your views

below are comments sent in to us from Kiwis all around New Zealand: voting no | voting yes

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VOTING NO:

Dale Jackson (Wanganui)
No smacking should not be a criminal offence. cheers

Rosie (Wellington)
Do you publish all comments or just ones you like?

Steve Meikle (Christchurch)
The thinking behind Sue Bradford's bil is sloppy, lazy and utterly self righteous. She cant distinguish between smacking a child and beating it to death? It is liberalism gone haywire, which is a shame for I loathe the Right with passion, yet on this Bradford's madness has forced me to agree with them. Something I hate being put in a position of having to do... I definitely voted NO.

Barbara (Auckland)
The goverment is wrong and has done this all the wrong way they should make the penalties for child abuse stronger but what they have done is made victim the good parent's. My daughter is ADHD and sometimes tmeout and that don't work what am i suppose to do? I never agreed to the anti smacking bill because sometimes that is all my daughter recognises as to the fact that she has done something wrong and yet i am made to feel gulity because of it.

Conklin (Chch)
Good parents have nothing to fear, huh Judy. Who defines 'good'? 3 options, I reckon for the definition of the universal 'good'. Originally the word good, comes from God, but he advocates physical punishment many times in the Bible, so it can't be that one. Second would be the majority of society, but the majority of society (still 85%) thinks smacking is 'good', so it can't be society either. The third option is government, who in overruling God and the majority of society have installed their own version of 'good', so 'good' is whatever the government defines it to be, so lets get rid of that confusing word 'good' and substitute it the way it was meant. Rather than 'good parents have nothing to fear', it should be 'parents that act in a way that the government wants them to act, have nothing to fear'. Sounds a but like fascism to me.

Jonathan Buckley (Katikati)
We have had several tragic events happen recently and this has caused us to react. Hence the debate over smacking and where this stands in law. Both sides of this debate have valid and extremely important messages. New Zealanders have disciplined certain ways for many generations, and this is continually changing, out of will to parent better. Just as Rome was not born in a day, neither is a persons belief system or kopupa.

For those that think this law will be well received by concerned Maori. I think Maori are a little sick and tired of being bossed around by people that aren't living their experience. Note: This may stunt the process of change. Should a parent be expected to have their personal beliefs not only challenged but found criminal by law. Would we still be creating a law if no serious incidences or deaths had taken place. And the process of change continued to work gently with all parents and caregivers.

This law is unlikely to change those parents that back the way they discipline. And far less likely, in itself, to prevent the tragedies that are occurring during this time. So the desired positive effect of this law is not achieved. I guess the referendum will indicate that a blanket solution does not apply in this case.

Vote No

Christina (Auckland)
I'm definitely going to vote NO. My parents smacked me as a child, but I would never want them to be charged or named as, "Criminal offenders". They're loving people who cared about me. I was smacked because I did something wrong. and did I turn out to be a violent person because I was smacked? No. Is my husband a violent abuser because he was smacked as a child? No. Just because some minority take it too far and starts abusing their child, doesn't mean the majority who smacks lightly are criminal offenders.

Genna (Auckland)
If a light smack is criminal offense. Then a kiss is sexual harassment.

Paul (Auckland)
I say NO to New Zealand's social engineering criminal Sue Bradford

Robyn Davies (Whakatane)
all i can say is im glad my kids are grown...id hate to be bringing up children now.Im gonna vote no! Sue Bradford should stop sticking her nose into other peoples lives...the people who are killing their kids and abusing them dont care one iota 1 smack doesnt lead to abuse if anything undisciplined and selfish childen will lead to all sorts of problems down the line wait and see...its already happening

Sue Nuttall (Auckland)
Here, Here, definatly vote NO.A good parent smacks to teach a child discipline or to remind a child there could be a danger or consequence to there continued behaviours that could result in harm. ,if they dont listen.Spare the rod ,ruin the child.We certainly dont need the next generation to be one of ruined individuals without boundaries!!!! Vote NO and do your child a service by teaching them respect.Child bashing is something other,to be dealt with in a different forum.It is an entirely different matter and parents who smack as a discipline only do so in a controlled maner for the greater good and childs safety and wellbeing

