Bring back the bash?

Written By: - Date published: 10:06 am, May 15th, 2008 - 74 comments
Categories: child discipline, crime - Tags:

A man has been convicted of assault for hitting his daughter because she was dating a Muslim. You can’t assault someone, the law worked. Good, right?

OK. Now, let’s imagine that this had taken a place a year ago and the daughter, who is 20 years old, was 15 instead and, so, a child in the eyes of the law. The assault would have been perfectly legal. Not only would this man not be punished by the law, his actions would have been specifically permitted by the law.

Under section 59 of the Crimes Act, parents had the right to use reasonable force for the purposes of correction. Juries had found reasonable force included using a riding crop, so striking his daughter’s hand with his would certainly have been within the bounds of ‘reasonable force’ and parents were permitted to ‘correct’ any behaviour they found wrongful, which would have included dating a Muslim (frankly, parents were allowed to hit for no reason at all).

Not only would it have been legal to beat the young woman for dating a Muslim, it would only have been legal because she was a child. The passing of Sue Bradford’s anti-child beating law last year has made assaulting a child illegal. If it is repealed, as the Family First seeks to achieve, it would again be legal to assault a child, and only a child, for no reason.

So, who will stand up for a parent’s right to assault their child for dating a Muslim (or talking too loudly, or playing with their food, or just getting in the damn way)?

74 comments on “Bring back the bash?”

  1. higherstandard 1

    Using you logic Steve prior to Section 59 of the crimes act being repealed any kind of assault on a child would have been legal.

    Once again this is an attempt to paint all persons who are against the repeal of Section 59 as child beaters which as I sure even you will admit is not the case.

    Just as before the law was passed this case could have come before the court and the judge would have been the arbiter of whether force was reasonable or not. That one judge in the past was stupid enough to accept that a beating with a riding crop was ‘reasonable force” says more about the stupidity of the judge in question and lack of morals amongst the legal defence in the same case than anything else.

  2. No. HS. I’m saying that hitting your daughter because she as dating a Muslim would have been legal, and will be legal again if the anti-beating law is repealed..

    He only hit her hand with his, it caused some bruising, – there’s little lower level of force he could have used, this case certainly would have come under the definition of reasonable force.

    And subsequent cases are bound by precedent – the riding crop case set a high level of violence as reasonable force.

    If you want the law repealed you want it to be permissible for a person to hit their child for dating a Muslim. You might not like it but that’s the truth – maybe the fact that you won’t want it to be true should make you reconsider whether you really should want the law repealed.

  3. higherstandard 3


    I as you well know a judge can rely on their own discretion as to an individual case and will rule on what is a reasonable amount of force they are not bound to rely on the precedent from the case you point to.

  4. Ari 4

    HS- That wasn’t too far from the case, although it largely depended on what sort of jury you got. I believe it was fourteen cases of serious child abuse involving weapons that got dismissed because of the reasonable force defense provided by s59. The decision wasn’t always up to a judge, as serious trials do warrant juries, and juries dismissed some pretty whacked cases.

    I also think you’re strawmanning, although not deliberately- I don’t think Steve is implying everyone knew that s59 allowed this kind of abuse prior to reading widely about it. (the TV news certainly didn’t cover that side of the story) I think he’s more implying that bringing it back into force would put the law back on the side of abusers, which was definitely the rationale behind removing s59 in the first place.

  5. sean14 5

    OK. Now, let’s imagine that this had taken a place a year ago and the daughter, who is 20 years old, was 15 instead and, so, a child in the eyes of the law. The assault would have been perfectly legal. Not only would this man not be punished by the law, his actions would have been specifically permitted by the law.

    Using a hypothetical situtation to ‘prove’ a point is no proof at all.

    One might equally say “OK. Now, let’s imagine that this had taken a place a year ago and the daughter, who is 20 years old, was 15 instead and, so, a child in the eyes of the law. The police charged the father with assault, who, overcome with remorse, pleaded guilty”.

