NZ Green Party
Dazed and confused by referendum

It seems I’m not the only one confused about the meaning of the question in the forthcoming referendum:

Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?

I initially wondered if it was asking whether I should get the bash if I don’t look after the tadpoles properly.

I see John Key and Phil Goff have both said they think the wording is ambiguous and confusing.

And the Act Party’s intellectual heavyweight John Boscawen seems very confused too.  In a questionnaire response published by The Hand Mirror, Boscawen replied:

Multi-choice questions (candidate’s answer is in bold):

In the forthcoming Child Discipline referendum New Zealanders should:
Vote Yes OR Vote No or Abstain
Candidate comment: Because I beleive (sic) parents should be able to correct their children’s behaviour. I have a private members bill promoting a change.

And we’re spending almost $9 million on this nonsense that is so badly worded that even the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition can’t understand it.

Well done Sue Bradford for putting forward a Member’s Bill to ensure questions in citizens initiated referenda are not ambiguous, complex, leading, or misleading. The child discipline one would fail on three of those four counts.

Let’s hope Sue’s bill is drawn in today’s ballot, or if not, the Government is prepared to take it up, as John Key indicated yesterday he is considering.

255 thoughts on “Dazed and confused by referendum

  1. mayhap an educational smack will help them understand – worked for me…(not)

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  2. What stunning political timing from Sue. You do realise it will be seen as anti-referendum (democracy)?

    While the question could be better, it’s hardly rocket science. Well, maybe the people who can’t tell the difference between a light smack and assault with a 4×2 won’t understand it, but they don’t pay much attention to matters of law and state anyway.

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  3. The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition have both indicated that they believe the referrendum is invalid because of the ambiguity of the question posed. The fire and brimstone that is rising about us now would seem to be of no particular value; dissecting the bill, looking for nuances of meaning or attacking the character of the author are doubtless amusing, but in terms of entertainment, come nowhere near the levels of hilarity to be found watching the paddy-whackers squirm.

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  4. Peter – anti-democracy! Hah! What twaddle! It’s patently obvious to all but the unbending, that the referrendum wording is a mess of pottage. Sue clearly wants to ensure that future wordings are clear. Key has mumbled his support. You’ll not get anywhere with this attempt to cast nasturtiums.

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  5. Hahahahaha… Boscawen said “Yes” when he meant “No”!

    Why didn’t that get better publicised before the Mt Albert byelection. Might have got his share of the vote down below 2%.

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  6. pure assault george – when words fail and tempers rise – smack a little human…

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  7. BluePeter said: You do realise it will be seen as anti-referendum (democracy)?

    Only by the wingnuts on the Kiwiblog comments thread BP. Even Granny Herald today has it under banner headline “Govt keen on plan to stop referendum confusion”

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  8. Well, frog, these guys are so full of contradictions that this would seem to have been inevitable.

    After all, how can one be a rabid supporter of a christian philosophy which at the same time says women and children are the cornerstones of the family, the most precious element; but that the man of the house is entitled to beat them if his word is challenged? And that GOD approves of this? Get a life!

    Complete tautology, and shows up the supporters of this ‘Family First’ drivel for the misogynist, bigoted, hypocritical, patriarchal, power-hungry abusers that they are.

    I’ll quote Lily Allen here: try listening to “Him”, which suggests the truth that a lot of nonsense done by humans who then troop off to church is not what any sane God would want done ‘in His name’!

    Then, of course, that leads me off onto whether worshipping a patriarchal, judeo-christian god is an evidence of sanity per se, but I’ll leave that particular thread-hijack for another day …

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  9. We’ll see, Toady.

    As I say, the timing is extraordinary. I can see why you didn’t choose her as leader….

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  10. No your not confused Frog you know exactly what it means : can smacking be a part of good parenting*

    and should smacking be a criminal offence.

    All the mock concern about the wording is what other people will make of it. If people are too dumb to understand they could just be told “should it be illegal to smack your kids’ if they think that means violent assault they are probably Green party members.

    Children who are smacked lightly with an open hand on the bottom, hand or leg do much the same in later life as those who are not smacked, found the Dunedin multidisciplinary health and development study, which has tracked 1000 children since they were born in the city in 1972-73
    //
    The findings undermine Green MP Sue Bradford’s bill to repeal section 59 of the Crimes Act, which allows parents to use “reasonable force” to discipline children.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10404809
    http://www.listener.co.nz/issue/3532/features/10321/show_me_the_child.html

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  11. You’d be wrong in thinking only the religious are opposed to this bill, Katie.

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  12. When the Green Party going to give us their version of the correct wording for the referendum? My impression is you aren’t keen to go down that road.

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  13. Is it true the Green party members weren’t consulted before “My Bill” (Repeal Section 59) went ahead?

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  14. There are so many ambiguities with the question:

    1) It assumes that a smack can be part of good parental correction. Surely that’s a debatable issue and not something that should be just assumed. I would strongly argue, personally, that a smack probably can’t be part of good parental correction.

    2) It talks about “parental correction”, which could be interpreted as “correcting parents.” Then the question becomes non-sensical: should smacking parents be a criminal offence? WTF!!

    3) By assuming (potentially wrongly) that a smack can be part of good parental correction, it basically asks whether good parental correction should be a criminal offence. What if I want to vote “no, good parental correction (of children I will assume) should not be a criminal offence, but I do not believe that a smack can be part of good parental correction”? You could say I should just vote yes, but I’d be voting for something quite different to the actual question.

    4) It assumes that a smack is a criminal offence due to the s59 repeal. That’s a highly debatable issue.

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  15. How sad is our education system? In teaching English, we have killed the comma, which would remove all ability to misconstrue the sentence, if it were appropriately inserted and generally understood.

    The sentence should read:
    “Should a smack, as part of good parental correction, be a criminal offence in New Zealand?”

    This makes it clear that any smack inflicted on a child must be defensible by the ‘smacker’ proving that they are a good parent and that the smack was part of correction – not punishment.

    This simple device, if followed through to the wording in a change to The Act, would result in anyone being charged under the Act having to prove they are a good parent, and the smack was ONLY for correctional purposes. This would eliminate use of a 2×4, eliminate those known to be brutal to their children, eliminate a vast majority of good parents, and allow the courts to act properly within a tight definition.

    Clearly, with so many confused politicians, lessons in grammar, and especially the use of punctuation, need to part of the MP Induction Process. I know the last Clerk of The House was a stickler for punctuation, and rather think his successor is too. Maybe David and Mary should be invited to present the class so there need be no further confusion caused in the House by the appalling state of our education system.

    Live, long and prosper – it will do you good!

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  16. And who killed the comma, Strings? Why, it was the Right-Wingers, of course! They are the Anti-Commanists!

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  17. Why not just leave out the “as part of good parental correction?” bit? That would clear up most of the confusion.

    Actually, to be honest I’m really glad the wording of the question has been screwed up to the point where it’s so ambiguous John Boscawen can’t make sense of it and both Phil Goff and John Key are saying they can’t make sense of it either. A clearer question may have still got a majority “No” vote, and there would have been a much stronger argument for changing the law if that had happened.

    So yeah, thanks for screwing up the question :)

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  18. ….and God, JH, is a bit ticked orf, for you declaring him dead, says he’ll speak with ya later (don’t worry, he’s anti-smacking). Probably just fit you out with a conscience and a Commie outlook
    “while traitors snitch and cowards sneer
    we’ll keep the red flag flyin here.”

    That should do it.

    But define smacking – like others, for me, smacking was a lifetime memory in central wellington – but that wiz in the 60′s – peace and love were still 100 years away from NZ.

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  19. Another ambiguity is over the meaning of the term “smack”. Ever had a “smack in the head”? Jimmy Mason appeared to consider that “good parental correction”.

    Get a jury with a few articulate and forceful people with that sort of attitude on it and all sorts of abusive behaviour by parents is condoned by the criminal justice system – as it was under the old law.

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  20. jh asked:

    Is it true the Green party members weren’t consulted before “My Bill” (Repeal Section 59) went ahead?

    No it is not. As with all Green Party policy, there is extensive consultation with the membership before it is adopted. And I suspect you know that jh.

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  21. “How sad is our education system?”

    Pretty bad if people can’t understand a simple attempt by somebody to connect unrelated matters in order to bolster their assertion.

    What intrigues me about this wording is the “parental correction” phrase. which doesn’t mention children. I presume they wanted to keep the idea of a smack abstract, rather than conjure up the image of a kid getting hit.

    But maybe the backers of the referendum are asserting the right of parents to smack all those they believe should be corrected – MPs, irritating bureaucrats, traffic police, parking wardens, unhelpful retail staff etc etc.?

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  22. Strings Says:
    June 18th, 2009 at 11:04 am

    > The sentence should read:
    “Should a smack, as part of good parental correction, be a criminal offence in New Zealand?”

    > This makes it clear that any smack inflicted on a child must be defensible by the ’smacker’ proving that they are a good parent and that the smack was part of correction – not punishment.

    the problem with that is that ‘correction’ in law basically means ‘punishment’. It does not mean what you and I would think of it as meaning. Hence – another ambiguity.

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  23. any chance of an open thread..?..frog..?

    ..so many questions..

    ..and such sporadic/non-sequential outlet-options..

    ..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  24. The wording of the referrendum was contracted out to one “Lewis Carroll”, well known for his work with compiling Act Party policy.

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  25. 1. You are assuming that ambiguity will be a problem but if people can’t decipher it (the John Boscawen case is just a red herring) they aren’t smart enough to be involved in democracy anyway. The intention is clear.

    2. “Actually, to be honest I’m really glad the wording of the question has been screwed up to the point where it’s so ambiguous John Boscawen can’t make sense of it and both Phil Goff and John Key are saying they can’t make sense of it either. A clearer question may have still got a majority “No” vote, and there would have been a much stronger argument for changing the law if that had happened.

    So yeah, thanks for screwing up the question ”

    you are using ambiguity (actually disingenuity) to derail the referendum and avoid a response to the real question.

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  26. Oh jh, you are a funny fellow! Sue Bradford answered the real question. The referrendum’s Lewis Carroll question is the ambiguous one and it has derailed any faint chance the promoters might have had of repeal.

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  27. you are using ambiguity (actually disingenuity) to derail the referendum and avoid a response to the real question.

    Did I come up with such a stupid question? No.

    What I’m saying is that I’m glad the question is so stupid, because its ambiguity means that nothing will be achieved because it’s so unclear how the question is linked, if at all, to the s59 repeal.

    If the question had simply been “should the s59 repeal be overturned” and it had got 390,000 signatures and were were about to vote on a referendum about that, I would be much more worried.

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  28. Hopefully the up shot will be that while it is possible to misconstrue the meaning of the referendum only an idiot would do so [insert names here ].

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  29. Toad – I can’t decide whether the scene with Boscawen with a lamington on his head was from ‘Alice in Wonderland’ or real life. The image blends so well with Old Father William balancing the eel on his nose…

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  30. I wouldn’t call the main ‘ambiguity’ isn’t in the grammar or the syntax; it’s the way that it doesn’t make clear what legislators should do with any result.

    If intention may be clear to you but if it’s not firmly reflected in the words then it’s a problem.

