From now on, good parents may face prosecution for a light smack.

Today, the Crimes (substitution of section 59) Ammendment Act takes effect. From now on it will be a crinimal offence to give your child a light smack for the purpose of correction. And incase you believe the spin that no parent who gives a light smack will be prosecuted think again. The Police have released new guidlines indicating how they interprete the law in which parents who even use “minor, trivial” and “inconsequential” force to discipline their children will have their names and details recorded by Police. If the smacking is “repetitive and frequent” the parent may face prosecution. The source of this post is the article “Regular smackers may face prosecution” from yesterdays Dominion Post.

This should come as no suprise. If the Bill really was about removing the reasonable force defence for parents who seriously beat their children, Why did Sue Bradford threaten to withdraw the whole Bill if an ammendment to define reasonable force to prohibit anything causing more than transitory and triffling pain passed. The answer is simple, the Bill was not motivated by reducing child abuse, but instead by ideology. There is one positive effect of this new law though. It will help get Labour out next year.

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