  6. Ari 6

    Sean- this is not a hypothetical. Multiple people who clearly passed a “common sense” check of whether they were beating their children (With a riding crop? Come on.) were being found innocent by juries because the idea of “reasonable force” essentially opened the floodgates to legally sanctioned violence against children.

  7. No. we have a common law system. Judges are bound to follow precedent from prior decisions (with some exceptions) when dealing with like cases. Clearly, if the issue is what constitutes reasonable force the riding crop case (and other cases of use of weapons as reasonable force) would be the operative precedents.

    And are you really arguing that striking the daughter’s hand would not have been considered reasonable force? It is a classic smack for god’s sake, of course it would have been reasonable force.

    You’re just using this as a red-herring.

    Face the facts: striking your child for dating a Muslim (or whatever) was permissable under the old law and will be permitted agian if Family First gets their way.

  8. BeShakey 8

    HS – a few things seem clear. Under the old law a variety of examples were deemed reasonable force, including the use of a riding crop. The amount of influence any precedent has or should have can be debated, but it seems that there is a clear precedent (even if it is ignored) and that this precedent makes it more likely that similar cases are ruled the same way (remember there is always the possibility of an appeal as well, which would be very likely in a similar case where the ruling was different).
    Even you seem to believe that some of the rulings under the old law were crazy. Which only leaves three options: do nothing (and let people ‘discipline’ their kids with riding crops etc); define a level of violence that is acceptable (which seems like a recipe for disaster both in principle and in practice); or say that no violence is OK (potentially building in some discretion as has been the case with the current law).

  9. sean14. The police would not have charged him, not for a minor assualt on a child when there’s s59 there.

    In law training it’s called salami slicing, change one legally relevant element of the event and see if it crosses the line between legal and illegal and if that is a place where the line ought to be drawn. It’s not a matter of some emotional thing ( a remorseful confession or some bullsh*t like that)- we’re talking about the law….

    face it: his actions would have been legal thanks to section 59.

  10. Stev, your post and hypothesis is complete nonsense. This parent would have been equally at risk of prosecution a year ago as he is today. Your form of support for this amendment is as ridiculous as the more extreme levels of support for the contrary.

  11. Billy 11

    BB: dead right.

    But there was also the weird twisting of the facts to pretend they were relevant to the smacking debate.

    You could have picked any crime: Imagine if, instead of defrauding Blue Chip investors, Mark Briers had hit someone. Now imagine that the person he hit was a child. Now imagine he hit them with a riding crop. Thank God for Sue Bradford for saving this fictional person from this fictional crime!

  12. Joker 12

    Considering this is a place that is supose to be supporting the cause of Labour do you really think it is smart dragging this thing up again?

    Forget about the rights and wrongs of the debate this issue is one of the cornerstones of Labours poll deficit.

    If I was a Labour supporter I would hope like hell this thing raises its head as few times as possible before the election. All it serves to do is remind the majority of New Zealanders of the indignation they felt when they found out the the Government was legislating to gain control of how they raised their families.

    Sounds all very over the top I know but you should have worked out by now that logical or not this is the thinking of a large chunk of the electorate.

  13. Ari 13

    Actually, the parent is probably at lower risk of prosecution if reported today, Barnsley.

    What they’re at higher risk of is being convicted if the police feel the case is serious enough for prosecution- which is good, as it means people who are actually abusing their kids in a non-trivial way will go to court without having their defense handed to them through s59. And because the debate around s59 has increased social awareness of child abuse, people should hopefully be more willing to report suspicious incidents to the Police.

  14. MikeE 14

    Under the old law this would NOT be legal, and would be classed as assault, as it is NOT reasonable to beat your child simply because they are dating a muslim.

    The standard is making stuff up again.

    Please note that I don’t approve of people hitting their kids as discpline, I’m fairly agnostic on the whole s59 debate… I really don’t know where I stand on it.

