumway

          Oh OK. I’m still confused.

          Assuming your interpretation of Te Tiriti is correct in law, do you believe applying it in this way helps Maori, New Zealanders or anyone else in the world to improve their lot? (In other words, imagine the Treaty does not exist and tell us whether you believe race-based political representation is a goal that good societies should strive for).

          Alternatively, are you saying we should all stick with the (your) literal interpretation of Te Tiriti forever (irrespective of whether it’s helpful or not) because otherwise Maori would have some sort of legal right to tell the rest of us to “piss off”?

          See – I reckon it’s paternalistic nonsense to say that “Maori representation” must be guaranteed in the way you describe, when every Maori has the same vote as every non-Maori, and every Maori has the same brain with which they can decide to vote for a candidate either (a) on the basis of the candidate’s ethnicity only, or (b) on other grounds (such as whether or not they are competent for the job). I also reckon Maori have no right at all under the Treaty or otherwise to tell me (a non-Maori) to piss off from New Zealand.

        • Nick

          Our great historian Michael King doesn’t believe that but clearly you know more than him.

          • Gordon Shumway

            Which part, Nick? I didn’t realise the rules of the game were that we all had to agree with Michael King.

            Do you believe race-based political representation helps society and is something we should aim for (ignoring the issue of whether Maori are guaranteed it in the Treaty)? [I don’t – I though SA taught us all that].

            Do you believe Maori could tell non-Maori to “piss off” if there was a breach of the Treaty? (I don’t. There’s a whole host of legal reasons, but none of them really matter a jolt when you consider that there’s no practical way for that to happen.)

            So are you after (a) a good and decent society (in which case you answer the question about race-based representation and apply to it all races), or (b) complying with agreements no matter the cost (i.e even if it forces you to do something that does not help you build a good and decent society)?

            • Akldnut

              Tena koe Gordon – If there were some public input as to how this 20 seat council were put together (fair and democratically) I wouldn’t have problem with it. But the fact is our rights to put in anyone of our choosing with “our vote” has been taken away from us,
              AND under the founding document of this country (Te Tiriti O Waitangi) which gives us other rights that you and your mates are likening to “racist positions” within society, these rights are also being taken away.

              At the very least there should be some form of proportional representation. We have the right to speak for our selves. (but not on this matter for some reason)

              Heres some rough figures I put on red alert

              The crude population count for Census night, March 7, shows that Auckland’s population rose by 12.4 per cent in the past five years to 1,318,700 or 32 per cent of the national population of 4,116,900. (Google)

              20 seats on council
              1,318,700 by 20 seats = 65,935 people represented by each councilor.
              137,000 Maori in Auckland (TV One News)
              137,000 by 2 seats = 68,500 per seat

            • Gordon Shumway

              Hi Akldnut,

              Thanks for your figures I hadn’t seen those. My point is just this: Let’s say there are 69,000 Asians (I imagine there are heaps more), do you also argue for 1 Asian seat?

              If not, why not?

              Now your answer is going to be, I think, “Because Maori signed the ToW and we get the extra representation not anyone else”. That’s the bit I don’t agree with.

              See there are three basic options:
              1. No racial representation
              2. Recial representation but only selected groups get it
              3. Racial representation but all groups get it.

              I reckon, in an ideal and fully functioning society, we should be aiming for 1.

              I don’t know anything about how councillors will get appointed but I’d assumed there would be some sort of postal ballot. Maori (and Asians) can vote for their candidate solely on ethnicity if they chose. It seems to me that with 137,000 votes (or whatever, it’ll be lower once kids removed), that’s a pretty good voting block if, in fact, all Maori agree that a vote on race-based lines is a good vote.

      • Gordon Shumway 18.1.2

        lprent – go tell me what bile was in my original post further up. None.

        There was plenty or bile when someone suggested I was into sexual assualt of children.

        [lprent: No they didn’t. You (stupidly or deliberately) interpreted it that way and acted in a way that was likely to start a flamewar – ie a bilious response. That got my attention. Trying to litigate with someone who has access to the banning tools is not exactly intelligent (stupid) – unless of course you wish to have the satisfaction of a being a martyr (deliberate). ]

        • Armchair Critic

          Geez Gordon, it seems like you might have choked on the shit soup JK served up to the pro-smacking lobby this afternoon.
          Your first comment was pretty dumb. I spend all day changing nappies, there is nothing sexual about it and your comparison deserved a contemptuous response. I am not sure Spectator said you were “into sexual assault”, but I see you could read it that way, if you read it too quickly.
          Your comment about Maori representation was almost as dumb but Toad has that covered too. It comes back to meeting the obligations of an agreement, which is something I thought ACT supported and it is just weird that they are playing the race card. Looks like Dr Brash just left it lying around for any idiot to pick up and play. Maybe you could read the treaty before you make any more comments.
          And leave LP alone, I’m not keen to see you banned, your comments provide a great deal of amusement.

