Family First have made much of various opinion polls, many (like their referendum question) leading in their questions and some dodgy in their methodology, in advocating that parents have a “right” to hit their children.
Little has been said about what children think about the issue, despite New Zealand having ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Article 12 of that Convention states:
1. States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.
2. For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.
So it’s great to see that the child helpline 0800WHATSUP has conducted a survey of children and young people to find out their thoughts on this issue.
Here are the results:
The full report on the survey is available here (PDF).
Maybe if children and young people had drafted the referendum question it would have been worded more sensibly too.