    But this guy would still be guilty of assault regardless of which version of the law he was tryed under.

  15. Pascal's bookie 15

    Nah Billy , Barnes is dead wrong.

    Conviction and prosecution aren’t the same thing though are they? At which point his comment falls apart as a response to the post.

    And the only thing changed was the age of the victim. Big deal. Do you think it’s ok for parents to hit their kids for having friends of the wrong religion?

  16. sean14 16

    Steve –

    The police would not have charged him, not for a minor assualt on a child when there’s s59 there.

    I simply don’t see how you can claim knowledge of what the police would do with the degree of certainty you do. Stating that something is a fact doesn’t make it a fact, no matter how forcefully you state it or believe it.

    face it: his actions would have been legal thanks to section 59.

    Again, I point out that your claim is hypothetical – hardly a compelling degree of proof, and that stating something forcefully doesn’t necessarily make it so.

    The ‘riding crop’ case was a shocker, and yes it happened under the old section 59. However, until a similar case has been tested in court (has this happened already?), I don’t think you can speak with the certainty you do.

    I’m no legal expert, but looking at the new section 59 it simply seems to replace the sole test of reasonable force for the purpose of correction with four tests (excluding correction, and there may be some special status around the word ‘correction’ that I am unaware of) that on the surface seem to leave loopholes in the law big enough to drive a truck through.

    I think the judge and jury made bone-headed decisions in the riding crop case, but how does the new section 59 stop futures judges and juries making similar bone-headed decisions?

    Until the law is tested in court, several times over, I don’t see how the full impact of the change to section 59 can be measured.

  17. MikeE. It was legal to use reasonable force for the purpose for correcting a child’s behaviour. Let’s break that down into small bites (as I did in the post):

    Reasonable force: Has been found to include use of weapons. Striking with a hand, a classic ‘smack’, was certainly withing the bounds of reasoanble force.

    Correcting a child’s behaviour: there was no limit placed on what kind of behaviour could be corrected. It was whatever behaviour the parent didn’t like. If the parent so chose, that could include dating a muslim or whistling or whatever.

    Joker. I’m not a Labour supporter, and the fact that I’ve chosen to raise this issue, when you think it’s damaging to Labour, should surely indicate to you that the purpose of this blog is not to simply make Labour look good. Think about it.

  18. Hoolian 18

    Not only would it have been legal to beat the young woman for dating a Muslim, it would only have been legal because she was a child. The passing of Sue Bradford’s anti-child beating law last year has made assaulting a child illegal.

    Anti-child beating law? Now look who using superlatives (a crime The Standard criticises Family Fist for doing).

    There is no way that Pierson can decide for a High Court what is, or what is not, legal under the law. There were many cases under the old law which criminalised parents who assaulted their child. The difference was that it was left up to the discretion of a judge and not an ordinary, everyday policeman who can now prosecute cases as small and insignificant as a man who clips his son’s ear.

    The case of the Iraqi man in today’s papers is no argument for the anti-smacking legislation undoubtedly he would have been prosecuted and found guilty under the old law (as many others before) but we shall never know, thanks to busybodies in Parliament who have nothing better to contribute to this country other than meddle in the lives of ordinary New Zealanders.

    I see your friends at Family First have readmitted the petition to Parliament with over 350 000 signatures. I think its time you gave up the crusade, Pierson, and got a real job.

    [lprent: Machines don’t have opinions – people do. Talk about the poster rather than the site, because it doesn’t have an opinion. read the policy page from the menu]

  19. higherstandard 19


    I think the one thing that everyone is in agreement on is that it’s not OK for parents to hit their kids for having friends of a different religion the only disagreement between all parties is the effect of repealing S59 on parents being able to give a smack on the bum to a kiddie when they’re completely out of control and about to harm themselves or others and the vast amount of good parents who give a occasional smack on the bum being worried about being criminalised for this.