Vote NO

Petrina (Invercargill)
I vote no when people are killing their kids and no1 gets charged what the hell is going on with our systems. I hate seeing people in the courts for 1 smack as their teenagers have put themselves in danger or being done for a flick on the ear. BIG DIFFERENCE between that and killing a kid!!There needs to be more education in these places of poverty to deal with this instead of spending all this money on advertising put it towards support networks and help people in need. There are good people sufferring for trying to put their kids on track but then twins get murdered wheres the justice ??? no1 gets convicted !! VOTE no

Jonathan Buckley (Katikati)
We have had several tragic events happen recently and this has caused us to react. Hence the debate over smacking and where this stands in law.

Both sides of this debate have valid and extremely important messages.

New Zealanders have disciplined certain ways for many generations, and this is continually changing, out of will to parent better. Just as Rome was not born in a day, neither is a persons belief system or kopupa. For those that think this law will be well received by concerned Maori. I think Maori are a little sick and tired of being bossed around by people that aren't living their experience. Note: This may stunt the process of change. Should a parent be expected to have their personal beliefs not only challenged but found criminal by law. Would we still be creating a law if no serious incidences or deaths had taken place. And the process of change continued to work gently with all parents and caregivers. This law is unlikely to change those parents that back the way they discipline. And far less likely, in itself, to prevent the tragedies that are occurring during this time. So the desired positive effect of this law is not achieved. I guess the referendum will indicate that a blanket solution does not apply in this case.

Vote No

Rosemary (Auckland)
Sue Bradford should be concentrating on the real abusers, not the parents that are teaching their children right from wrong as they are attempting to teach their children to be law abiding. If this Bill goes through what sort of delinquent non law abiding children are going to be living in our lovely country. Get a grip and get to the REAL ABUSERS!!!

June Bennett (Whitianga 3510)
A vote of NO is vital if we are to have well disciplined children who have a strong sense of the right behavior in a democratic society. The Government Funded Agencies support a yes vote because they have to justify their existence. The result of Social Engineering by the last Labour/Green Government and the creation of the "Nanny State". I am a Grandmother of a child who came home from Kindergarten and told his father "you can't smack me" I will tell the policeman on you! To say I am angry (and this whole family is) is the understatement! All children especially before five need to know when they have crossed the line! Three warnings and then sent to the bathroom and a smack on the backside does wonders and is a shock not pain. My youngest (in Australia) still says that without this she would not have been able to keep out of trouble! Her children are well brought up against the ones here! This law is a farce and we are and will be breeding a generation of undisciplined youth who will enable the Social Agencies to gain more funding pretending to care while good well brought up parents are treated like criminals!

Honk (Wanganui)
no it should not be anoffence to smack ,children are confused now what pain is ,you cant build the world up on love alone putting them in the arny wont they will come out brain dead

Prit (Wellington)
I will vote No. I think we as New Zealand Citizens need to look at the question put our feelings aside and answer the question. The question states should A smack meaning one smack be a criminal offence? I don't think so. The study done in Otago university states that a light smack on the hand DOES NOT harm the child at all nor physically or mentally. People say wake up New Zealand for the first time New Zealand parents are awake and they are speaking up. If my child breaks the law the police will come to me they won't go to the government and ask for their advise so who is responsible for my child ME. I don't think people should decide what is best for my children. I am responsible to bring my child up to be a good citizen and not just that to be a warm and loving men. I was thinking the other day what the government was going to take away from me next?

Roger Strong (Waikato)
Its a bill that no one wanted, wasn\'t needed and the vast majority want gone! Smacking children has never been compulsory its just one small tool in a parents tool kit. Let common sense prevail-vote NO!

Jo (Manukau City)
A smack shold be allowed, it does not make us abusers, there is a small minority who bash their children and their partners, and they should be the focus of this. I cant believe it has got to this point, I got a smack as a child and It has not hurt me, and it will not hurt my children either

Graham (Rotorua)
Good on you Simon. I agree, its about teaching our kids about consequences to their actions

J Stowers (Auckland)
I vote NO

Leanne Cotter-Arlidge (Napier)
I consider myself a great parent as is my husband. We have very strong willed children and now and then they will get a smack. I don't want to feel guilty about that. I don\'t like doing it much and it is never in anger. Parents need to be able to parent with some force at times. Reasoning and banning toys doesn't always work, especially in dangerous situations. Stop eroding parents rights to PARENT as they see fit. This is not a nany state, don't let it become one!