          • Gordon Shumway

            Armchair – of course there’s nothing sexual about changing nappies. However, a bunch of people above believe adult definitions of assault have relevance in the sphere of child abuse. You are agreeing with my point, not refuting it.

            I repeat, in order to be a parent you have to “assault” your children on a daily basis (if you are going to take “assult” as meaning the same thing as assult in an adult-toadult context). How would a non-related adult react if you pulled down their pants, changed their underwear and put talcum powder on their bottom.

            Adult/own-child relationships are DIFFERENT from adult/adult relationships and this will affect the policy response. What is amusing, weird or stupid about that point?

            As to the Treaty, I’ve read it a number of times thanks. Good effort to close off the argument by playing the “I am smarter than you” card.

            Why not address the points? (1) Do you believe that race-based representation is something that all good societies should aspire to (irrespective of whether or not there is an agreement in place about it)? [I don’t. Even if the Treaty did contain a promise of race-based political representation (which it doesn’t), I would argue that we should ignore it.]

            (2) Do you believe that under the Treaty, “Maori” have a legal right to tell “non-Maori” to “piss off” out of New Zealand if there are no Maori seats on the super-city council? (If so – how would that work?) [I do not believe they can.]

            I also hope you stick around Armchair. You come across as someone quite young and new to politics who just learned the words “shit soup”, “race card”, “Don Brash” and “ACT” because I don’t know what relevance any of that has to anything I’ve posted above.

            • Armchair Critic

              Umm, yeah, I always thought that to constitute assault, any contact had to be both deliberate and unwanted.
              Even at a very early age kids want their nappy changed, because not doing so leads to failing to provide proper care. Which is why your argument (and thanks for trying one, btw) doesn’t work for me.
              And there are circumstances where the removal of an unrelated adult’s (though what being related to the person has to do with it is not clear to me, I thought it was more to do with responsibility for care) clothes and physical contact with them is not assault, sexual or otherwise. Care of the elderly, especially those with dementia springs to mind. These people do, in my experience, object violently on occasions, but the caregiver’s duty of care takes precedence. So, your assertion that I assault children every day is one I can not agree with.
              I’ve read some stuff and not understood it, too. And I have no idea whether I am smarter than you or otherwise, it isn’t something I’m overly concerned about. If you are worried about it I am happy to agree that you are smarter than me.
              As for your questions.
              1. I’m not keen on anything race based, unless it provides better outcomes for society as a whole (and I note that this is difficult to prove), however the seats proposed for the new Auckland Council would not be race based, they would be reserved for one group of signatories of the ToW. Subtle difference, I know. I’m all for honouring agreements, though.
              2. My understanding of ToW with regard to asking/forcing non-Maori to leave is the same as yours. I don’t take seriously any suggestion that, even if it were possible, that it would happen.
              Assume away about my age and involvement in politics, I doubt you could even guess my gender first try, and that’s a fifty-fifty shot.

            • Gordon Shumway

              What do you mean “reserved for one group of signatories of the ToW. Suble difference”? All the signatories are dead. It’s reserved to people who are the same race as the signatories to the ToW.

              That’s race-based.

              If it’s a good thing for society as a whole, then let’s been even-handed and make sure Asians are covered as well.

              If it’s a bad thing for society (or Maori, as the case may be), let’s be done with the whole guilt-ridden paternalistic nonsense and say “Sorry, but in this day and age, political representation is on merit. You can vote for Maori candidates if you want to, but we are not going to set up state-sanctioned race-based selection and voting mechanisms no matter what the ToW says. As a modern democratic society where everyone was born in the 20th century and later, we now know that shit is wrong. We believe you are intelligent enough to use your vote wisely and, if you want to, you’ll vote to give yourselves racial representation on the council. On the other hand, you might vote for the Asian woman who’s really smart.”

              That’s called consistent principles.

            • Gordon Shumway

              btw – give up on the assault thing. You don’t get it.