    The counter argument is that the Repeal of Sect 59 will decrease and eventually stop those cases of real bashing and abuse that both sides of the debate find abhorent.

    None of us will know what the outcome of Repeal of Section 59 will be for some time as the stats will take a while to come through.

  20. Hoolian 20

    Btw, wasn’t Helen Clark in favour of a smack? I quite clearly remember her reply to Bob McCroskie’s “So you do not want to see smacking banned?” as “Absolutely not, I think you are trying to defy human nature.”

    Or is it OK for Clark to flip-flop on issues, but not for the John Key?

  21. sean14. Now we should never use hypotheticals? Is that the best you can do?

    You’re clearly unfamiliar with how the law works. Some issues are matters of law, others are matter of fact. Judges and juries are bound by the terms of legislation but then must interpret that legislation for real-world events. In the riding corp case, the jury had to decide whether, as a matter of fact, hitting a child with a riding crop met the test of ‘reasonable force’ for correction based on the evidence and previous case law. They said yes. And their finding was within the terms of the legislation – they didn’t get it ‘wrong’ because their finding was legally valid, it was within the terms of the legislation.

    Now, the law has been changed removing the ‘reasonable force’ test for correction. So there is no way for a jury to find that hitting a child with a riding crop, or for a jury to say that hitting your daughter dating a Muslim is OK… the new law makes those behaviours illegal as a matter of law.

    – ps if Graeme’s reading, I know I’m doing a slapdash job explaining matters of fact and law but it’s a blog post, I can’t replicate Laws101 for them in this space.

  22. Billy 22

    Steve said: “No. we have a common law system. Judges are bound to follow precedent from prior decisions (with some exceptions) when dealing with like cases.”

    Steve, it is not true to say that a judge would be bound to follow the riding crop case. Whether the force used was reasonable was a matter of fact. That’s why the jury decided it. Another jury could (and hopefully would) come to a different decision in a similar situation.

    What you have said would require everyone who didn’t fit a glove to be acquitetd using the “OJ Precedent”.

    [Your argument goes to whether the cases are ‘like’. But rest assured many judges have found themselves having to make decisions which they personal thought were worng becuase they were boudn by precedent. Our system of justice is premised on equality before the law. Part of that is consistancy of decisions – so judges cannot simply disregard prior decisions if they don’t like them, it’s unjust. SP]

  23. sean14 23

    Steve –

    Now we should never use hypotheticals? Is that the best you can do?

    You can use hypotheticals all you like – thought experiments are great. What you can’t do is use a hypothetical as the foundation for a personal opinion you present as factual fait accompli.

    In the riding corp case, the jury had to decide whether, as a matter of fact, hitting a child with a riding crop met the test of ‘reasonable force’ for correction based on the evidence and previous case law. They said yes.

    A poor decision, by any stretch. Please tell me what part of the new section 59 will stop juries from making poor decisions in future?

    Now, the law has been changed removing the ‘reasonable force’ test for correction.

    Agreed, and introduced the ‘reasonable force’ test for prevention of harm, prevention of criminal behaviour, prevention of disruptive or offensive behaviour, and performance of normal daily tasks incidental to good parenting.

    If I am correct, the boy in the riding crop case was swinging a baseball bat at someone. I would think any halfway competent lawyer could paint that in court as disruptive and/or offensive behaviour (and possibly criminal behaviour), so doesn’t that bring us back to your square one of juries having to make decisions on matters of fact? Notice I don’t present what I am saying as fact, I’m simply asking if it’s possible.

    Your claim that the new section 59 is the panacea you seem to think it is can’t be validated until the new section 59 has been extensively tested in court.

  24. Matthew Pilott 24

    There were many cases under the old law which criminalised parents who assaulted their child. The difference was that it was left up to the discretion of a judge and not an ordinary, everyday policeman who can now prosecute cases as small and insignificant as a man who clips his son’s ear.

