June 24 2008 Record refutes fearmongering of ban opposition
FROM: CHILDRENS RIGHTS INFORMATION NETWORK NEW ZEALAND: No court cases over smacking [news] [24 June 2008] - Green New Zealand MP Sue Bradford, who pushed through the anti-smacking legislation last year, says new police data on the impact of the law should silence its critics.
The police review of child assault complaints over a six month period to April shows not one prosecution for smacking. There were three prosecutions for assault on a child in this time but none for what could be termed as "smacking". Bradford says she's happy with how the legislation is being used. Deputy Police Commissioner Rob Pope says the lack of smacking prosecutions means police are using a "common sense approach."
He says anyone who knows anything about family violence in New Zealand would know the law is appropriate.
The police review was released as supporters of a petition wanting the anti-smacking law overturned handed a petition to parliament for a second time.
Larry Baldock of the Kiwi Party handed over 390,000 signatures. The petition fell 18,000 short and was rejected in April when a number of the signatures were found to be duplicates or invalid.
Baldock says he's confident they've got it right this time as one in every four of the votes would now have to be found invalid if they're to fail. He says they have received 60,000 extra signatures since the petition was rejected.
The Prime Minister is sticking to her guns over a referendum on the anti-smacking law at this year's election.
National's John Key is accusing Helen Clark of arrogance by ruling out a referendum after the petition was presented to parliament .
But Clark says there isn't enough time for a referendum to be put in place. She says parliament's clerk needs two months to check the validity of the signatures and the government then needs a month to determine when a referendum will be held.