Louis Delamore (Auckland)
Most NZers would be able to differentiate between a light smack, and a full force blow. When I grew up in the 80s we had no such ridiculous law in place, and my parants gave me the odd smack. These where their way of combating my bad behaviour. I turned out allright, im a non violent person with a positive attitude. All that comes to my mind when I hear about this law is NANNY STATE. thank god helens gone, and I would have hoped that with that we would have a little more control of our own lives.

Paul (Kawerau)
What is the problem with a corrective licht smack? I have no trauma from my upbringing when it was still allowed. This law doesn't stop abuse from parents how can\'t care less anyway, look at the family court statistics, so way making good parent like criminals. By the way, it is remarkably surprising that it are only male who have been before the court. Discrimination again?

Rob (Tauranga)
Ms Bradford says its ok to use force to prevent a dangerous situation...Whats more dangerous than a society in the future of undisciplined adults...we already have a problem with that issue now... (possibly due to removal of corporal punishment in schools some years ago)....Removal of last resort option of smacking will turn it into an epidemic! Also can someone omeone tell me how you reason with a defiant 2-3 yr old?? A short sharp smack on the hand ...It has worked fantastically for my kids who have great habits and attitudes and heaps of love.....smacking works!...

Ivan (Auckland)
It's time that good people stand up for what is right! This government has been put in place BY the people FOR the people, they are here to serve us, not the other way round. The government is not there to tell me how to raise my children. Strange how John Key has also changed his views now that he is in power. Well, My children will be brought up to know the difference between right and wrong, they will learn about consequences and will learn about respect for other people and at the same time they will be much loved and cared for.

- Dad to be

Chuck Bird (Auckland)
This website explains the most of issues. I would encourage everyone to post this website address to all their friends

Joseph Ka (Manukau)
I am reminded of the principles in Piper, Dodd v Piper [1946] 2 All ER 503 and Blathwayt v Lord Cawley [1976] AC 397; [1975] 3 All ER 625 (HL) which, if applicable, may hold the (conditions in the) anti-smacking laws to be designed to deter parents from performing their parental duties therefore void as malum prohibitum and contrary to public policy. Each case has to be considered on the facts. Congratulations on your great work for the good parents of this country.

Kim Blight (Hokitika)
Well done for the great job you are doing. My only concern about the new proposed bill is the stipulation that a smack should always be with the hand. I was always taught that the hand was much more liable to cause spinal damage than say, a wooden spoon, which, as many children will testify, breaks when more than reasonable force is used! Also, use of the hand means that whenever scolding, the child flinched whenever one raised the hand, even to just wag a finger.

Paul Brookbanks (North Shore City)
Sue Bradford has an agenda against functional families. The current Bill is an attempt by an angry socialist to disempower loving parents and label them as criminals. Any sensible kiwi should be able to discern between child abuse and discipline by a smack to the bottom or hand. Children need limits. So do parents or extended family who abuse.

Regards, Paul ( a loving dad with gorgeous girls)

Bart Hanson (Christchurch)
A recent (June '09) poll on the stuff.co.nz website (23-6-09) which asked exactly the same question as the referendum question had 82% voting No from 1949 votes. You educate for better behaviour, not legislate for it!

Megan Wood (Christchurch)
I have been going to the Plunket 'Pepe' (Parent education) courses after recently having my first child, and was dismayed that they discuss as part of their content this bill and that Plunkets official position is to vote yes in the referendum. At the very least I would have thought it would be more appropriate that they presented a balanced point of view. I thought that this is something that you should be aware of.

Katrina Urlich (BeachHaven)
I have msn as my home page and I have to say at the end of the "celebs go toe to toe" article it is highlighted to pick the 'yes' vote and Ifound that extremely confusing, it would be easy to tap into the yes button!!!, and I think that is ill conceived, all those celebs that are yes vote seem to be those folk that are yes global warming on TV, and I think that they should be able to back up most of their convictions!!!! Hence my vote most definetly for NO!! No one should feel guilty for the way they parent their child/children unless it is truly child abuse and then you should have no protection from anyone or any source.

