Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Direct Action on Section 59

The liberal hand-wringers have set up this nifty piece of technology that allows New Zealanders to email their MPs with their views on the repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act.

For those people who can distinguish between occasional smacking on the one hand, and physical abuse on the other hand; and who believe that the State's first priority should be protecting children from real physical abuse, rather than occasional smacking, I invite you to take the following steps to email all MPs with your opposition to the Bill, using this same website.

To do so, take the following steps:

Visit http://wizard.repealsection59.org.nz/.

Send your message to all 121 MPs.

Create your own email message.

Press "Next".

Fill in the form with your email address, and first and last names.

Click "Next".

Change the Subject Line to "Don't Repeal Section 59".

Paste the following message:

Along with the vast majority of New Zealanders, I strongly disagree with the Green and Labour Parties' moves to repeal Section 59 of the Crimes Act. Far too much of taxpayers' money has been spent so far debating this tedious and trivial issue.

As the law currently stands, parents who beat their children unreasonably are given no protection under Section 59. There is no overwhelming case history of parents who have escaped prosecution, or conviction, for committing violent acts against their children. On the other hand, the State appears to have been unable to prevent far too many parents from inflicting genuine harm on their children.

The repeal of Section 59 does nothing to protect a single New Zealand child from criminal abuse. It is a red herring inspired by social engineers who have run out of ideas in confronting some of the main causes of child abuse: poverty, poor education, poor health outcomes, substance abuse, and intergenerational welfare.

On the other side of the debate, there is genuine concern from many law-abiding, caring, and loving New Zealand parents that a repeal of Section 59 will criminalise an occasional use of reasonable force against children.

There is no public mandate for the legislation. It is dividing New Zealanders, and in particular, their faith in the parliamentary process. I urge you not to support this Bill, and instead to concentrate your efforts on reducing serious harm against New Zealand's most vulnerable children.

While in the long term, a public debate on the benefits of smacking versus other forms of discipline may overwhelmingly result in a preference for non-smacking disciplinary measures, this attempt to criminalise law-abiding and successful parents, for no benefit to the children concerned, strikes of monumental political stupidity.

Deal with the important stuff first.

Kind regards,

8 comments:

Alan said...

Done, thanks for the link. this needs to be kicked in the teeth asap.

Anonymous said...

"The repeal of Section 59 does nothing to protect a single New Zealand child from criminal abuse. It is a red herring inspired by social engineers who have run out of ideas in confronting some of the main causes of child abuse: poverty, poor education, poor health outcomes, substance abuse, and intergenerational welfare."

Good call. Done.

Anonymous said...

"I am not available if you would like to speak to my secretary the number is 04 4706618"

NCEA english from Hawkins.

Anonymous said...

Sorted.
Thanks for making this idiot proof this whole issue is making me so annoyed I can barely think straight...and I DONT EVEN SMACK MY KIDS

Whats the PC approved version of going postal?

ZenTiger said...

Done. Thanks for the tip.

Ruth said...

Wondering if the latest case re the 'horsewhip' woman has changed your opinion at all? Barnados made a good statement http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0704/S00162.htm

I have told to a few people (including Edridge - I'm involved with Barnados), that you are the only person I have read in the blogosphere whose opposition to Bradford's legislation comes from a child advocacy position, so I am interested in your thoughts.

Ruth said...

Mean 'talked'!

Insolent Prick said...

Ruth,

The riding crop case hasn't changed my view at all. The mother is a stupid, stupid woman who is exactly the sort of person who should be monitored constantly by CYF. She should not be charged with the care of children.

The riding crop case itself did not lead to considerable injury to the child. In fact, no parent has got off with a Section 59 defence after significantly injuring the child. As horrifying as a riding crop might sound as an implement, no actual injury took place.

If I had been on that jury, I don't think I would have accepted that the force she used was reasonable.

I'm not surprised that this stupid woman has come before the courts again. I am surprised that it has taken this long before another case involving her has reached the Court. I very much doubt that she's going to get away with it this time, and if anything, will prove just how robust Section 59 is at present.