            • Armchair Critic

              GS – It’s my job to understand what constitutes assault. You are the first person to suggest I don’t “get it”.
              I stopped reading race into the ToW years ago. While it is not just about property rights, reading it from that perspective can be a good place to start dispelling prejudices. I would say you don’t get the ToW, but I doubt that would be helpful.

            • Gordon Shumway

              Apparently, Armchair, it’s impossible for you to have any discussion without trying to end it with the killer blow.

              e.g. it’s “your job” to interpret what assault means so you must be right.

              e.g. You (being intellectually superior) are able to read the ToW “without reading race into it” (care to explain how that works?!) so your views carry more weight.

              You keep missing the point on the “assault” definition thing. Go read the original post on this thread where “slightest touch constitutes assault” is a phrase used to try and advance debate on how best to deal with parents abusing their kids. Then a bunch of people get into the semantics of what constitutes assault. It’s almost irrelevant to the smacking debate.

              I will break it down slowly: If you want to use the ADULT-TO-ADULT definition of assault, then parents assault their kids daily. Therefore, the adult definition of assault is not really relevant to the smacking debate. We need to apply some intellectual rigour to the issue rather than drawing false analogies.

              Simple point really, but continue to argue with it if you want.

              On ToW – why not try and engage with me and respond to the issues/questions in my post above?

            • Ari

              Gordon- the treaty is the basis for Westminster law in this country, and it could easily be viewed as not just treaty or legal document, but essentially an ethical code of conduct for immigrant peoples of New Zealand. I’m not sure any of that had to directly relate to race so much as colonialism- we just made it into a racial conflict when we as Pakeha started ignoring that code of conduct and doing many of the unjust things that colonial government before us have also done.

              As a document the treaty supersedes racial issues because it was a framework for not having any of them in the future. If we could actually start living up to it and being open to fulfilling those obligations as a nation, then we might actually approach a place where Maori don’t need to assert their Tino Rangatiratanga rights to bludgeon the electoral system into something a little less unfair and a little more lawful.

            • Armchair Critic

              Let me make it clearer, as a part of my day to day responsibilities, if I didn’t understand what does and does not constitute assault I would be in prison. The fact that I am not and have not been to prison leads me to believe that your assertion that I do not understand the definition of assault is plainly wrong.
              I would support Marty’s comment fully if it said “the slightest touch can constitute assault”, there are many circumstances when it does not constitute assault. Plenty of examples have been given in other comments.
              I answered your questions on ToW, you seem to be fixated on making it about race. It’s not. I can’t wait for you to say it is also about gender, because almost all the signatories were male. But I would think that’s a load of crap, too.
              Most people have spotted that the original signatories are dead. Seats would be reserved for their descendants, which is not race based.
              And keep going on the “age dicrimination is okay (the adult definition of assault is not really relevant to the smacking debate), race discrimination is not” thing. But maybe apply some intellectual rigour to that first.
              If you comment on a blog you may be lucky enough to get responses. Some of them you won’t like for a number of reasons, deal with it.

            • Gordon Shumway


              I hear your arguments on the ToW’s status. But let’s be honest, the separate Maori seats are certainly not explicitly stated in the ToW, are they?

              What I am saying is a bit different from trying to rehash the defintion of toanga yet again (qualified experts line up on both sides of the debate on that one – you might be one of them – but no solution will come from it).

              A different approach:

              1. Pretend the ToW does not exist.
              2. Ask yourself, does “race-based” seats (and they are, if you can only vote as a Maori) actually help Maori?
              3. If your answer is “yes” to #2, ask yourself, “would race-based seats also help Asians and other minorities”?
              4. If your answer to 3 is yes, then let the Asians have race based representation as well.
              5. If the answer to #3 is, it WOULD help Asians but actually we only want Maori to have that advantage, then I think we need to think long and hard about whether that’s the way we want to live in 2009 and beyond.

              See, you start to get into interesting and fertile territory. We as a country should be trying to build IDEAL political systems, not systems that are based on outdated beliefs and practices (the outdated belief and practice being, effectively, “I am X-race, you are Y-race, we automatically are opposed to each other and need race-based representation”.

              None of this ignores the fact that Maori are overrepresented (in a negative way) in health, wealth, unemployment and various other statistics. I’m not saying for a second that Govt shouldn’t address those issues in a race-targeted/sympathetic way – I’m just hugely suspicious of whether race-based political representation can/willbring about any improvement.