    Funny, Hoolian, that we can see the same thing, and think somewthing so entirely different.

    one of th best factors about the repeal of s59 was that police said they were now able to truly use discretion – previously, police said they would not prosecute in cases where they thought child abuse had taken place, because they knew the courts would toss it out as ‘discipline’.

    So your oridnary. everyday policeman that is unsuited to making decisions, can, in my eyes, thankfully, make decisions without the interference of an onscene law!

    Funny thing, perception.

    P.S. Maybe helen Clark is showing she has more ‘common sense’ than you – at least she recognised that the intent, and effect, of the law, wouldn’t be to stop light smacking, any more than the Crimes Act on Assault was meant to stop people playing contact sport!

  25. Matthew Pilott 25

    Not to self – proof read, no matter how rushed you are. Otherwise ‘obscene’ looks like ‘onscene’, among other errors.

  26. Billy 26

    “…so judges cannot simply disregard prior decisions if they don’t like them…”

    Not saying they can, SP. You are confusing the law and facts. The trier of fact (Judge or jury) decides as a matter of fact (not law) whether in given circumstances whipping someone with a riding crop is reasonable.

    It is only the law which is subject to precedent.

  27. Ari 27

    I’m not sure how you can refer to a judgement of whether something is “reasonable” as a “fact”, rather than an opinion, Billy.

  28. Billy 28

    Ari: In a legal sense there is “fact” and there is “law”. The law applies to the facts. Opinion doesn’t come into it.

  29. infused 29

    Dear or dear Steve. I really cannot believe the crap you write.

  30. Paul Robeson 30

    Good to see the malcontents are out again to argue for our right to beat our children.

    I’m sorry but didn’t this pass parliament with an overwhelming majority and the support of both major parties?

  31. The law applies to the facts. Opinion doesn’t come into it.

    Yes Billy – the law is facts and the absolute objective truth. That’s why we don’t have a court of appeal or a supreme court. No, hold on, we do… shucks maybe you’re wrong…

  32. Billy 32

    No. I’m not.

    I’ll try again. There are facts. Someone is charged with responsibility of establishing the facts. That can be a judge or a jury.

    Once the trier of fact has established what the facts are, a judge applies the law to them. The application of the law to the facts can be appealed. This is why we have superior Courts, ‘sod.

    Whether hitting a child with a riding crop is reasonable force in the circumstances of a particular case is a matter of fact, not of law. You and I might have different opinions on whether it is reasonable force (actually, probably not) but once a jury has decided it is, in a legal sense, this is a fact.

    The next time a case called to be decided under the section, a new jury would determine the facts. A different make-up of the jury may well prodice different “facts”.

  33. Well I’ll be damned if Helen Clark thinks she can come into my house and tell me I’m not allowed to beat my own wife.

  34. Ari 34

    And here was I thinking that judges produced judgements, not facts 😉

  35. They actually produce judgments. No ‘e’. It’s one of those kooky things about the law.

  36. Gooner 36

    Virtually everything in your post is wrong.

    The only thing that isn’t is your link because you copied it correctly.

  37. Lew 37

    Billy: I owe you a beer. I hope people actually read and understand your obvious but often overlooked remark on how systems of law work. A lot of the bleating I hear about how things are unjust or unfair or illegal or corrupt really come down to people disagreeing with the properly-constituted authorities. Well, sorry. If you wants rule of law, you gots to accept it whether you like a specific result or not. If you don’t like the results a system produces, change the system, or lobby for it to be changed.

    Case in point: 2004 US Presidential election. I don’t like Bush; I don’t like his politics, I don’t believe he’s been a good leader, etc. But I fucking hate when people claim he wasn’t elected, or that he stole the election. He didn’t: the result in Florida was decided by the properly constituted authority: the Supreme Court of the US. Then there’s the argument that he stacked the SCOTUS in his favour: sure, he did. But he did so *legally*, using mechanisms agreed to and accepted by the properly constituted authorities.