    See: The Dim Post

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  31. “it’s so unclear how the question is linked, if at all, to the s59 repeal.”

    repeal of S59 was about banning smacking

    http://www.greens.org.nz/node/12844

    “I can’t understand why the Government is delaying doing anything about Section 59 until the next election year. The safety and welfare of our children is too important to put on hold.”

    but

    “Back in December 2007 Sue Bradford admitted on National Radio that, “the epidemic of child abuse and child violence in this country continues. My bill was never intended to solve this problem.”

    Now on TV One Breakfast this morning she admits that her bill was not really necessary when she confirmed that the prosecution and conviction of James Mason in the Christchurch District Court for allegedly punching his son in the ear would have been possible under the old section 59, before her bill was passed.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0905/S00271.htm

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  32. Anybody who says they find the referendum question ambiguous is either being disingenuous, or making a sad commentary on their own intellect.

    It’s pretty simple. Effectively -
    “Should a smack be a criminal offence?”

    This of course has to have some qualification with “as part of good parental correction”, as opposed to “because I felt like it”.

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  33. jh said: …she confirmed that the prosecution and conviction of James Mason in the Christchurch District Court for allegedly punching his son in the ear would have been possible under the old section 59, before her bill was passed.

    It would have been possible jh. But so would an aquittal. The current law removed the latter possibility, which is what it was intended to do.

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  34. Phill Goff says the referendum is ambiguous.

    He says no one in New Zealand wants criminal sanctions against parents who smack.

    Yet this is exactly what he voted for when the law was passed.

    So HE thinks the law does not make it a criminal offence to smack.

    Others who voted for the same law DO think it makes it a criminal offence to smack.

    So he thinks the referendum is ambiguous – what about the actual law !!!!

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  35. photonz – if the question had been clear, there would not have been this furore. It isn’t, there is. No matter how clearly you see it, it has already been declared confusing by the Prime Minister. He can’t say later, that it has become clear. Too late. Game over.

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  36. photonz1, if you think the question is unambiguous, that just means that you are only aware of one of the possible sincere interpretations of it.

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  37. greenfly says – “..it has already been declared confusing by the Prime Minister. He can’t say later, that it has become clear. Too late. Game over.”

    John Key can’t read the question because he’s gone cross-eyed from so solidly sitting on the fence.

    Kahikatea – if you ad “in” in front of your term “sincere interpretations” you’d be more accurate.

    And lets not forget the reason for this costly referendum – the passing of a messy ambiguous law that most of New Zealand didn’t want.

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  38. jarbury (dig it up!)

    yea common assault. The problem that the law is discretionary – the deliverer and recipient would hardly agree less…so the judge is? (too often these are private crimes that emerge, fully dressed up, 20 years later)

    And we are trying to legislate the shadows – gonna haveta call in sapient – he’ll give you chapter and verse on it’s unworkability.

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  39. All criminal law is discretionary, in the the law ‘does not concern itself with trifles’. If I slapped your hand for trying to steal my cocchy bikkie, I would feel wronged if I got charged with assault and would expect it to be thrown out.

    Kidnapping is also illegal. Has anyone every been charged for sending a child to their room?

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  40. photonz1 – surely the reason for the referrendum was the unwillingness of a ginger group to accept new legislation. I find the claim that the poor wording (they admit to it themselves) is the responsibility of those who didn’t challenge it when they had the chance! Tea party!

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  41. “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    This is what happens when you constuct sentences badly.

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  42. dbuckley – should we expect then, some sort of ‘Columbine’ experience, where a smacker goes beserk in a child care centre?

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  43. That may be Sue Bradford’s opinion, but I’ve heard many others with varying answers. It’s also quite unclear as to whether the s59 repeal actually made smacking illegal, or whether it was already illegal.

    It’s interesting to wonder what laws would need to be changed to actually “legalise” smacking. Quite unrelated to s59 potentially.

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  44. jh – Yes? Then you should only smack if you are willing to accept the consequences.

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  45. greenfly “Then you should only smack if you are willing to accept the consequences.”

    Including the risk of having your family destroyed by the nanny state.

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  46. Photonz1 – by ‘nanny state’ I presume you mean the one overseen by this National-led Government?

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  47. For anyone who is confused by the question, I suggest that instead, you answer this question:
    “Should it be a crime to beat up your kids?”
    That is ultimately what the referendum boils down to; it is just that the Kiwi party (who incidentally, also think that teachers should be allowed to beat up kids at school) wants to hide that.

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  48. jarbury; that is my understanding but i haven’t studied the legislation closely, In colloquial terms a ‘too hard’ smack kills babies? Now how can any part of that be legal?
    No kids so i can love children unremittingly – but what i see of parenthood seems dreadfull hard….
    I just think violence is a failure of words, a failure to grow – that it should be visited upon smaller weaker humans by unspecified adults is fraught
    with illegality and abuse

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  49. greenfly – In the last year the nanny state has been governed by a number of parties including the Greens, Maori, Labour, National and Act.

    But generally the more left the political ideas, the more they think they know better than you on how to spend your money and how to raise your family.

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  50. A1kmm – anybody who can freely interchange the words smack and beat should be disallowed from having children.

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  51. photonz1 said: …anybody who can freely interchange the words smack and beat should be disallowed from having children.

    Now, that really would be the State interfering in people’s lives. You’re not a very consistent right winger are you.

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  52. photonz1 said: In the last year the nanny state has been governed by a number of parties </i.

    But it’s National in now, photo, so lets look at what they are doing – Nanny State indeed!

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  53. It’s a jibe, toad.

    The point is, the vast majority of parents who have any common sense can see a big difference between a beating and a smack.

    NZ has a problem with the people on the fringes who see little difference.

    Some of these problem people beat their kids – the others try to force their parenting methods onto others using threats of criminal law, and by the demonisation of a large group of good parents..

    If these people truely cared about child abuse, they would concentrate on the KNOWN factors associated with child abuse – drug use, poverty, young parents, etc.

    But instead the don’t. Instead they put their efforts into demonising good parents so they can delude themselves that they are doing something positive.

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  54. In the last year the nanny state has been governed by a number of parties including the Greens, Maori, Labour, National and Act.
    It’s the Daddy state now !

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  55. photonz,
    -”The point is, the vast majority of parents who have any common sense can see a big difference between a beating and a smack”
    and the vast majority of parents will never be affected by assult laws.

    -”If these people truely cared about child abuse, they would concentrate on the KNOWN factors associated with child abuse – drug use, poverty, young parents, etc”
    You infer that Sue B and/or the GP does not care about child abuse, drug use, poverty, and teenage pregnancy… You are clearly wrong. I wish I could’ve put this less bluntly.

    Regarding your known factors associated with child abuse you have mentioned drugs and etc. Does ‘drugs’ include nicotine? I think that some people when angry/frustrated with their kids would benefit from going outside for a smoke to calm down before … Of course having a tea or coffee (theophylline and caffiene) would be better as much less addictive.

    Basically I’m asking which drugs are associated with child abuse? Perhaps those drugs should be illegal, if not already.

    How do you think the ‘young parents’ factor can be addressed? Also do you have a link to where you get the “KNOWN factors” from?

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  56. fin – the same factors have keep coming up in various research.

    Interesting that the young parenthood was a major factor, and continued to be a major factor for these same parents even when they became older parents.

    I’ll have a quick look and get you a link.

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  57. fin says:
    “You infer that Sue B and/or the GP does not care about child abuse, drug use, poverty, and teenage pregnancy… You are clearly wrong. I wish I could’ve put this less bluntly.”

    1. there is a school of thought that blames “welfarism” (this is what the next referendum is about (I think)

    2. Sue B blamed the Kahuis behaviour on rogernomics and “not being part of the good side of life despite generations of welfare and the household bringing in about $1800 in welfare a week”.

    http://blog.greens.org.nz/index.php/2006/09/06/sue-b-on-poverty-2/

    the video link has gone but she is interviewed in front of the slogan “Blame the System
    Fight”

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  58. jh, you are repeatedly linking to webpages that don’t exist.

    I think you need to do better checking your sources and links – otherwise Valis may enter you too into the “big bro demerit system” for telling lies and making unsubstantiated assertions.

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  59. which web pages don’t exist> 5 demerit points to you Toad for not being specific!

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  60. Check your own links jh – I have more important things to do. But at least two of yours on this thread were to pages that have been removed.

    They may exist in your cache, but that doesn’t mean they still exist anywhere else.

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  61. Wow, such a lot of discussion about such a simple question that I’m sure almost everyone would understand. Maybe, technically, it could be argued that the question is multifaceted and can’t be answered with a Yes or a No. But I think most people would understand what a Yes or No answer implies. Clearly, if someone believes that a smack can be part of good parenting, then they should vote No. If they don’t believe that, and also believe that there is no room for doubt and that they have cornered the market on truth, then they should vote Yes. But I’d hate to have someone who would vote Yes representing me in parliament, or have any kind of influence over law making. As child abuse is an offence and unreasonable force is an offence, there is really no room to vote Yes, surely?

    I’ve heard the Sue Bradford interview linked to and she certainly isn’t clear about her intentions with her previous bill, which led to this referendum. But she also seems to think that children should be treated as little adults, with all the rights of an adult but certainly not with all of the responsibilities.

    Although smacking was a rare occurrence during my parenting, I think it was sometimes necessary and I don’t think I should seek to tell other parents how to raise their kids, provided they don’t cross over into abuse.

    Sheesh! This is so much a no-brainer that I really wonder if my support for the Green Party is warranted, sometimes.

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  62. sofistek, the greens are terribly concerned their support base will have no idea what to do when the referendum question turns up, they’re not used to thinking for themselves! :) you being the exception.

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  63. toad says “You’re not a very consistent right winger are you.”

    I’m happy to riducule any party that votes for a law that

    - most of the country don’t want
    - is so ambiguous that different people voting for it think it means different things, and still do.
    - not even lawyers can agree what it means
    - is so reduculous it comes with instructions for police not to enforce it
    - is so unpopular that it causes expensive referendums to be held

    So who are the idiots who voted for it? National, Greens, Maori, Labour….

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  64. sofistek said: Clearly, if someone believes that a smack can be part of good parenting…

    What is a “smack” sofistek? It is not defined in legislation. Some people interpret it as “a light smack with an open hand on the butt”. Others (like Jimmy Mason) interpret it as “a smack in the head with a closed [Family] fist”.

    Surely you can see there is a problem with the wording.

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  65. Here’s my list of reasons to support retaining Sue B’s Ammendment as it stands:

    Lilybing
    James Whakaruru
    Coral Ellen Burrows
    Saliel and Olympia Aplin
    The Kahui twin babies

    Some of these cases are so old, you may have forgotten about them.
    Some of them involved domestic abuse of the mothers as well, so that the escalating violence meted out to the children was not reported.
    Some of them involved drug dealing, some involved incest which was about to be discovered.

    All of them involved men who thought it was their right to belt a child until that child stopped making noise, however much force it took to achieve that.

    All of those children I have named died, none of them were killed by their mothers.

    None of the criminals who killed these children were deterred by the provisions of Sect 59 as it existed before Sue B’s private member’s bill went through.

    This is why, as a feminist, I support initiatives to demand a world without violence, and a world without rape.

    Sue B’s bill was a step towards that.
    So, of course, the patriarchy has to object to having their right to use physical punishment taken from them.