              Armchair – you are giving me a headache. I am sure you know what assault means. Most of us inherently understand that you can, and must, do things for your children (or for sick adults) WITHOUT PERMISSION that you cannot do without permission to other adults.

              Just like in your daily job, the parent-child relationship has special circumstances. That’s why adult definitions of assault are not really relevant to the anti-smacking debate and it’s unfair and inflammatory to call all opponents of the new law the “basher brigade” or people who “want to assualt their kids”.

            • Armchair Critic

              You know Gordon, I am inclined to agree with most of what you said and while I might disagree with a bit, I don’t disagree enough to be disagreeable any more (and I have work to do). Pax. Also, I really liked one of your comments on getting the support of the middle ground, I think it was on another post.
              I apologise for my part in giving you a headache and hope that it passes.

            • Gordon Shumway

              AC – apologies for not being clearer and “ita vero” to your “pax”!

              To be honest, about the only comment I ever dare to make here is to try and get some of the extreme rhetoric toned down so the more subtle middle ground concerns can be heard and considered.

        • Gordon Shumway

          lprent – your interpretation of what Specatator said is so strained it’s comical.

          Spectator selectively quoted me (left out the words “if done to an adult”). Spectator then said:

          “There are words for the sort of person who thinks that it is “necessary’ to sexually assault a child.”

          Don’t be cute. Spectator was saying that I had used words demonstrating I am the sort of person who thinks sexual assualt of kids is necessary.

          What’s your funny interpretation of the quip? How come you know so much about what Spectator was trying to impart? Spectator himself hasn’t come out to profess innocence in the way you have and seems to have quietly accepted his justified rebuke as a fuckwit.

  18. outofbed 19

    I am immensely pleased with Mr Key today showed some common sense and balls
    Still would not vote for him though 🙂
    Those from the sewer are fuming.and spitting tacks, all going to vote ACT now
    However the polls probably won’t change much.. which will show how relatively unimportant this thing is to the great unwashed.
    I predict Winnie getting on to it though, might just get him over the 5% next time

    However my predictions are shit generally

  19. lprent 20

    I’d expect that next up we will find it becomes a concience vote for Nat mp’s. After all there are probably some who’d like a taste of fists million.

  20. lprent 21

    Gordon: we are also aware with the police that they have to control themselves. Sure as hell do not want politicians to do it. Mostly what people dealing with the police want are better feedback mechanisms. The IPCC have in the past been inadequete.

    Most of the decisions about charging for criminal matters are left to the police for everything from murder to mayhem. They have to decide if they have a case. What would be nice is for the police to get a big more introspective about why they fail to get convictions

    • Gordon Shumway 21.1

      I hear you. But it’s a huge compromise.

      C’mon let’s all be honest. The referendum question was unclear and ambiguous. The law as currently drafted (including the fact that the police “use their discretion” in matters of enforcement) is unclear and ambiguous.

      In my view, removing the “loophole” that arguably existed in the old law is a good thing. We want people to stop and think before laying a hand on their kids. I am just amazed we’ve been unable to amend the law in a way that doesn’t create a wealth of other potential issues (Police having the responsibility to “using discretion” being one of them).

      The vagueness and uncertainty of the law adversely impacts on some of the positives that should have come out of it. The message is now blurry, which will make it harder to drive through to the sorts of parents of torture and murder their kids (or who start off smacking and move up the scale to voilence and abuse).

      I am really just sad about the whole thing. We’ve had so much incompetence for the law/enforcement regime to end up as confused as it now is. NZ has wasted (and to continues to waste) time and money on something (i.e. the law change) that is really only a peripheral part of dealing with the problem of murdering/abusive parents.

      What say $5 million spent not on a wasted referendum (which some NZers felt “forced into” because of the terribly drafetd law), but instead on doing something that might actually get through to parents who punch, kick, burn and throw their children?

      You know, at some stage in the future NZ is going to quietly remove the defence of provocation in murder. This issue should have been as smooth-sailing as that will be. It would have been if all involved parties had approached it with a bit more tact and skill.

      End result – NZ wastes a sh1tload of money and time. We also blunt the message.

  21. gobsmacked 22

    The nutjob blogosphere has been hilarious. For example, a Nat hack congratulates himself at No Minister:

    “As predicted by Adolf, PM John Key has announced National will support John Bascowan’s [sic] bill to neuter the anti smacking legislation.”

    Yes, I’m right and so is my beloved leader. And when he says the very opposite an hour later, he’s still right, and so am I.