    (Disclaimer: Although it might seem contradictory given this view, I don’t disagree with all illegal forms of protest by simple fact of their illegality; that is, I don’t believe the law is necessarily sacred. What I disagree with is people claiming something is against the law because they don’t like it, when actually it’s perfectly legitimate.)


  38. I’m with Gooner. In your hypothetical case, the assault would have been assault and the guy could expect to be charged just like he was in the real case. Your claim that it would have been legal to hit her hand is false, let alone your claim that it would have been legal to “beat” her, which is just plain laughable.

    The only difference pre-repeal of S59 was that the guy would have had the opportunity to try and convince a jury that his action was reasonable. Speculating on what that hypothetical jury might or might not have found is singularly pointless.

  39. Matthew Pilott 39

    Of course, Psycho Milt, if the police knew about it there’s a good chance they’d have ignored her complaint because they knew that there was a decent chance it would be tossed out of court under S59, and they’d therefore decide not to bother going for prosecution. They don’t have that problem now.

  40. higherstandard 40


    You have a very low opinion of the Police to think that before the repeal of Section 59 they would have ignored the call from a young woman complaining that her father had assaulted her.

  41. Matthew Pilott 41

    HS, no, I have a very high opinion and sympathised when I read that Police wanted to report such cases but knew it wouldn’t be worth it; the S59 defence would make it a waste of time.

  42. Steve:

    That man would of been arrested before sue’s bill.

    Im also pretty sure if that had of been a Muslim man beating his Muslim daughter for dating a Christian, you guys at the standard probably wouldnt of mention it.

  43. Matthew Pilott 43

    Im also pretty sure if that had of been a Muslim man beating his Muslim daughter for dating a Christian, you guys at the standard probably wouldnt of mention it.

    And now Brett Dale joins Robinsod in using the pig-fcuker agrument. On ya Brett, a new low for you. Stopped beating your wife yet?

  44. sean14 44

    If we assume that the jury made a stupid decision in the riding-crop case for example, what part of the new section 59 will stop juries making similar stupid decisions in the future?

  45. Billy 45

    sean14: nothing. Perhaps the answer is that people are too stupid to sit on juries. If they are that stupid, maybe we also need to revisit universal sufferage.

  46. Matthew Pilott 46

    There is no new S59 Sean – it was repealed. What happened could not happen because a jury can no longer decide that violence is excusable under the guise of discipline. So, Billy, perhaps this just means there’s one less way for a jury to screw up?

  47. Billy 47

    Of course, Matthew is right. I meant, under the old legislation, there would have been nothing.

  48. sean14 48

    Thanks Matthew. One less way for a jury to screw up is a helpful way to put it.

  49. dave 50

    Steve, you are so ignorant its not worth commenting, but just so your readers can engage their brains….

    he hit out at her several times while she cowered under a blanket. He struck her hand causing swelling and bruising.
    Hitting out at someone cowering under a blanket and bruising her his not physical discipline with the purposes of correction. Thats because although he was trying to correct her, he was not using physical discipline as per case law.

    Oh and Matthew, if Section 59 was repealed, why then is it still in the crimes act? Duh.

  50. Matthew Pilott 51

    Hi dave, no need to be obnoxious about it.

    You’re right, it was actually substituted, after the original S59 was repealed. That doesn’t change the content of my last comment a jot, but if splitting hairs is your thing don’t let me stop you.

  51. Of course, Psycho Milt, if the police knew about it there’s a good chance they’d have ignored her complaint because they knew that there was a decent chance it would be tossed out of court under S59, and they’d therefore decide not to bother going for prosecution. They don’t have that problem now.