    To the semantically inclined:
    ‘correction’ means ‘punishment’, both in the Bible, and in the language of our Ministry of Justice, where prisons are run by the Department of Corrections, and deliver the punishment determined by the Department of Courts.

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  66. katie says “Here’s my list of reasons to support retaining Sue B’s Ammendment as it stands:”

    Sue herself says her bill will not stop child abuse, and is not intended to.

    katie says “All of those children I have named died, none of them were killed by their mothers.”

    31% of children killed in NZ are killed by the father, 25% by the mother, 18% by a defacto parent, 9% by another relative, 9% by a family friend, and 10% by a stranger or unknown.

    When restricted to just parents, including defactos, violence was perpetrated by fathers in 54% of cases, and by mother in 40% of cases. (and both in 6%)

    Similarly the long term Otago study was surprised to find that in violence between parents, mothers were violent towards the father in 44% of cases of violence, including 16% when they were solely responsible.

    See
    http://www.cyf.govt.nz/documents/Child_death_from_maltreatment.pdf
    Look at Fig 5 on P5 (P14 on the pdf)

    Certainly men are more to blame, but if you have an agenda to blame it ONLY on men, or turn it into a witch hunt, then you ignore a substantial minority of the problem, including on average two dead children every year.

    The famous Otago study found there was no evidence to suggest that smacking led to abuse.

    In most cases the “slippery slope” theory is a bit of a myth. Two overseas studies have both shown that in 60% of child homicides, there was no evidence of any previous abuse.

    There are a lot of myths in this debate.

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  67. Katie

    All of them involved men who thought it was their right to belt a child until that child stopped making noise, however much force it took to achieve that.

    With all due respect, this is not an accurate description of what happened in any of those cases. Moreover, the “feminist” agenda revealed here gets my attention, and not in a good way.

    S59 was not raised in the defence of ANY of those cases, was it? . The problem was not the presence of S59. The problem was the effect of liquor and drugs combined with there being no instinct for a man to preserve another man’s offspring. I am sure you know that. That we do so is a social construct. Easily washed away with enough alcohol.

    None of those guys would have been deterred by anything short of a couple of other guys beating the cr@p out of them. Nor will any such guys be deterred in the future by Sue’s bill, an amended bill, the original S59 or the singing of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Once they’ve had their liquor the only thing they understand is being beaten.

    What happened to those children has absolutely no relationship to a parent spanking a child who isn’t responding to other measures. That’s the thing that Sue’s bill whether by intent or not, prevents. Her bill does nothing to keep a stepfather sober or a child safer. It is just as ambiguous as the referendum and leave open the possibility that I might use a baseball bad to admonish my son and defend it as reasonable. Not good law at all.

    So, of course, the patriarchy has to object to having their right to use physical punishment taken from them.

    This sentence is so prejudicial as to be almost a self-indictment. My wife hits more often and harder than I do. If you think I am objecting, you should hear the way it sounds in Russian.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  68. Toad

    The same objection can be raised with respect to Sue’s bill. The lack of explicit information about what is and is not a “smack” and what is and is not, “reasonable force” are the PRINCIPLE reason that the bill got so much bad press. Then there is the little matter of correction vs force used to prevent disruptive activities. Why did you do that Mr Parent? Well I was attempting to prevent further disruptive activities. No… you were correcting your child. Trying to teach him to behave better.

    The whole thing is no more substantial than a cloud of smoke. Nobody knows what it means until they wind up in court… and ANYONE can call the police if they see a different shape in the cloud.

    Bad law. Inherently bad. Working only because the police interpret things and are trusted to do so.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  69. katie,

    All of those children I have named died, none of them were killed by their mothers.

    You conveniently forgot to mention that in each and every one of those murders you mention, the mother knew about the abuse, were compliant with it and did nothing to prevent it.

    In some cases they were charged with offences related to the murders but in most cases they got off, scot free.

    I hope your studies will lead to an answers why women form relationships with abuse partners (more particularly solutions on how not to).

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  70. Mothers are just as violent as fathers. To say anything else is just radical feminist bush pig hogwash, for example a verdict is due this week in “the babes in the freezer” case, in which a French mother is accused of murdering three of her children.

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  71. Was your mother a [abuse deleted - bringing a commenter's parentage into it is not acceptable d4j - frog]?

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  72. # toad Says:
    June 18th, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    What is a “smack” sofistek? It is not defined in legislation. Some people interpret it as “a light smack with an open hand on the butt”. Others (like Jimmy Mason) interpret it as “a smack in the head with a closed [Family] fist”.

    …………..
    we saw that on Close Up Toad. The kids were boundary pushers and they were behind their father in the TV coverage. The “punch” was more of a jab and not with a closed fist. The Green Party member who made the complaint didn’t appear on TV.

    Are you aware of the difficulty using “punch” Toad, after all does it mean “a pinch and a punch for the first of the month” or Vitali Klitschko the current world heavy weight champion?

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  73. Katie,
    Well I would actually hazard the assertion that, not only would this law not prevent the abuse in these cases (unless the abuser of the abuser got away because of the law, which is incredibly unlikely), but it would result in a net INCREASE in the incidents of spousal and dependant assult and rape.
    The psychology behind rape is extrodanarily complex but in general it has alot to do with desire and ability to obtain that desire; both when done as lust and as vengance or power. The lack of smacking among the middle and upper classes as a result of this law (the lower classes where the problems happen will likely be unaffected) will mean that the children are even further distanced from consequences and as such are both less aware of consequences for their actions and more used to getting what they want; they will likely feel victimised when they dont get what they want and desire to take vengance or show domanace thrugh the use of power, rape being the ultimate such display.
    An ammendment like BJ proposed would be far better, but considering the publicity generated by Bradfords ammendment the lack of smacking will likely penetrate the upper and middle classes now and so accheive sue bradfords true goal, though not her stated one (See JH’s Radio NZ link, lol).

    On a different note, some humour: http://www.trickynameaudio.com/dailyrefrain/?p=146#comments

    Mark,
    Sorry about not interjecting at the several indications you thought I should, It is only now that my exams are over which I sit back at my PC.

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  74. Katies post says it all.

    A seething radical feminist agenda at work on s59….yet another reason to reject Sue’s mindless folly.

    In a generations time, there will be a lot of out of control kids (not saying a smack works with all kids, but for some of them, it does), and they’ll be using violence to get their way.

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  75. dad4j, gentle soul – my kids are swots (always got their noses in a book)

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  76. katie said: All of them involved men who thought it was their right to belt a child until that child stopped making noise, however much force it took to achieve that.

    Actually katie, in the case of the Kahui twins, we don’t know if it was a man who beat them, because no-one has ever been convicted. Their mother certainly presented in court with a demeanour that suggested she would have been capable of beating them.

    Agree with the rest of your comment though.

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  77. toad,

    Another aspect of katie’s list is the, way out of proportion, ethnic representation by one group of New Zealanders.

    Plus the benficiary status is high on the list of both the perpertrators and the mothers.

    One would hope that those profiles are taken into consideration when writing law that covers ALL New Zealanders.

    I would have thought the $9M spent on this referendum would have been better spent on the demything the “warrior” mentality of the perpentrators.

    Compulsory viewing of “Once Were Warriors” movie? Or would even that fail to sink in?

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  78. katie Says:
    June 18th, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    > Here’s my list of reasons to support retaining Sue B’s Ammendment as it stands:

    > Lilybing
    > James Whakaruru
    > Coral Ellen Burrows
    > Saliel and Olympia Aplin
    > The Kahui twin babies

    > of those children I have named died, none of them were killed by their mothers.

    None of them were killed by their fathers either.

    Chris and Cru Kahui may have been killed by their mother or by their father, the court wasn’t able to work this out. James Whakaruru, Saliel Aplin, Olympia Jetson and Coral-Ellen Burrows were all killed by their step-fathers, and Lilybing was killed by a female relative.

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  79. And James Whakaruru was killed not for making noise but under the pretext of toilet training.

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  80. Katie confirming that the Greens are a party of man haters as well.

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  81. As a male party member, I can confirm you have no clue about this either.

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  82. big bro – have you denounced Roger Douglas as a ‘practicioner of animal cruelty’ yet. If not, why not?

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  83. Gerrit Says:
    June 19th, 2009 at 8:49 am

    > Another aspect of katie’s list is the, way out of proportion, ethnic representation by one group of New Zealanders.

    > Plus the benficiary status is high on the list of both the perpertrators and the mothers.

    Statistically, the most remarkable thing is how many of them lived in the Wairarapa – 58%, compared with 1% of New Zealanders as a whole.

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  84. kaitangata doesn’t answer questions – it just consumes. Don’t worry Sapient – just that you’ll do a better job of it than me.

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  85. “And some mothers do ‘ave ‘em”

    Frank Spencer is part of the green party?
    Ooooooooowwww Betty :)

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  86. photonz,
    Thank you very much for the link. Although I must say that reading about child fatalities from maltreatment and homicide isn’t exactly fun.

    From the link..
    “New Zealand currently has services that extend across the universal, targeted and specialist services spectrum, aimed at addressing both underlying contributory factors and early treatment issues. New Zealand is therefore well placed to strengthen these services to more appropriately respond to children and families across the range of need.”

    And yet it doesn’t seem to be enough.

    ” A common response to child death and perceived system failure has been to develop bureaucratic solutions, including the introduction of more and more guidelines and compliance requirements. Nevertheless, “quick-fix” solutions have done little to solve the problem. Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that such solutions have unintended negative consequences in the long term.”

    You interpret this to mean that the s59 repeal is another quick fix bureaucratic solution… I believe it is not. It is a long term attempt to change the level of violence toward kids that is deemed acceptable by NZ society.

    “An alternative to providing increasingly reactive services is to approach the issue from a life course perspective, providing universal, targeted and specialist services for vulnerable children and their families.”

    Services provided by CYF of course. And who is the author? .. CYF is the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. We both agree that predisposing risk factors are what need to be addressed. The study shows that physical abuse experienced as a child leads to increased risk of that person killing their own kids through maltreatment. It follows (actually preceeds) that physical punishment as a child leads to increased risk of that person physically abusing their own child… Not in many cases, we are talking about tiny numbers and I’m not talking about you or your kids.

    How can you read a report such as the one you link to and then be against something that will reduce the level of violence toward kids?

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  87. toad said: “What is a “smack” sofistek? It is not defined in legislation.”

    I think you missed the whole point of my post, toad. Let’s have the referendum and let the legislators decide the exact definition. My point was about the referendum. If you believe that a smack can be a part of good parenting, then vote Yes. You don’t need a strict definition, since one would hope that our elected legislators would be able to thrash out the details, if necessary.

    It really is that simple. These attempts to obfuscate the question are attempts by those who want to impose their own morals on others. Those who can’t understand the question should not be representing us in parliament.

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  88. fin -you post all sounded good until you started to feely interchange the terms physical punishment with physical abuse, and light smack with violence.

    The Otago study of 1000 children over several decades showed that beating and hitting led to worse than average outcomes in adulthood for violence, criminality, career, mental health, divorce, academic achievement, drug and alcohol abuse etc.

    But it also showed that children whose hashest punishment was a smack had the BEST outcomes in the above. Equal to, or better than children who had no physical punishment.