  22. plato 23

    ” What would be nice is for the police to get a big more introspective about why they fail to get convictions”

    maybe if anti-police lefty activists spent less time baiting the police the police would have more time to deal with issues such a domestic violence.

    what a laugh to see lefty activists all of a sudden see what everyone else has always seen – the police are not the enemy.

    • And what a real laugh seeing all the wingnuts complain about excessive use of their powers by Police in all the multiple cases where innocent parents have been arrested and persecuted since the law change was enacted.

      By the way, can you name one case, just one case where a parent who only smacked their child lightly and in a loving way was prosecuted?

    • toad 23.2

      Guess I qualify as a “lefty activist”., albeit a Green one.

      But I’ve never seen the Police as the enemy. They are an authoritarian agency of the state, and too often that has meant they are directed by legislation or (legally improper) executive instruction to defend the interests of the rich and the powerful against those fighting for social and economic justice.

      But that doesn’t make the Police the enemy.

      The “thin blue cheese” in the sandwich of struggle between labour and capital maybe, but not the enemy of working people.

      • lprent 23.2.1

        Exactly. Coupled with a 19th century militia structure with management practices from the 1950’s that tends to make them a bit inert when it comes to changing themselves.

  23. Richard 24

    Credit where its due – well done John Key (never thought I’d say that, and don’t expect me to say it again in a hurry).
    I suppose he wouldn’t want to be seen as ACT’s bitch twice in one week.

  24. Ianmac 25

    Remember when Fonzi tried and tried to say, “So-s-sor-sor-sorr- Oh the hell with it.”
    It is a bit like that for John Key. ” John. You did g-g-go-goo- good.” (Or his strategists did.)

    • toad 26.1

      Yippee! John Key.

      Just on this issue though!!!

      But so cool to see them spewing big-time on the Kiwiblog comments thread jarbury.

    • You are right Jarbury although it is also quite scary …

      It reminds me of the Health debate in the US. So many people who are really upset by something that will not happen if a better system is introduced …

      • jarbury 26.2.1

        Maybe Labour should support it to a select committee so the issue hangs around for a bit longer, and National cop even more flak for their position?

        • Ianmac

          Since National has tipped its hand, Labour could now back the Bill to Committee, and get the NO folks approval yet the Bill would fail and it would be Mr Key’s fault, yet kill the Bill.
          Good point Jarbury.

  25. plato 27

    ” They are an authoritarian agency of the state”

    what a joke, lefty activists can go on deluding themselves but get a life and stop wasting police time.

    they’re the ones with the good judgement to deal with the smacking issue. stop playing petulant adolescents and let them got on with their job.

    they’re the ones who risk injury intervening to protect women in domestic violence situations. all lefty activists do is pick fights with them and then mindlessly bleat on about workers vs bosses and how they are so persecuted.

  26. outofbed 28

    Someone on the sewer suggested Boscowen delay his bill till six months b4 the election
    That would liven things up

  27. gingercrush 29

    I do wonder how much pressure there is in National’s caucus who would support Boscawen’s bill. I can’t imagine the likes of Collins or English are that happy. From what I see the 2005 and 2008 intakes are more conservative than liberal. The referendum showed a sizable number voting No. Of course we don’t know why many voted no. But there has to be a sizable group that do not like this law.

    I voted no. I see NRT is calling anyone that voted No, monsters. Well fuck him. I had my reasons. I answered the thing quite literally. At the time I cast my vote I didn’t think it needed change. I still don’t think it needs to be change. But I do not think simple clarification by the police and MSD is enough. When you get 88% to vote No on something. Isn’t it in the best interests to at least reach understanding of those that voted no. Hence the need for a forum or inquiry to look again at the issue. To simply ignore it reeks of the same arrogance Labour displayed numerous times but particularly with the Electoral Finance Act. It stinks when you have political leaders that seemingly ignore a number of people out there.

    That some here and elsewhere have painted us No voters as wishing to see children be assaulted. You lot are quite frankly appalling. Especially when you talk about things such as low turnout or that the majority should somehow be ignored. Especially when you lot demand the government cuts emissions to 40% because 65, 000 signed a petition. Or scream about how undemocratic National is being over the Super City.

    But to go back to what I said initially. The reason Key is resisting changing the law or doing anything besides clarification when he will be under pressure over it. It goes back to that day he and Helen Clark walked together and reached a compromise over the legislation. That made him look like a PM and undoubtedly since that moment the media saw him as absolutely credible and the polls since that moment swung permanently in National’s favour. It was his great moment as Opposition Leader. He can’t go back on that moment that made him PM.