    Again, speculating on what police officers might have done or not done in hypothetical situations lacks purpose. We do know that parents were prosecuted and often convicted for assault before Sue Bradford stuck her nose in. All that Bradford has achieved is to remove a potential defence against assault charges, thus transferring the obligation to reach a decision on the applicability of that defence from a jury that’s heard all the evidence, to whichever police officers attend. How exactly is that supposed to constitute an improvement? Are you willing to trust police discretion over your right to a jury of your peers for other crimes as well?

  52. Dave 53

    If the police knew about it there?s a good chance they?d have ignored her complaint because they knew that there was a decent chance it would be tossed out of court under S59,
    A beating that causes bruising is not physical dscipline with reasonable force under the circumstances so a S59 defence would have failed miserably. Its quite clear that this man hit his daughter, venting his anger, because of what she did, not because he wanted to correct anything she may do in future. Being pissed off with someone and hitting them is not physical discipline, its is assault, even under the old S59.

    Smacking that causes brusing, OTOH, may be classifed as within the old sectin 59 by some people, a view which I dont share.

  53. Matthew Pilott 54

    Psycho Milt: it’s also really brought the issue out into the open, and the wider domestic violence issue. I can’t fault Bradford for “Sue Bradford [sticking] her nose in” given our rates of child abuse, there are bigger issues at hand.

    It’s making a difference.

  54. Dave 55

    It’s a pity your link to the Herald had nothing to do with your comment – did you post the wrong link? Perhaps you meant this one?

  55. Matthew Pilott 56

    Dave, if you think domestic violence and child abuse aren’t closely linked then there’s nothing more to say to you.

  56. Dave 57

    Matthew, If you think light smacking and child abuse are the same, you have a screw loose somewhere and theres nothing more to say to you either.

  57. r0b 58

    Hey Dave, link whore your own articles much? Does your anti Labour sentiment influence your views on this issue at all?

    (As a passing note, I am always disappointed when I see “committed christians” on the wrong side of this debate.)

  58. Dave 59

    Does your anti Labour sentiment influence your views on this issue at all
    Hardly, the bill was a Green PM bill. What’s Labour got to do with another party’s bill r0b?

  59. randal 60


  60. higherstandard 61

    And while the vast well meaning rump on both sides who abhor child abuse argue the rights and wrongs of the repeal of Section 59 sadly kids still continue to be treated appallingly – really what would motivate any mother to stab a two year old even – unbelievable.

    And randal (Conan) it appears from your post that Dave isn’t the one with the screw loose.

  61. lprent 62

    RANDAL – please stop SHOUTING. It annoys me. Have a look at the FAQ page at the top of the screen for more subtle ways of highlighting points. But personally I think you should read your comments before pressing Submit, and consider how you could word them better.

  62. dave 63

    you wouldn’t have a few screws loose, would you – or don`t you know because you can’t find the screws….

  63. Matthew Pilott:

    What is a pig Fcuker argument?

    By the way, Im 27 years old and have never hit anyone in my life.

  64. Opps that should read 37. hehehe.

    So Im hardly a violent person perhaps you had me mixed up Trevor Mallard, and remember it was okay what he did, because he was under stress according to Aunty Helen.

  65. randal 66

    I never read the faq’s….never…I am an anarchist. i dont beleive in anything especially not the great god production. I believe in raiding looting and plundering and demcocray is a heap of crap for hot house weaklings and will be be the first thing to disappear when the oil runs out and the world is depopulated and the strong survive…OK!

  66. Billy 67

    And, strangely enough, no-one has employed you, randal. It is beyond me.

  67. Lew 68

    Well, at least there’s one person on this thread who knows he’s a barking idiot.

    Dave: “A beating that causes bruising is not physical dscipline with reasonable force under the circumstances so a S59 defence would have failed miserably.”

    This is patently false. The Law Society supported the S59 repeal on exactly this basis: that juries could not be relied upon to convict in cases where discipline left bruising, citing the now-famous Timaru Riding Crop case:

    “Hardly, the bill was a Green PM bill. What’s Labour got to do with another party’s bill r0b?”