    There have been a group of people who have long tried to equate smacking with serious abuse. Many studies actually group lightly smacked children with dead children to try to statistically prove it’s bad.

    Others just try to interchange words that describe a light smack with words that sound like serious abuse.

    And there lies the crux of the problem – those people who don’t see any difference between a smack and a beating.

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  89. Fin,

    How can you read a report such as the one you link to and then be against something that will reduce the level of violence toward kids?

    I would imagine quite easily when the long term effect is to increase such violence above the levels that would otherwise exist.

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  90. sofislek & photonz: Can you answer this one. What to you do if a “light smack” doesn’t achieve the purpose of “correction”?

    A “heavier smack” perhaps?

    Then, as has been advocated on the Kiwiblog comments thread “…he should have been soundly thrashed far more often as a child.” frequent sound thrashings?

    See where it leads.

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  91. toad asks “Can you answer this one. What to you do if a “light smack” doesn’t achieve the purpose of “correction”?”

    On rare occasions when I’ve used one, it’s always worked amazingly well.

    Repeated punishments like time out or removal of toys or privaleges, (sometimes over days or weeks) has never had the same effect as a single light smack.

    frog says “See where it leads.”

    You are perpetuating another myth. Again the Otago study showed that there is no “slippery slope” from smacking.

    Note at the start I said “on rare ocassions”. I don’t think it would work nearly as well if it was frequent. The idea is that a child learns there are more serious punishments for more serious behaviour.it is.

    And 95% of the time when they are warned their behaviour is getting close to smack level, that’s enough to correct them.

    They have a boundary – it’s black and white- and they learn very quickly that therre are certain boundaries they don’t cross. Hence it’s very rarely needed.

    Other children learn that no matter what they do, the worst punishment they will ever get is no worse than the same as for something minor i.e. something like time out.

    So they can do whatever they want – the punishment is not going to be any worse.

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  92. photonz1 said: Again the Otago study showed that there is no “slippery slope” from smacking.

    Where? Cite the evidence. I don’t recall it showing that at all.

    One problem with “reasonable force for the purpose of correction” is that the law does not have a boundary. With the current law, “reasonable force for the purpose of preventing offensive or disruptive behaviour” has an objective boundary. It is the amount of force necessary to stop that behaviour from occurring or continuing to occur – no more.

    But when “correction” is brought into the mix, it becomes subjective. What one person considers reasonable, another considers excessive.

    My mother considered beating me across the legs with switches pruned off the plum tree and so hard that it left welts to be reasonable. Do you? What if you get a jury with a few people on it who think like she did?

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  93. photonz1 – you seem to be implying that non-contact methods of behaviour management won’t work. I wonder then how it is that the children attending early childhood centres aren’t out of control anarchists, creating mayhem by the minute. If they can be managed under that situation (they can) then why not in the home, where there are generally fewer of them.

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  94. “Other children learn that no matter what they do, the worst punishment they will ever get is no worse than the same as for something minor i.e. something like time out.

    So they can do whatever they want – the punishment is not going to be any worse.”

    This is good stuff photonz1.
    What our hand wringing friends don’t realise is that the alternative methods they propose often lead to intollerant bigoted children.
    Now you would have thought this would have been of more serious concern from the party that promotes tollerance.

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  95. What our hand wringing friends don’t realise is that the alternative methods they propose often lead to intollerant bigoted children.

    So you weren’t smacked as a child, then?

    ;-)

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  96. “photonz1 – you seem to be implying that non-contact methods of behaviour management won’t work.”

    They absolutely do not work with some kids greenfly.

    “I wonder then how it is that the children attending early childhood centres aren’t out of control anarchists, creating mayhem by the minute.”

    I recently had a job I was working on at a preschool for some weeks, and there were several kids that were behaving so badly that all the staff could do was manage the behaviour as best they could. These few little lads and ladies were responsible for most of the attacks on other kids and damage to the playground. Preschools always have an out of control element to them, it goes with the territiory.

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  97. “So you weren’t smacked as a child, then?”

    No Bucolic Old Saint Humpty, we are talking about the real definition of bigotry, not disagreeing with left wing scare mongers.

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  98. toad – the Borrows ammendment would have FIXED ambiguity, once and for all.

    All we needed to do was state in law that any use of an object, closed hand, leaving a bruise, or to anything except a light open handed smack to the bottom or hand is not reasonable.

    Simple really.

    greenfly – I didn’t say non-physical methods don’t work. But they often take a very long time to work. And for some behaviours – particularly things that are dangerous to themselves or others – that sort of time vastly increases the risk of someone getting seriously hurt.

    When my kids used to go to kindy, there was ocassionally appalling behaviour by some kids, badly hurting others, deliberately smashing a large window, and someone once killed the rabbit.

    Also the “one size fits all” type of correction is nonsense. I’ve heard so many parents say things like time out work well with some of their kids, but make no difference to the behaviour of others, and the same goes with smacking.

    With my kids it worked amazingly well – instantly stopping dangerous behaviour that time out, loss of toys etc, repeatedly failed to stop.

    They’ve learnt boundaries, and are becoming really good kids. Even things like time out and loss of privileges are getting pretty rare (and they’re still only just 7 and 9)

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  99. Shunda – one swallow does not a summer make – you are a great one for extrapolating out from your own experiences – no bad thing necessarily, but you have raised it to a fine art. Those wee rotters you observed (and have belly-ached about many times before) have coloured your thinking to the extent that you can’t see beyond their behaviour.
    Do you recommend smacking/spanking those children Shunda?

    (better ‘hand wringing’ than ‘neck wringing’ a la Homer’n’Bart)

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  100. “toad – the Borrows ammendment would have FIXED ambiguity, once and for all.”

    Exactly, and that is to the great shame of NZ politics.
    But once again, the Borrows amendment would have removed the ideology that Bradford is so deperate to force on the population, so completely unacceptable to the activists.

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  101. Shunda barunda said: What our hand wringing friends don’t realise is that the alternative methods they propose often lead to intollerant bigoted children.

    Another assertion on behalf of the pro-spankers with no evidence provided to support it.

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  102. “Shunda – one swallow does not a summer make – you are a great one for extrapolating out from your own experiences – no bad thing necessarily, but you have raised it to a fine art.”

    Raised it to a fine art, or presented a compelling argument, is there any difference?

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  103. “Another assertion on behalf of the pro-spankers with no evidence provided to support it.”

    The evidence is every where you just aint looking.
    I have been involved in parenting groups that are anti spanking, have carefully listened to their arguments, and witnessed the behaviour of the parents that take it on board. It does NOT work. The anti smackers have incredible difficulty in providing quick effective boundaries, which leads their kids to become intollerant of others rights and space.

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  104. But once again, the Borrows amendment would have removed the ideology that Bradford is so deperate to force on the population, so completely unacceptable to the activists.

    Cut the crap Shunda. Key and most of the other 112 MPs who voted for Sue’s bill are not left wing ideologues. Regardless of what you think of Sue, her bill was significantly changed at select committee so that your little obsession is just a fantasy.

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  105. The anti smackers have incredible difficulty in providing quick effective boundaries, which leads their kids to become intollerant of others rights and space.

    Anyone noticed how this whole argument has shifted from “parents rights not to be criminalised”, to “better outcomes for kids if you smack them”. This from the same guy who constantly complains about having an ideology forced on him. Good to see the truth come out.

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  106. >>Another assertion on behalf of the pro-spankers with no evidence provided to support it.

    Come around to our Green voting friends house one time. Their kids aren’t smacked – they’re quietly reasoned with in a soothing tone.

    They are both (literally) spitting, violent monsters (not literal on the monsters front). They physically beat their mother, and she just takes it.

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  107. “Cut the crap Shunda.”

    Right back at ya valis, you must think people a retarded to not see the obvious agenda, Sue even said it was about shifting the ideology of parenting.
    John Key’s stance on this issue is a disgrace as is the rest of the dog waggers in the behive.

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  108. Shunda, the Borrows amendment (which was largely the same as John Boscawen’s Bill) would have been very bad legislation.

    First, it relies on a subjective test of reasonableness of force for the purpose of correction, as I have explained above:

    One problem with “reasonable force for the purpose of correction” is that the law does not have a boundary. With the current law, “reasonable force for the purpose of preventing offensive or disruptive behaviour” has an objective boundary. It is the amount of force necessary to stop that behaviour from occurring or continuing to occur – no more.

    But when “correction” is brought into the mix, it becomes subjective. What one person considers reasonable, another considers excessive.

    Another problem with it is that attempts to determine what amount of force is reasonable by the effect of that force on the child. This will, of course, vary according to the age, health and ability of the child – but the Borrows amendment seems to presume that in every circumstance a parent will be able to determine exactly how much force can be inflicted without causing injury that is “transitory and trifling”. Of course no parent, especially a parent who is angry about the child’s behaviour, will be able to get that determination right 100% of the time.

    The terms ‘transitory and trifling’ under the Borrows amendment would be open to interpretation by judges and juries. An identical standard set by the Supreme Court in Canada resulted in some major assaults being judged ‘transitory and trifling’.

    The Borrows amendment would not give children adequate protection. They could still be hit on the head or neck, for example, and would still be at risk of serious injury, but the parent would not be legally liable unless an injury that is more than ‘transitory and trifling’ actually occurred.

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  109. >>Peter – ffs

    You think I’m joking. I am serious.

    My wife still visits. I don’t. Their kids are out of control.

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  110. “This from the same guy who constantly complains about having an ideology forced on him. Good to see the truth come out.”

    What the hell are you talking about? I’m not the one trying to change a long held method of discipline here, I am defending the status quo.
    You guys are the ones that have decided to blame smacking on all the worlds ills, with no evidence other than “the UN said”.

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  111. Peter – serious you may be, but that’s the daftest argument I’ve heard for a long, long, time. Like Shunda, you’ve taken a detail from your own experience and used it to argue the big picture. I have a friend who voted the same way that you did, and his kids ate their dog while I was visiting, raw! My voting age friend laughed and said he would vote the same way again at the next election!!!

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  112. Shunda barunda said: I am defending the status quo.

    You are not actually – you are wanting to change the law to make it lawful to hit kids as a disciplinary measure.

    And did you take the same position when the law change that made it unlawful for a man to rape his wife went through? Or did you defend the status quo then too?

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  113. The point is their kids, IMHO, would *benefit* from being smacked. Nothing else has worked on these kids, so one would think it’s worth a try.

    But their parents don’t believe in smacking.

    They believe in non-physical behavior correction.

    They literally spit at adults when they don’t get their way. And pound on you with their fists.

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  114. “And did you take the same position when the law change that made it unlawful for a man to rape his wife went through? Or did you defend the status quo then too?”

    Oh, so now you are linking me to rapists now? You guys just can’t play fair can you.
    I would be lying if I said that dosen’t really piss me off, but thats how the lefties plays the game.

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  115. BluePeter said: Come around to our Green voting friends house one time. Their kids aren’t smacked – they’re quietly reasoned with in a soothing tone. They are both (literally) spitting, violent monsters…

    I meant statistical demographic and forensic evidence BP – not the anecdotal stuff guys like you keep putting up. I also know of families where kids who were spanked behaved just as you describe – it doen’t prove anything.

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  116. toad – your arguement makes no sense.

    You say the Borrows ammendments wasn’t specific enough, in order to back a law that is totally vague.