    • felix 29.1

      Don’t take it personally ginge, no-one’s calling you a monster.

      I chose to sit the referendum out, but if I’d voted I would have voted “no” as you did. I couldn’t, in good conscience, answer “yes”. Just because the question was dishonest and misleading doesn’t mean I’ll stoop to that level and give a dishonest, misleading answer. And I decided that a dishonest question doesn’t deserve my honest answer either, which would then be used by monsters and sadists to advance an agenda well beyond the scope of the question asked.

      Like you, I don’t think the law desperately needs to be changed. It works as it was intended. And like you, I think things can always be improved and we shouldn’t shy away from continuing to examine the issue and see if we can get a better, clearer, more widely understood solution.

      We are not so different, you and I.

      I have no way of knowing but I suspect that many, many people who voted “no” would broadly share our views on this. They’re not monsters. There just aren’t that many poisonous sadists around. I suspect that many who voted “no” just answered the question as honestly as possible, as you did and as I tried to do. That doesn’t mean they share the perverse medieval views of Balldock and McCoskrie, no matter how hard those freaks would like to paint it that way.

      What I’m trying to say, ginge, is you needn’t feel insulted when someone calls Balldock a sadistic freak. I certainly don’t.

  28. Ianmac 30

    My post disappeared. Mark II:
    Gingercrush said:”At the time I cast my (NO) vote I didn’t think it needed change. I still don’t think it needs to be change.”
    Fair enough but there are many who voted the way you did. Therefore the NO vote isn’t really a 78% vote at all.
    Then you say”When you get 88% to vote No on something. Isn’t it in the best interests to at least reach understanding of those that voted no. Hence the need for a forum or inquiry to look again at the issue.”
    Isn’t your first comment a contradiction of the second? Interesting.

  29. randal 31

    these people are hiding bad motives behind good ones.
    on one hand they profess christianity and on the other they want to assault children.
    they are just “BIBLEBELTERS”.
    when I listen to bosco’s angry bleating whine on the radio I think that people like that should not be able to have children anyway.

  30. Maynard J 32

    Gordon Shumway, if I hear you correctly you are saying that parents do things that could possibly constitute sexual assault as part of looking after a child, and cite this as a reason why the term ‘assault’ does not apply to disciplining children. You claim there is a special relationship.

    It has been pointed out that those same types of care are applied to adults.

    Can you tell me in what circumstances adults are allowed to assault other adults as an equivalent?

    You have aged care vs. looking after a baby.

    You have prison as an equivalent of time out, if you really want to stretch things.

    So what is the equivalent for a smack or a whack with an implement, for purposes of discipline? As far as I am concerned, the rules are the same, and it goes even further: you can crach-tackle an adult to prevent them from being hit by a bus – just like you can restrain a child to help them avoid injury.

    You can also take physical action against an adult to prevent a crime occurring – just like you can with children. As far as I can tell, for every adult-child exception to the crimes act, there is one for adult-adult relationships.

    Physical discipline is the one exception (well – no more). Why should it be?

    And by the way – calm down eh.

    • Gordon Shumway 32.1

      No Maynard. My point all along has been a reponse to people, including the original poster, who believe the smacking issue is “solved” when you consider that it’s assault for an adult to use the “slightest touch” against another adult.

      It is totally wrong to say the “basher brigade” want to “assault” their children.

      I was merely pointing out that adult assault definitions are not really relevant between parent and child. Plenty above explaining in more detail what I was trying to say,

      • Maynard J 32.1.1

        Ok. I was pointing out that those relationships are relevant, and illustrated that every example given thus far has an adult-adult equivalent apart from physical contact in the guise of discipline. It is the only exception to these actions. Again I ask – why should that be the case?

        As in the other thread, no one is saying the issue is “solved”. I am not sure if you are reading into things too much or actively being intellectually dishonest in making that argument up in order to criticise people for holding that view. A bit of honesty please.

  31. Ianmac 33

    On the news last night the film clips from the pro-smacking people showed an older girl being grabbed before rushing across the road – then smacked. The smaller child was being dragged along the floor (to time-out?) and smacked. If both of these are good reasons/excuses for smacking then I disagree with their justification.

  32. Swampy 34

    Let’s get one thing clear: Bradford introduced her Bill because the United Nations, which is one of the most corrupt international instutions that has ever existed, “knows” better than any government in any part of the world that smacking is bad for children.