    This is a very fucking good point which both sides frequently forget. The S59 repeal was the result of a Green Party Private Member’s Bill broadly supported by both Labour and National MPs. The difference is that Labour MPs were whipped whereas National MPs were not. They largely supported the bill out of loyalty for their new leader John Key, who was widely regarded as having used the passage of the bill (which would have passed anyway) as an opportunity to look `statesmanlike’, a decision which I think most would now agree was very successful. This represented a double win for National. Because Labour MPs were whipped to support the bill, they were seen as being `forced’ to do so by their `tyrannical’ leader. National MPs supported the bill apparently `of their own free will’m, following Key’s `magnanimous’ gesture of compromise. Superb PR work, though I must confess at the time I thought it would be Key’s undoing – I misoverestimated the power of the child-beating faction within National, as I think did the country.


  68. Lew 69

    Sorry, If I wasn’t clear enough in that post who the one person is, it’s randal.


    Captcha: Comedy $500,000 – if only anarchist nutters were actually worth that on the open market.

  69. Matthew Pilott 70

    If you think light smacking and child abuse are the same, you have a screw loose somewhere

    Dave – I can easily see the difference, but unfortunately it wasn’t so clear in the eyes of the law when the previous iteration of S59 was a law. Fortunately this has changed – i would assume you’re thankful for that. And as I was saying, the debate around the repeal of S59 has helped highlight child abuse, and what rights children have. But if you fail to see that then I still can’t help you.

    Brett Dale, you used a pig fcuker argument. It’s pretty simple, you make a facile, cheap argument and try to get people to defend it.

    Im also pretty sure if that had of been a Muslim man beating his Muslim daughter for dating a Christian, you guys at the standard probably wouldnt of mention it.

    I was not accusing you of beating anyone at all, apologies if you took my comment literally – I was illustrating how an argument such as yours can be used to make a point against someone without having any substance whatsoever (I.e. I have no evidence you’ve been violent towards any wife you may or may not have, and you’ve got nothing to back up your offensive assertion that no author here would complain if a Muslim hit his daughter for dating a christian).

    Pretty simple stuff really.

    And if you’re extra confused, I mixed up the letters in a certain word to avoid moderation and the delays that can ensue.

  70. Dave 71

    So why do you think those who lightly smack kids – that is not child abuse – be committing a criminal offence, Matthew.

  71. Dave 72

    The Law Society supported the S59 repeal on exactly this basis: that juries could not be relied upon to convict in cases where discipline left bruising, citing the now-famous Timaru Riding Crop case:
    I`d like to see evidence that this case caused bruising, not just hearsay comment from the Law Society who havent even spoken with the woman. I think I know a little bit more about the riding crop case than the Law Society does.

  72. Lew 73

    Dave: What does talking with the woman have to do with whether the injury caused bruising?


  73. RedLogix 74

    So why do you think those who lightly smack kids – that is not child abuse – be committing a criminal offence, Matthew.

    Most of us who supported the repeal of S59 were not especially interested in ‘crminalising’ the kind of trivial, transient light smacks that a parent may occasionally resort to out of frustration or lack of a better alternative to hand. We fully anticipated that the legal system would do exactly what it has done, and apply sane discretion in these minor cases…exactly as it does almost everywhere else in the law. Everyday in NZ there are thousands of trivial, technical breaches of the assault laws between adults, yet almost none of them result in a conviction. And exactly the same has happened since the repeal of S59; despite the fact that thousands of NZ kids still probably get the odd smack or two… the Courts are not jam packed with parents being turned into criminals.

    All that has happened is that children now enjoy the same legal protection as do adults. And the real child abusers no longer have an excuse of “disciplining the child” to hide behind and they must be under no illusion that if they are caught they WILL be convicted.

    What is wrong with that Dave, and why after almost whole year has passed does this issue still get you so upset?

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