    So vague that the polititians who voted for it thinks it means different things.

    So vague that Phill Goff won’t even vote in the referendum to back the law he voted for.

    So vague, that we have the bizarre situation that all force, no matter how reasonable, is not reasonable, even if it is reasonable.

    So vague that lawyers can’t agree what it means. And just to throw a blanket of vagueness and ambiguity over the vague and ambiguous law, police are told not to police parts of it, but it’s up to them to decide that.

    Who knows where they stand.

    It’s a great example of absurd lawmaking

    It won’t make any diffence to child abuse and was never intended to (according to Sue)

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  117. PS: I meant statistical demographic and forensic evidence BP

    Can you give me statistical demographic and forensic evidence linking smacking to increased negative outcomes?

    No, you can’t.

    But I can produce data (The Dunedin study) that shows that smacking is not a problem.

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  118. Shunda barunda said: Oh, so now you are linking me to rapists now?

    Not at all. Just asking if you supported the status quo back when that law went through, and making the point that social change (or “social engineering” as you guys like to put it) can often be for the better. I doubt anyone would consider wanting to revert to the old rape law these days, and I’m certainly not suggesting you would Shunda, but changing it attracted some controversy at the time.

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  119. photonz1 said: So vague that Phill Goff won’t even vote in the referendum to back the law he voted for.

    My understanding is that Goff won’t vote in the referendum because he considers it to be so ambiguous that any outcome is meaningless.

    I tend to agree with his interpretation of the referendum, but think he is wrong to not vote. I’m voting “Yes” because the child advocacy agencies like Barnardos, Plunket etc are saying that a Yes vote will send a strong message that hitting children is not okay.

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  120. “and making the point that social change (or “social engineering” as you guys like to put it) can often be for the better.”

    Not opposed to common sense change based on reaserch.
    Re the otago multidisciplinery study, how have you debunked the results?
    The most comprehensive study ever undertaken on human behaviour is what I am basing my position on, not some UN think tank.

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  121. Define for us the green definition of parental authority, that would scare the horses!!!

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  122. toad – there you go again. Interchanging words like smack with hitting, in a feeble attempt to make smacking sound as violent as possible.

    As for messages from Barnados etc – here’s a word for word quote from Barnados own policy development -

    “THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT OCCASIONAL OR MILD USE OF PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT IS DETRIMENTAL TO CHILD OUTCOMES.”

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  123. It must infuriate you both, Shunda and Peter, that Key has well and truely shafted the referendum with his comments, so no matter how vigorously you argue the toss, your game is lost. You may both know of liberal parents with badly behaved kids, but I could trump your experiences easily, given the long involvement I have had with the children of conservatives like yourselves. ‘Your’ kids are much worse than our kids :-) (and your politicians are corrupt, whereas ours are as pure as the driven snow!)

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  124. photonz1 – “smacking” is “hitting” – pure and simple.

    Concise Oxford DIctionary – Tenth Ed.

    smack:

    n. a sharp blow or slap, typically one given with the palm of the hand… v. 1. hit with a smack 2. smash, drive, or put forcefully into or on to something

    hit:

    v. direct a blow at with one’s hand or a tool or weapon… n. an instance of hitting or being hit

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  125. greenfly said: …Key has well and truely shafted the referendum with his comments, so no matter how vigorously you argue the toss, your game is lost.

    Or as one of the spankers said over at Kiwiblog: Game, set and match to Bradford. Time to move on.

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  126. Well greenfly, if you thrive on the sap of the disappointment of others, then you can feast on mine cause I feel gutted at the way this has turned out. I guess I am every bit an idealistic fool as any young greenie and I got what I deserve.
    But greenfly, remember your words when some young vandals pull up your latest planting project, or cut down your favourite tree, or do doughnuts on your vege patch. Because these little darlings are coming from the better off families more often than not these days, and its only going to get worse.

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  127. I don’t expect much from politicians, Greenfly. They’re all the same.

    >>whereas ours are as pure as the driven snow!

    You really are that stupid, huh.

    >>Your’ kids are much worse than our kids

    There are badly behaved kids in households across the political spectrum.
    Shame parents of all persuasions have had an effective tool removed by politicians who disregard the science.

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  128. toad – it’s just typical of this debate that those on your side use the most violent term they can to describe a light smack.

    For those who do the studies –

    - a smack is an open handed tap on the bottom or hand.
    - a hit is with a closed fist, to the head, or with a weapon or object.

    They are completely different things with completely differnt outcomes.

    People who don’t know the difference are the problem.

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  129. toad – the Concise Oxford says that smack is slap ?

    We should legalise slapping our children ?? Photonz1?? Are you advocating the legalising of slapping ?

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  130. “the otago multidisciplinery study, how have you debunked the results?”

    It is pretty hard to debunk an unpublished study. The media report got at least one basic fact wrong (the publication date of the previous study). I wonder what else you accept on faith because it was in a newspaper?

    Personally I’d like to know:
    What the investigators criteria for “high achieving” members of society are and whether they investigated how much the small percentage who were subject to no violence as kids have since fitted into the social norm (since 80% of people were subjected to some violence).

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  131. It’s intersting that the non-smacking group back emotional and psychological punishments, when around half of children are MORE traumatised by these punishments that physical punishments.

    The “emotional punishment good, physical punishment bad” dogma is simplistic and wrong.

    No matter what punishment is used for correction – emotional, physical or psychological – the important thing is HOW it is used.

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  132. toad said: “What if you get a jury with a few people on it who think like she did?”

    You appear to be saying that your opinion is the only one that counts. If a jury thinks the force is reasonable then you may grumble about that but should we always try to change the law just because it can result in some action you disagree with?

    We must get away from the notion that our opinions are the only ones that are valid.

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  133. photo – I’d like to know .. with the Otago study, did those who carried it out recommend that smacking be used as a tool for managing children’s behaviour? That’s all I want to know.

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  134. Joe – the non-physical punishment group were equal to of just slightly behind the smacked group on the factors they looked at including academic achievement, criminal record, violence, mental health, drug use, and I think marriage success/divorce rate, and career success.

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  135. photonz1, I just quoted what was in the Concise Oxford, didn’t search for the most violent meaning I could find at all. If that’s what’s in the dictionary, then that’s how most people interpret the word – unless you’re questioning the integrity of the dictionary.

    “open handed tap” doesn’t come into it, I’m afraid.

    Should a a sharp blow or slap, typically one given with the palm of the hand, as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?

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  136. Toad

    The little monsters are not enamored of escalating the confrontation once the realization has set in that there are painful consequences to dissing parental authority.

    A spanking has no need to escalate in the way you surmise, never does in my experience, and escalation cannot proceed to such levels as you propose without busting the existing law, a referendum-modified law, the S59 un-altered law or some proposed more explicit law.

    NONE of which will stop a drunken stepfather.

    Borrows version was ill-thought and even worse than what we wound up with, but one respects the intentions.

    The evidence Toad, is simple.

    Probably 90% of the human population has received mild corporal punishment. If 9% get real beatings as well the proof that the mild punishment leads to real beatings is hard to see. The proof that the mild punishments cause grievous harm is missing too.

    Just as pornography doesn’t cause rape. Just as Marijuana doesn’t lead to harder drugs. The misuse of statistics, the INVERSION of statistics, has a long and perverse history which we know well from these other examples. How is it we mistake it here?

    You are the one who has to show a proof that the mild corporal punishment does harm, and it is quite clear that such evidence is not going to appear.

    I don’t BEAT my kids. I seldom have to do more than admonish them, but the respect they hold me in is backed by the very real understanding that there are boundaries that have consequences when they are crossed.

    That understanding is a significant advantage to maintaining a civilized society.

    Pain is the mechanism that Mother Nature provides us for instruction. It teaches us what NOT to do. It is extremely effective and the instincts and hard wiring in the nervous system are equipped to handle it and remember its causes…. or WHY WOULD WE HAVE EVOLVED SUCH A MECHANISM? Why indeed would it be common to all animals on the planet?!!

    Abandoning the most effective learning tool in nature as completely as we have is an error no matter what our intentions.

    This has gone on and on and on… and the referendum will come and go and we will still be arguing and wasting time and effort and political capital. Finally the next election will come and Key will change the law THEN, and reap more political gain from doing so, and that will be the end of it.

    Until then it appears that we are doomed to this disagreeable discourse.

    unhappily
    BJ

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  137. Sue Bradford said:

    “Smacking is a good example of this: we can legally hit children, but not adults. The results are physical damage, but more so the psychological damage”

    (Ana Samways, 14 april 2005, NZ Herald)

    So smacking cases psychological damage? Not acording to the research, perhaps this is Sues personal opinion and nothing more.

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  138. Yeah I know that was what the investigators said but how did they assess these things? And how significant were the results? Statistically significant or socially significant? How do you assess factors like “Career sucess” or “Marriage success”, does staying in a career or marriage you hate count as “sucess”? I wondered if “violence” was based on self-disclosed information, in which case you might just be measuring honesty (and just maybe kids who are hit learn to hide misdemeanours better). As I say it is hard to debunk an unpublished study.

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  139. Shunda

    There IS no “Green” version of parental authority. We have within the party, conflicting opinions and nothing like consensus.

    The issue divides the party with different proportions to the general public.

    So you folks get to laugh at the antics here. Me, I grieve for what might have been.

    BJ

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  140. This really is a waste of time, I wish you greenies were different so I could join you, but you aint so I caint.

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  141. ” So you folks get to laugh at the antics here. Me, I grieve for what might have been.”

    I hear that BJ!!!! I just wish your mates would!
    You wanna go plant some trees or something?

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  142. Bj – I think your reasoning is faulty. Pain may well have evolved for the purpose you describe, but the administration of pain is a different beast altogether.

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  143. greenfly wrote “photo – I’d like to know .. with the Otago study, did those who carried it out recommend that smacking be used as a tool for managing children’s behaviour? That’s all I want to know”

    I don’t think there are any recommendations out as yet, but I think it’s pretty obvious that if you can bring up your children by EITHER correcting with non-physical correction, OR a combination of that with mild physical punishment, then they’ve got the best chance to come out close to the top group or in the top performing group of adults in society.

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  144. “Shunda – we are so you can.”

    No I can’t, If you turn up on my door step and ask me to help with a native revege project, or planting fruit trees I will be out the door before you can say grandcrankenstation, But I can not support the other stuff.
    Sorry :sad:

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  145. Joe – As I say it is hard to debunk an unpublished study.

    So you want to debunk it because it is wrong, or because it doesn’t agree with your opinion?

    Unlike many studies – perhaps most – on the subject, this one doesn’t start out with a result, and then skew information to try to prove it.

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  146. Joe – it’s not rocket sceince to measure success

    Carreer – I would say unemployed toilet cleaner would be considered by most to be less successful than a top surgeon.

    Marriage – Happily married with three kids for 12 years would rank ahead of divorced three times with kids in different towns.

    Violence – clean record would rank ahead of 12 convictions for assault.

    Besides that, the study is well known for how much the participants reveal. Embarrassing things and even things they could be convicted of if told to the police.

    The study is respected world-wide for good reason.