    Sue Bradford’s beliefs in the area of families and child rearing can be summed up as a belief that parental authority needs to be undermined and minimised so that children are subservient to the State as early as possible.

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    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have condemned Iran’s shocking and illegal strikes against Israel.    “These attacks are a major challenge to peace and stability in a region already under enormous pressure," Mr Luxon says.    "We are deeply concerned that miscalculation on any side could ...
    2 days ago
  • Huge interest in Government’s infrastructure plans
    Hundreds of people in little over a week have turned out in Northland to hear Regional Development Minister Shane Jones speak about plans for boosting the regional economy through infrastructure. About 200 people from the infrastructure and associated sectors attended an event headlined by Mr Jones in Whangarei today. Last ...
    5 days ago
  • Health Minister thanks outgoing Health New Zealand Chair
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti has today thanked outgoing Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora Chair Dame Karen Poutasi for her service on the Board.   “Dame Karen tendered her resignation as Chair and as a member of the Board today,” says Dr Reti.  “I have asked her to ...
    5 days ago
  • Roads of National Significance planning underway
    The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has signalled their proposed delivery approach for the Government’s 15 Roads of National Significance (RoNS), with the release of the State Highway Investment Proposal (SHIP) today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to ...
    5 days ago
  • Navigating an unstable global environment
    New Zealand is renewing its connections with a world facing urgent challenges by pursuing an active, energetic foreign policy, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Our country faces the most unstable global environment in decades,” Mr Peters says at the conclusion of two weeks of engagements in Egypt, Europe and the United States.    “We cannot afford to sit back in splendid ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ welcomes Australian Governor-General
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Australian Governor-General, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley and his wife Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley, will make a State visit to New Zealand from Tuesday 16 April to Thursday 18 April. The visit reciprocates the State visit of former Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy ...
    5 days ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves for Winter
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour has announced that Medsafe has approved 11 cold and flu medicines containing pseudoephedrine. Pharmaceutical suppliers have indicated they may be able to supply the first products in June. “This is much earlier than the original expectation of medicines being available by 2025. The Government recognised ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ and the US: an ever closer partnership
    New Zealand and the United States have recommitted to their strategic partnership in Washington DC today, pledging to work ever more closely together in support of shared values and interests, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “The strategic environment that New Zealand and the United States face is considerably more ...
    5 days ago
  • Joint US and NZ declaration
    April 11, 2024 Joint Declaration by United States Secretary of State the Honorable Antony J. Blinken and New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs the Right Honourable Winston Peters We met today in Washington, D.C. to recommit to the historic partnership between our two countries and the principles that underpin it—rule ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ and US to undertake further practical Pacific cooperation
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further New Zealand cooperation with the United States in the Pacific Islands region through $16.4 million in funding for initiatives in digital connectivity and oceans and fisheries research.   “New Zealand can achieve more in the Pacific if we work together more urgently and ...
    5 days ago
  • Government redress for Te Korowai o Wainuiārua
    The Government is continuing the bipartisan effort to restore its relationship with iwi as the Te Korowai o Wainuiārua Claims Settlement Bill passed its first reading in Parliament today, says Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith. “Historical grievances of Te Korowai o Wainuiārua relate to 19th century warfare, land purchased or taken ...
    6 days ago
  • Focus on outstanding minerals permit applications
    New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals is working to resolve almost 150 outstanding minerals permit applications by the end of the financial year, enabling valuable mining activity and signalling to the sector that New Zealand is open for business, Resources Minister Shane Jones says.  “While there are no set timeframes for ...
    6 days ago
  • Applications open for NZ-Ireland Research Call
    The New Zealand and Irish governments have today announced that applications for the 2024 New Zealand-Ireland Joint Research Call on Agriculture and Climate Change are now open. This is the third research call in the three-year Joint Research Initiative pilot launched in 2022 by the Ministry for Primary Industries and Ireland’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Tenancy rules changes to improve rental market
    The coalition Government has today announced changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to encourage landlords back to the rental property market, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The previous Government waged a war on landlords. Many landlords told us this caused them to exit the rental market altogether. It caused worse ...
    6 days ago
  • Boosting NZ’s trade and agricultural relationship with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay will visit China next week, to strengthen relationships, support Kiwi exporters and promote New Zealand businesses on the world stage. “China is one of New Zealand’s most significant trade and economic relationships and remains an important destination for New Zealand’s products, accounting for nearly 22 per cent of our good and ...