Prit (wellington )
I will vote No. I think we as New Zealand Citizens need to look at the question put our feelings aside and answer the question. The question states should A smack meaning one smack be a criminal offence? I don't think so. The study done in Otago university states that a light smack on the hand DOES NOT harm the child at all nor physically or mentally. People say wake up New Zealand for the first time New Zealand parents are awake and they are speaking up. If my child breaks the law the police will come to me they won't go to the government and ask for their advise so who is responsible for my child ME. I don't think people should decide what is best for my children. I am responsible to bring my child up to be a good citizen and not just that to be a warm and loving men.I was thinking the other day what the government was going to take away from me next?

Musonda (Hamilton)
My growing up included being smacked if not beaten by my parents and I am proud they took that stance for they have helped shape who I am today and I am very very greatful for that. I grew up in a rough neighbourhood with exposures to many vices but I could not indulge because of my parents. At the time I thought they were being unfair to me especially compared to my friends but now I understand and I am so proud of them. I have also come to know over the years that words actually hurt kids more than smacking does.

A.Macdonald (Gore)
Ms Bradfords law his nothing to do with chiold abuse at all. It is about the state intrusion of the home and subsequent intimidisation and victimisation of loving sound ,caring parents. Its about the state,CYFS, police and schools ganging up with the kids against good moral parents, It induces dishonour and disdain amongst the kids and leaves the parents flattenned and without authority in their own home. It is communism in NZ


VOTING YES:

Tiffany (Auckland)
Just because you think the majority of NZers want the referendum does not make it right - lets not forget that there was plenty of support for Hitler and also for the Slave Trade. What do these three things have in common? Physical power over others. It is my belief that in years to come future generations will look back at those who defended their right to smack our little ones and feel appalled in a similar way. When you smack a child you are violating their physical bodies and you could potentially set them up to allow other adults to violate them - whereas a child who is not physically violated who is taught that others have respect for them and their bodies is far more likely to speak up in situations of sexual abuse for example. It is entirely possible to raise well-rounded children without smacking - I have done it. I am not a jellyfish parent, one can be firm and consistent without smacking. Be honest, you smack because in that moment you can\'t be bothered thinking of a positive alternative and you are just lashing out. I don't like the wording of the referendum because a smack is never part of good parental correction.

Stephan Hamat-Rains (Wellington)
While I believe that good parental discipline shouldn't be illegal, I am somewhat confused as to what this referendum is intended to accomplish.

On your website you state that the number of notifications to CYF have increased, but the number of cases requiring further investigation has decreased. To me that suggests that the law people are confused by the meaning of the law, rather than the law itself being wrong. Surely a program of education would be more productive?

Also, you state that the solution is to deal with the real causes of child abuse, which I agree with. How does this referendum do this? Would it not be better for the children to spend the $10 million the referendum is likely to cost the taxpayer on programs designed to reduce the incidence of child abuse instead?

Chris Foreman (Auckland)
I am truly amazed that this kind of debate is going on at all. Good parents don't HIT their kids at all. Look up the definition of smack. To use physical force. When I was smacked as a kid, it just taught me resentment and anger towards the smacker. Grow up New Zealand. Stop cheating on your kids. Learn more effective strategies than any kind of violence. Tell them off instead. Send them to their room. take their toys away. To one person a smack is a smack. To another it is a bash. Kids are small. Don't bash your kids. It's lazy, and any form of violence usually regenerates itself in society. Get some education. Don't you want your kids to be your friends? The real cause of child abuse starts with people thinking its O.K. to Hit their children. As theyre promoting on the tele. VIOLENCE IS NOT O.K

Mike (Ashburton)
The point about the current law is it removes the defence of reasonable force from abusive parents. If this means that this make me think twice about smacking my children, so that a parent who has seriously injured a child does not have this dubious defence than I think smacking is a parental right I am prepared to sacrifice. Much against my initial reservations I now think this is a good law.

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