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  147. I have no idea if I want to debunk it or not – I’d have to see it first. Shunda Barunda brought up the debunking – I’d just suggest S/he also refrained from giving a media report of an unpublished study any authority. It might be valid, it might be rubbish, but the report does raise a lot of questions in my head, as do reports of a lot of similar sociological studies. Certainly a lot of studies I have read claim a lot more than the methods and results substantiate.

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  148. Measuring extremes of sucess is one thing, measuring slight sucess is something very different. I know one cleaner who is happier cleaning toilets than another stressed out, but probably much better paid, self-employed cleaning contractor I know. Is staying in an unhappy marriage for the sake of three kids more sucessful than giving up an unhappy one? Violent people I have met tend to be more deceptive than non-violent people and so on. Since the study only claimed small differences it is value judgements like this that can swing the outcome.

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  149. Greenfly

    Pain may well have evolved for the purpose you describe, but the administration of pain is a different beast altogether.

    Eh? I am not administering pain for MY edification or pleasure. Nor am I inflicting it on an animal who cannot remember or understand the reason for it.

    If I administer it at all it is accompanied by clear understanding of what the prohibited activity was that caused it. More often than not it is delivered in the middle of that prohibited activity, so that it is doubly clear.

    They don’t confuse me with the what caused the pain… even though I am the delivery mechanism. They know they are loved.

    BJ

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  150. photo – so they didn’t ! That’s significant. If they had recommended smacking as a method of managing children’s behaviour, that’d be different. But they didn’t.
    You may indeed think that it’s pretty obvious etc. but that doesn’t carry any weight at all, does it.

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  151. Joe -I think the point is there were not big differences between the smacked and non smacked group.

    Some people say and clearly want kids that have been smacked to be much worse off, but the study shows they are not.

    There was a bit of a difference back to the hit group and a big drop back to the beaten group.

    There will always be exceptions when you’re judging carreers or marriage or whatever, but they are exceptions – not the rule.

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  152. So what?
    I think it is probably a great study of health factors of all sorts – but a study of success and achievement? Do you really have this sort of faith in academics? I’m an academic myself, which probably makes me a skeptic.

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  153. bj – you say: Pain is the mechanism that Mother Nature provides us for instruction.
    and I’ve no argument there. The administration of pain is a different issue altogether. Mother nature may have give us the tools for the delivery (the palm of the hand for example) but not the reliable, indisputable instructions on where and when to use it. Or are you arguing that to smack is instinctive?

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  154. greenfly – I’m not sure what you’re arguing against. I’m not telling you to smack your children.

    If your children can be corrected without smacking, then that’s great – you should do that.

    If mine behave best with a very occasional light smack, then that’s fine. I’m not telling you what to do, as you are in an infinitely better position to decide how to correct your children than I am.

    And vice versa.

    Anybody who thinks an occasional light smack is detrimental to children should read the Banados statement I quoted earlier –

    “THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT OCCASIONAL OR MILD USE OF PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT IS DETRIMENTAL TO CHILD OUTCOMES.”

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  155. Joe “Do you really have this sort of faith in academics? ”

    I have enough faith in them to decide that a drug using, child beating, divorced drop out with no job, and a long string of convictions for robbery and assualt, will come below a happily married teacher with a loving family and a clean record and a degree, on the social scale.

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  156. Forcing the will of the more experienced over the less experienced is a fundamental principle of all the animal kingdom. It is a safetey mechanism to ensure the young of the species are not harmed by their inexperience from the world around them or others of their own species. It is mostly carried out by biting, and creates no adverse agression problems for any species.
    Do you believe in evolution greenfly? or are you on the side of the Christians that say humans are separate from the animal kingdom?.

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  157. The Greens can’t prove smacking is damaging.
    They just don’t like smacking.
    The Greens cannot stop there.
    They use state force to everybody to conform to *their* wishes.
    Few people understand the new law.
    If the people of New Zealand object to the new law, the Greens chastise them.

    What a nice bunch of people the Greens are.

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  158. photonz1 says “I have enough faith in them to decide that a drug using, child beating, divorced drop out with no job, and a long string of convictions for robbery and assualt, will come below a happily married teacher with a loving family and a clean record and a degree, on the social scale.”

    I think anyone could agree to that – I’d agree from my own experience irrespective of faith in academics who spend their lives proving the obvious with studies and statistics.

    As I pointed out above, it is when academic studies claim slight effects I get skeptical. In particular one can find statistical differences that are socially meaningless and conversely, absences of statistical differences despite the presence of meaningful social differences.

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  159. Joe, when you take the study into the wider context of the personal experience of the vast majority of NZ parents, the extremely dodgy evidence of “alternative” discipline, and the fact that alternative discipline is championed by heavily edited shows like “super nanny”, you start to realise that the anti smacking crowd are the ones that should be trying to defend their position.

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  160. Photonz, ““THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT OCCASIONAL OR MILD USE OF PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT IS DETRIMENTAL TO CHILD OUTCOMES.””

    I will agree but wish you’d said ‘occasional use of mild …’

    I see you have come back from your earlier BS that “it also showed that children whose hashest punishment was a smack had the BEST outcomes in the above”
    I believe you will revert to this belief though..

    Also I wasn’t interchanging words. The CYF report you linked to said that parents who were physically abused as kids were more likely to kill their own kids through maltreatment. Is anyone surprised?
    I went on to say that; It follows (actually preceeds) that physical punishment as a child leads to increased risk of that person physically abusing their own child… Do you disagree?
    In no way am I saying that ALL kids who are physically punished will physically abuse their own kids. Just as the CYF report isn’t saying that all kids who are physically abused will kill their own kids.

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  161. The use of mild violence to restrain the young is a common feature in most primate behaviour.

    The tendency of males to attack children not their own, is also a common feature.

    There are no reliable indisputable instructions about raising kids, as you well know. Evolution teaches us to protect our own. It punishes the genetic legacy of a woman who kills her kids or allows them to be killed, but it doesn’t tell us when to spank.

    The absence of such instruction is not an admonishment not to use the the tools available for instruction.

    My argument is that pain is just such a tool. One of the most powerful in anything that walks, flies, swims or slithers. Mother Nature applies it quite liberally and we remember and do not resent her lessons.

    As with all tools it can be used well or poorly, but I am a tool-user. THAT is part of being human.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  162. Shunda – I was once told by a tv insider that the stunning results the super nanny gets are largely due to her secret weapon – the editing room.

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  163. shunda said: Forcing the will of the more experienced over the less experienced is a fundamental principle of all the animal kingdom and went on to say it’s mostly carried out by biting
    Shunda? You okay? We should do as the animals do? Really?

    bj said: I am a tool-user. THAT is part of being human.
    And so is reasoning. You don’t advocate biting as well, do you bj? Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

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  164. photonz1 – then parents should be issued with … and editing room, asap!

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  165. Fin – I agree – Banados said “occasional OR mild” . I’d be happier to support mild AND occasional.

    The smacked group came out equal to or better than the non-smacked group in each category..

    So overall, they didn’t come out worse, they didn’t even come out equal – overall, they came out best.

    Fin quotes cyps “It follows (actually preceeds) that physical punishment as a child leads to increased risk of that person physically abusing their own child…” Do you disagree?

    Yes, I disagree. I would agree that physical ABUSE leads to physical abuse. But if you lump mild occasional physical punishment with serious abuse, you will always end up with skewed results.

    (just like you would get skewed results if you compared smacking to all other forms of discipline combined – ie smacking vs both non-physical and beatings)

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  166. Is there proof out there, somewhere, that smacking is the most effective and least harmful method of managing children’s behaviour? Let’s see it. There are a lot of people clamouring for it, so there must be some studies that back up their enthusiastic support.

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  167. greenfly ” then parents should be issued with … and editing room, asap!”

    Great idea. Can mine have a rewind and pause please.

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  168. Fin

    parents who were physically abused as kids were more likely to kill their own kids through maltreatment. Is anyone surprised?

    I went on to say that; It follows (actually preceeds) that physical punishment as a child leads to increased risk of that person physically abusing their own child… Do you disagree?

    Yes I do.

    Please differentiate better between Physical Punishment and Physical abuse.

    CYF did not make that mistake.

    BJ

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  169. Shunda; babies bite things for adventure – much beyond that is considered primitive, as is (verbal and emotional) violence; Humans are now expected to use their minds souls spirits heart and whatever else thay can bring to bear on what is only their own anger after all – go and lie down if the Kids get too much

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  170. Greenfly

    The tool is pain. It teaches. This is a powerful tool and I must therefore be cautious not to apply it too heavily to the workpiece.

    It is for this reason that society wants to have SOME sort of law that guides the users of this tool. It is because of this relationship that so many find so much to be dissatisfied with in the current fuzzy suggestions that are optimistically labeled laws and passed on to the police to figure out.

    Teeth are not a “tool” for modifying behaviour. They can be used as a tool for inflicting pain. If I were a dog and had no other means I would use them as a dog does, to settle a too rambunctious puppy into its proper place.

    Your argument is extended past its limits and my own, to attempt to find a point to ridicule. It doesn’t work very well.

    BJ

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  171. I need to clarify.
    The CYF report said “physical abuse experienced as a child leads to increased risk of that person killing their own kids through maltreatment”

    Is anyone surprised?

    I (not CYF) then said that ‘It follows (actually preceeds) that physical punishment as a child leads to increased risk of that person physically abusing their own child’ You can define punishment however you want.
    The logical point that I am trying to make is that kids turn out similar (in general) to their parents. If they were smacked, they will likely smack. But what if it doesn’t work? You avoided this question photonz by only thinking of yourself. Stop doing that – it’s not about you or me or BJ I’m sure. So out of 1000 parents whgo smack some will smack harder than others. Why can we not assume a normal distribution?
    And if we assume a normal distribution then moving the curve to the lower violence end will really help some kids!!!!

    I want to pint out your flimsy evidence to suggest that occasional light smacking is better than not smacking at all but that would just divert from the real issue. It is not about occasional light smacking. BJ is right, the law is an ass. But so are most others. The fact is it is there for a very good reason and if good parents are criminalised it will be changed. You have Keys word… for what it’s worth

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  172. OK Fin… that is an interesting point. If you shift the curve to the left you can reduce the numbers of people prone to that particular part of the problem… in the next generation.

    However, that particular issue is not the most important thing identified by that study, was it. Alcohol abuse. Step-parents. Co-habitation vs marriage. Poverty. Early parenthood… the relationships between those are right up there, are they not?

    I’d love to see the multivariate statistical breakdown to get at causality and partial causality.

    The CYF study all but shouts the ineffectiveness of this approach, but we are sentenced to suffer it anyway. In spite of the results in Sweden. In spite of the knowledge we have accumulated ourselves. In spite of the evidence of our own lying eyes as we were growing up. The fact is that most New Zealanders and probably a little less than half the Green membership, regard this as a mistake.

    The bigger mistake of course, was the abandonment of the measures which could have been passed by acclamation and been equally effective.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  173. fin says “But what if it doesn’t work?”

    Try something else.

    What do you do if time out doesn’t work?

    What do you do if you’re out at the supermarket?

    fin says “And if we assume a normal distribution then moving the curve to the lower violence end will really help some kids!!!!”

    You want to assume that if you criminilise the good parents, the bad parents who curretly IGNORE the laws about assault and murder, will suddenly not want to break the smacking law?

    The slippery slope myth has largely been debunked – hell, even Barnados say smacking causes no harm.