    6 days ago
  • Freshwater farm plan systems to be improved
    The coalition Government intends to improve freshwater farm plans so that they are more cost-effective and practical for farmers, Associate Environment Minister Andrew Hoggard and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay have announced. “A fit-for-purpose freshwater farm plan system will enable farmers and growers to find the right solutions for their farm ...
    7 days ago
  • New Fast Track Projects advisory group named
    The coalition Government has today announced the expert advisory group who will provide independent recommendations to Ministers on projects to be included in the Fast Track Approvals Bill, say RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Regional Development Minister Shane Jones. “Our Fast Track Approval process will make it easier and ...
    7 days ago
  • Pacific and Gaza focus of UN talks
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters says his official talks with the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York today focused on a shared commitment to partnering with the Pacific Islands region and a common concern about the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.    “Small states in the Pacific rely on collective ...
    1 week ago
  • Government honours Taranaki Maunga deal
    The Government is honouring commitments made to Taranaki iwi with the Te Pire Whakatupua mō Te Kāhui Tupua/Taranaki Maunga Collective Redress Bill passing its first reading Parliament today, Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “This Bill addresses the commitment the Crown made to the eight iwi of Taranaki to negotiate ...
    1 week ago
  • Enhanced partnership to reduce agricultural emissions
    The Government and four further companies are together committing an additional $18 million towards AgriZeroNZ to boost New Zealand’s efforts to reduce agricultural emissions. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says the strength of the New Zealand economy relies on us getting effective and affordable emission reduction solutions for New Zealand. “The ...
    1 week ago
  • 110km/h limit proposed for Kāpiti Expressway
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) will begin consultation this month on raising speed limits for the Kāpiti Expressway to 110km/h. “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and this proposal supports that outcome ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Awards – Winners announced
    Two New Zealanders who’ve used their unique skills to help fight the exotic caulerpa seaweed are this year’s Biosecurity Awards Supreme Winners, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard. “Strong biosecurity is vital and underpins the whole New Zealand economy and our native flora and fauna. These awards celebrate all those in ...
    1 week ago
  • Attendance action plan to lift student attendance rates
    The Government is taking action to address the truancy crisis and raise attendance by delivering the attendance action plan, Associate Education Minister David Seymour announced today.   New Zealand attendance rates are low by national and international standards. Regular attendance, defined as being in school over 90 per cent of the ...
    1 week ago
  • World must act to halt Gaza catastrophe – Peters
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York today that an immediate ceasefire is needed in Gaza to halt the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe.    “Palestinian civilians continue to bear the brunt of Israel’s military actions,” Mr Peters said in his speech to a ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to United Nations General Assembly: 66th plenary meeting, 78th session
    Mr President,   The situation in Gaza is an utter catastrophe.   New Zealand condemns Hamas for its heinous terrorist attacks on 7 October and since, including its barbaric violations of women and children. All of us here must demand that Hamas release all remaining hostages immediately.   At the ...
    1 week ago
  • Government woolshed roadshow kicks off
    Today the Government Agriculture Ministers started their national woolshed roadshow, kicking off in the Wairarapa. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said it has been a tough time for farmers over the past few years. The sector has faced high domestic inflation rates, high interest rates, adverse weather events, and increasing farm ...
    1 week ago
  • PM heads to Singapore, Thailand, and Philippines
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines this week (April 14-20), along with a senior business delegation, signalling the Government’s commitment to deepen New Zealand’s international engagement, especially our relationships in South East Asia. “South East Asia is a region that is more crucial than ever to ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister launches Government Targets
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced further steps to get New Zealand back on track, launching nine ambitious Government Targets to help improve the lives of New Zealanders. “Our Government has a plan that is focused on three key promises we made to New Zealanders – to rebuild the economy, ...
    1 week ago
  • Natural hydrogen resource should be free of Treaty claims entanglement
    Natural hydrogen could be a game-changing new source of energy for New Zealand but it is essential it is treated as a critical development that benefits all New Zealanders, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones is seeking to give regulatory certainty for those keen to develop natural, or geological, ...
    1 week ago
  • Government responds to unsustainable net migration
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand on stage at global Space Symposium
    Space Minister Judith Collins will speak at the Space Symposium in the United States next week, promoting New Zealand’s rapidly growing place in the sector as we work to rebuild the economy. “As one of the largest global space events, attended by more than 10,000 business and government representatives from ...
    1 week ago

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