    And in the majority of child deaths, there was NO previous evidence of abuse.

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  174. As for good parents not being criminilised –

    What about the dad who flicked his kids ear at Saturday morning sports.

    Next the police arrive at his place. He’s given a removal order and is not allowed to see his family over Christmas or for several months after.

    The kids have no dad for Christmas, mum is struggling solo at home, has to cut work hours, and risks losing her job. The kids holidays with mum and dad have to be cancelled. Dad has to pay for a single room flat, they get badly into debt and the family is being ripped apart – literally.

    The kids are traumatised by the whole thing, Everyone is.

    Eventually after months apart, the police “use their discretion” and decide there is no case to answer.

    He wasn’t prosecuted or criminilised, so no harm done – right?

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  175. photo – except to the kids ear perhaps. If he’d flicked yours, would you be wishing him a Merry Christmas?

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  176. Ok greenfly – you win – he should have been locked away.

    Lets completely stuff up the whole family including both boys.

    This is the sort of mentality that’s driving this.

    You don’t mind destroying families, as long as you can stamp YOUR ideals on everyone else.

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  177. Greenfly,
    The externalised evolution needed for the skillful use or development of tools and of social structures is actually the defining feature of humans, so much so that it may be considered our most important trait. So if i were to not cover it in detail in my evolutionary psych paper a otherwise A+ essay would be a sub C mark.

    If you have a problem with administering pain i could provide you with all sorts used by psychologists. A simple injection of potasism ions works brillently and is very precise as to the amount of pain.

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  178. Don’t over-react photo – I was only suggesting that we don’t send him a Christmas card.
    Seriously though, ear-flicking? I thought you were arguing for smacking. Are you wanting to include other forms of physical punishment as well? Keep your examples clear or people will wonder what it is that you are pushing for.

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  179. Fin

    I suggested one in a thread about a day ago. About 9 “Thou shalt not” clauses followed by Sue’s bill (absent the correction clause) and some other bits that appeared useful that I think Sapient suggested. It all hung together OK and people didn’t give it a second look.

    The whole country agrees with NOT letting kids get beaten to death. The problem is that the law changes don’t even come close to affecting that behaviour and instead invite families to be ripped apart by “no case to answer” based accusations. Because nobody can actually identify an illegal behaviour. Nobody can be explicitly told THIS is illegal. Nobody has a fncking clue unless they’re hauled into court, whether a law is broken or not.

    If you make rules such as I outlined you could publicize widely and teach even the illiterate what is not permitted. Such information would make a difference in the disadvantaged communities in which so much of the real abuse occurs. The current law and any current proposed change to it, remain fuzzy. Like when my reading glasses go missing. Except all the words are there and they just don’t MEAN a hell of a lot.

    You know I looked for that post and I can’t find it? Even in the past 2 days we’ve chewed up that many electrons. :-)

    respectfully
    BJ

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  180. Sapient – what a considerate fellow you are! I could self medicate with potasium until my expression becomes, I imagine, as pained as that of some of those posting here. Bj doesn’t like my line of inquiry re: tools. I’d have thought that pain was the effect, rather than the tool, but hei aha! I was attempting to convey the point that human reason cannot (easily) negate pain, but it can (easily) stay the hand that administers it.

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  181. greenfly – even anti-smacking people I know were absolutely appalled at what happened to this family.

    I don’t flick ears, but the whole thing would have been avoided if not for the anti-smacking hysteria.

    Pity anti-smackers don’t have the same passion to combat real child abuse.

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  182. photo – you bander about the term anti-smackers – I presume you have the go-ahead from the people in the group you describe thereby, to use that lable? I fou don’t then you’ll be comfortable with them using ‘ child-beaters’ to describe the camp you represent? Hmm?

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  183. Greenfly,
    The boundry between tool and user can at times be blurred, sometimes even between tool and object.
    In this case, vastly simplified, the mental processes cause the movement, the movement causes the detection in the object, the detection causes the pain, the pain causes the feedback, and the feedback causes the change in attitude. Thus BJ is correct in calling pain a tool, as are you. Though BJ is probally more correct as pain has often been used for the purpose of attitude change using various methods of administration, including shock and potasium :P .

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  184. Damn! I hate it when bj is more correct than me!

    The boundry between tool and user can at times be blurred

    it can sometimes be breached too – finger/thumb! :-)

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  185. “Shunda? You okay? We should do as the animals do? Really?”

    You really are a pain in the terminal shoot!! :)

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  186. Greenfly,
    Nothing to take too hard; BJ tends to be more correct than everyone. :P

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  187. greenfly says “photo – you bander about the term anti-smackers – I presume you have the go-ahead from the people in the group you describe thereby, to use that lable? I fou don’t then you’ll be comfortable with them using ‘ child-beaters’ to describe the camp you represent? Hmm?”

    1/ greenfly – you come across as being anti-smacking. Am I wrong? Are you pro-smacking?

    2/ “child beaters” As I’ve said before, there’s a desperate atempt by anti-smackers to make a light smack sound as violent as possible.

    They want to misrepresent the other side it as much as they can.

    Frankly, every time I hear the words beat, and hit and “child beaters” used to describe something that is far more mild, I just I just think it makes people look really dishonest.

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  188. “Nothing to take too hard; BJ tends to be more correct than everyone.”

    Then why don’t you all listen to him more often!!

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  189. photo – you jest, surely! You can’t see that ‘anti-smackers’ is emotive, loaded, offensive, incorrect etc. all of the things you feel when you are labled ‘child beater’? Please have a wee think before you respond.

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  190. Shunda,
    In case you hadint already realised; I am almost always in agreement with BJ (if he is ina greement with me is another matter :P ) and always give his opinions alot of weight. Of all on this forum I have the most respect for him.
    As to why the rest of the party doesint: because it conflicts with their ideology. They are not High-Mach INTJ’s like myself.

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  191. Shunda – I’m in the ‘Repeal Section 59 of the Crimes Act’ team. It’s a clumsy title, but 100% accurate and fair. Surely you want to be 100% accurate and fair, as I do.

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  192. greenfly – “- you jest, surely! You can’t see that ‘anti-smackers’ is emotive, loaded, offensive, incorrect etc. all of the things you feel when you are labled ‘child beater’?”

    Labeling someone a child beater is defamatory, acusing serious criminal behaviour, not to mention false.

    If someones stance is anti-smacking, labeling it as such nothing like the above.

    I’ve got freinds who are anti-smaking and thaey say their stance is anti-smacking.

    All of a sudden you are highly sensitive to an accurate description, calling it “emotive, loaded, offensive, incorrect” etc, but you’re not too sensitive to
    - make criminals out of good parents.
    - rip good families apart in the name of Sue’s law

    An occasional light smack along with non-physical correction does no harm to our kids and on average produces top outcomes when they are adults.

    The effort put into demonising good parents is astonishing,. That’s what’s offensive. Even more so when you compare what effort the same people have put into stopping actual child abuse.

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  193. Greenfly

    I like it just fine. It is merely the tools that shape behaviour are reward and punishment, not axe-handles or lollipops.

    Human reason may erroneously construct reasons to fail to teach. It is not infallible. Being so interested in “staying the hand that administers the pain” that you do not teach the necessary lessons is not as reasonable as it may seem.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  194. photo – you may well lable some one ‘anti-smacking’ but you should check with them to see if that accurately represents their position. I am saying ‘anti-smacking’ does NOT represent the position that I and many others, take. Your upset over being called ‘child-beater’ is quite unnecessary, as that is not what I am calling you, in fact, I have no lable for you. I only asked if you would be comfortable to be called that. I knew you would not. Now ask me if I want to be called ‘anti-smacker’ (no I do not, because it does not represent my position). Clear, or still too difficult to grasp?

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  195. bjchip – employing the hand to administer pain is surely not the only viable method of managing a child’s behaviour. You seem to say that it is.

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  196. “Shunda – I’m in the ‘Repeal Section 59 of the Crimes Act’ team. It’s a clumsy title, but 100% accurate and fair. Surely you want to be 100% accurate and fair, as I do.”

    Or to abreiviate “Rs 59ot cat”
    I’ve got it Greenfly :)

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  197. greenfly – i asked if you were anti-smacking, and you didn’t say no.

    Regardless of this, I haven’t actually labelled YOU part of this group – YOU have the option to be included in it or not.

    YOU’VE chosen to be offended by being part of it, even though no one says you are.

    Thou dost protest too much.

    If you are not anti-smacking, what is your position on smacking?

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  198. So a study suggests the smacking may be no inhibitor to later success in life. So smacking has been shown to be OK. Yet there are still people here who want to continue believing that their … beliefs … are the only ones anyone should have, regardless of studies, regardless of millennia of evidence. Given that intransigence, is it any wonder that we end up with bad laws?

    There is little discussion here about Sue’s often repeated assertion that children are merely little adults. I think some focus needs to be given to that bogus position. Children are certainly not just little adults, except when they become little adults. Children need to be taught about life and need to be brought up by parents with widely different parenting abilities and knowledge. They (children) shouldn’t be held responsible for what would otherwise be criminal acts, at least not in the same way as adults, but that concession equally applies to their rights. They have not yet reached the stage where they can expect exactly the same rights as adults. That is true in all sorts of life areas but Sue Bradford has imposed her will to ensure that her view of one particular area of life should prevail.

    Smacking that can’t reasonably be described as abuse should not be so described or recognised in law.

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  199. “Surely you want to be 100% accurate and fair, as I do.”

    Oh, of coarse greenfly (is the blog monitor watching?) I am all for fairness, fluffy kittens and being nice to everyone I meet. Sometimes I disagree with them, buts thats ok, we are still part of one big happy human family.
    I like trees.
    alot.
    And I think it is very bad to hurt whales.
    :mrgreen:

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  200. No… you may remember that I use if quite infrequently. Just as I don’t use use power tools when hand tools will do the job, I don’t hand out maximum punishments when little punishments or rewards will achieve the desired effect.

    What I am saying is that it is one of the most powerful tools we have.

    Like all powerful tools there are sensible restrictions to how it should be used and those SHOULD have been part of the law. Had they been, the law would have been accepted quite readily. Even the “correction clause” would have caused less of a stir.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  201. Shunda – looks like rot-gut (which ain’t such a bad thing!)

    photo – try though I might, I can’t make my point clear to you. I’m not offended, I just felt you would like to know where you were going wrong. You are mis-labling the team that supports what Sue Bradford has achieved with her bill.

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  202. Well said sifistek – this whole debate has diverted attention away from the real problems and issues.

    It has been a witch hunt attacking good parents, while avoiding the diffiicult issues with bad parents.

    So when will the smaking debate end and we oncentrate on the ACTUAL factors associated with child abuse? ( they’re well known and do NOT include smacking).

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  203. photo – but you forget that the issue that Sue Bradford’s bill dealt with was the loophole that existed in the Crimes Bill. She successfully plugged that and should be congratulated for her work.

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  204. “Shunda – looks like rot-gut (which ain’t such a bad thing!)”

    Speaking of which I am having a few wines with some chums and have discovered a very nice (and reasonably priced) bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz from Oxford Landing in SA.
    If my spleech tarts two blecome comfused mmm staarting to enjoy it a bwit mulch. ;)

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  205. greenfly – no Sue should not be congratuated for an absurd law
    - a law that no one understands
    - a law most people disagree with
    - a law thats so silly even Sue says the police should ignore it much of the time
    - a law that says force that is resonable is unreasonable.
    - a law that has had the totally predicatble result of ending up with a $9m referendum against it
    - a law that seeks to punish good parents, but will be ignored by bad ones
    - a law that has taken the focus off solving child abuse, and directed into a smacking vs non-smacking debate.
    - a law that damages some families instead of protecting them
    - a law that makes it illegal to bring up a child in a way that gives them the top chance of success.
    - a law that tried to plug a loophole, that was being used in less than 1 in 1000 cases, and being successfully used in much less.

    In the desperation to punish the one parent every two years who got off on reasonable force, the focus is taken away from several THOUSAND cases every year thet get off for other reasons.

    The law is actually harmful to child welfare in many ways, but will do nothing to stop child abuse (it was never intended to, says Sue)

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  206. Having ‘listened in’ to this fascinating debate for some time now, I’ll add some remarks of my own.
    I am a supporter of the Sec.59 repeal. Why?
    (a) Because, after over 30 years as a social worker, counsellor and family therapist, I have seen no evidence that physically disciplining children is an effective way of helping children learn to become co-operative adults. It certainly helps adults express their frustrations and can make them feel more in control. And because they fear pain and their parents’ hostility it often makes children comply – which is not the same as co-operation. If you want children to learn to behave co-operatively, learning respect and empathy, treat them that way.
    (b) “Smacking” (to use the short-hand) in a parenting context simply sustains our human idea that if people behave in ways we don’t like then ‘whack’ them, in one way or another. Cause them pain in some way and that’ll make them change (eg. the ‘let’s get tough on crime’ approach). Well, it might make the whackers feel better, but there is little hard evidence that it works. When did you last see an animal trainer use that approach? And children are basically young animals needing to be trained.
    As much as anything the Sec.59 repeal was about challenging the ‘whack them to make them behave’ mind-set. It isn’t very long ago that men were finally challenged about and prevented from ‘whacking’ their wives to make them behave. It hasn’t stopped it happening, of course, but society has drawn a line in the sand and said it’s not O.K. – just as it has with, say, drink-driving. Of course the Sec.59 repeal hasn’t stopped child abuse. Being against the law has never stopped murder either. But just as we now won’t tolerate domestic violence, the repeal was the beginning of a move toward not tolerating hitting children either. We have one of the highest rates of child abuse in the developed world. That’s not the ‘abusers’ problem – it’s our problem. What is it in our cultural mindset which fosters that? That’s why I challenge those who want to hit their children, lightly or not.

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  207. Thank you for posting… but I think you are in for a VERY hard time here.

    because they fear pain and their parents’ hostility it often makes children comply

    What makes you imagine that this is the only thing going on? Do you understand operant conditioning at all?

    I have seen no evidence that physically disciplining children is an effective way of helping children learn to become co-operative adults.

    Got questions.
    1. Have you raised children of your own?
    2. At what age do you typically “see” a child.
    3. Given that you are a social worker you are exposed mostly to people who already have problems. Do you see many children who are not in an ALREADY disfunctional family.

    When did you last see an animal trainer use that approach?
    1. Watch any band of non-human primates.
    2. Watch any pack of wolves.

    Human animal trainers are often dealing with animals who can kill them in a heartbeat. Force IS used but it is more abstract and engineered. You may not recognize the restraints the animal is placed in, but the animal is not free and is sometimes drugged. It is handled using machines and cages IN ADDITION to what training is given it.

    I understand your perception, but the evolutionary strand running through this is quite clear, and behavioral reinforcement is extraordinarily well documented in masses of psychological research.

    The comparison with beating one’s wife is clever but completely off-topic. Not because it wasn’t done, but because adult females are ADULTS. You use other means when a child is grown to an age when reason and more rational persuasions can influence them. THEY ARE NOT LITTLE ADULTS. That is simply and COMPLETELY wrong. They will become adults. They are not yet.

    You go ahead with your plan to “not tolerate any hitting of children”. It is an extreme view that is NOT supported by research, NOT supported by evolution, NOT supported by the population. Should you by some miracle succeed in imposing this view on the society the result will be greatly increased child-on-child violence and a generation of children who grow up without the essential social training that keeps our behavior civilized.

    We’ve already seen these results in part.

    However, there is a far more practical result that is far more likely. Your view will cause the destruction of any organizations that are swayed to support it. The Green Party is at serious risk over this issue. It is not acceptable to have zealotry on this topic drive the party into the dirt while the planet is going down the gurgler.

    Is it reasonable to condemn billions of people to death because of a mistaken belief that children as actually adults in disguise?

    That’s a hell of a consequence.

    We have one of the highest rates of child abuse in the developed world.

    Maybe… I’ll accept it as a premise, though I point out that no two countries measure this the same way. I reckon we DO have some issues here that aren’t well controlled. Doing SOME thing about them is something that everyone in NZ would have been happy to work with you to accomplish. Doing THIS thing about them is not.

    Teaching people what they CANNOT do to a child by way of punishment or correction, is very easy if you lay out some simple rules. I had 8 of them and I wish this blog had a functional search capability so I could find where I stated them earlier. As pointed out, a bill like that would have sailed through by acclamation, no referendum and it would have been TEACHABLE. It would have been easily understood by the dimmest of the citizenry and they’d have thanked us for setting the limits.

    BJ

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  208. I understand the weight of this matter is Child Abuse being cast from it’s popular perch in NZ sociology.
    However, ‘smack’ is entirely colloquial.
    The challenge is to separate correction from abuse – many here have kindly lent their experiences of a ‘smack’ – obviously a great many NZ children have and do suffer horrific, sometimes fatal, beatings.
    Though I’d always favour the Educational approach – to Parents about channelling their anger and frustration, much of this behaviour is so interlaced with other attitudes, that making it (violence against children) unnacceptable is an unpopular notion.
    Being unpopular does not make an issue ‘wrong’.
    Psychologists, Prison Warders, Ambulance Drivers, Police etc etc etc etc all only get one vote each.
    However, if the people who have to clean up after a brutal upbringing bears fruit held sway – specific and unambiguous laws would be passed immediately.

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  209. philip – it’s amazing you’ve had 30 years of social work and seen no evidence that physical discipline helps children become cooperative adults.

    Because the world has millions of cooperative adults who were smacked as children.

    Maybe you’ve missed these millions of people.

    Or perhaps are you basing your assumptions on disfunctional families who you presuambly have to deal with every day

    What percentage of your time is spent doing therapy and councilling with well functioning families who don’t need it?

    The world famous Otago study completely condradicts your experience.

    And having split physical dicipline into three different levels, they found the two much harsher levels were detrimental to adult outcomes, but the mildest level had outcomes equal to and better than non-physical punishment – they were the top performing group.

    Many other studies are completely flawed as they start with biased conclusion, then try to prove it. They group ocassional light smacking with abuse including homicide, so they can say samcking is bad.

    It would be equalliy absurd to do a studty of smacking vs all other punishments – non-physical and hash abuse, and homicide.

    If you look at all the reasearch in this area, take out all those that set out with a biased agenda from the start, and take out those that lump abused children with other groups, then there’s very few studies left.

    In fact the Otago study is beleived to be the only long term study in the world where the smacking group was separated from the severly beaten group.

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  210. Because the world has millions of cooperative adults who were smacked as children.

    Hmm. Just because smacking occurred, it does not follow that smacking assisted co-operativeness. A classic logic fallacy, I’m afraid. (Affirming the consequent, modus ponens)

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  211. photonz1 said: …it’s amazing you’ve had 30 years of social work and seen no evidence that physical discipline helps children become cooperative adults.

    Cooperation through coersion???

    You WILL cooperate, or you will get the BASH

    I just don’t see any logic to that argument. Orwellian, actually!

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  212. kjuv, you’re right, correlation is not causation. But there equally is no evidence that not smacking your children leads to better outcomes. Indeed, a study linked to here indicates the reverse.

    There have been some great responses here from posters like photonz1 and bjchip but it seems that some have made up their minds for good and are not prepared to listen to argument or evidence.

    In terms of the referendum, the wording is clear except to scared politicians and those who don’t want the electorate to have a voice. Hopefully, most people will ignore the politicians and vote – one way or the other.

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  213. Kjuv and Toad

    Given that most societies “cooperate” in a hierarchical rather than a pure cooperative fashion, your barbs are misplaced. The impact of having to acknowledge a higher authority and being taught NOT to fight it works in quite nicely.

    Asking whether it is a “good” thing is another question. It may however, be a necessary thing.

    BJ

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  214. frog says
    “You WILL cooperate, or you will get the BASH”

    “I just don’t see any logic to that argument. Orwellian, actually!”

    You are right – it’s completely reduiculous. But then they are YOUR words. NO one else has said that.

    There you go for the umptenth time -using a the most violent word you can, trying to ascribe it to your oponents, when they are talking about light and occasional smacking,

    Frog – your extremist language just makes you look…well…extremist.

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  215. Sorry – got my amphibians mixed up – last post should read

    TOAD says
    “You WILL cooperate, or you will get the BASH”

    “I just don’t see any logic to that argument. Orwellian, actually!”

    You are right – it’s completely reduiculous. But then they are YOUR words. NO one else has said that.

    There you go for the umptenth time -using a the most violent word you can, trying to ascribe it to your oponents, when they are talking about light and occasional smacking,

    Frog – your extremist language just makes you look…well…extremist.

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  216. proballly should have also read “Toad – your extremist language just makes you look…well…extremist.” :P

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  217. Or

    “Toad – your extremist language just makes you sound …well…extremist.” :-)

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  218. I’m not only getting my amphibians mixed up – now I’m getting my senses mixed up too.

    Anyway – I don’t know what all the fuss is about. There’s nothing wrong with an occasional light snack.

    It’s all extremist pc nonsence. First we had food rules in schools, and now the Greens have helped pass Sue’s anti-snacking law. – what next?

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  219. I’m amazed that government departments like CHYPS and NGOs like Bananados are anti snacking.

    The Otago Study showed that there’s no long term harm from occasional light snacking – kids came out as good, or better than those who never snacked at all.

    Of course abusive snacking is not good and has long term detrimental effects.

    And the factors associated with abusive snacking are well known – particularly drug use i.e. marajuana, alcohol use, as well as watching rugby on tv and going to the movies.

    If we really want to stamp out abusive snacking then we need to concentrate on these factors – not make it a crime for an occasional light snack that never did any harm.

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  220. “I’m amazed that government departments like CHYPS and NGOs like Bananados are anti snacking.”

    They are not (you have stated just that re Barnardos in this thread).

    They just think that by reducing society’s acceptance of physical punishment, we’re really gonna help some kids.

    Whatever the referendum outcome and consequences; the above is happening. Surely this is a good thing…?

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  221. It depends on whether I’m eating CHYPS or Banana.dos, or fin soup, or frogs legs, or toad-in-the-hole.

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  222. Frog Says:
    It seems I’m not the only one confused about the meaning of the question in the forthcoming referendum:

    Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?

    I initially wondered if it was asking whether I should get the bash if I don’t look after the tadpoles properly.


    88% understood it and voted “No!”.
    So what’s wrong with you :lol:

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