Lies, damn lies and more lies

March 28th, 2007 at 7:10 am by David Farrar

At coffee on Monday a companion observed that I appeared to be pretty heated up on the Section 59 issue. I said that yes I was, but not on the primary issue of Section 59 but because of the absolute lies being told by the Bradford bill backers.

I actually recognise that a reasonable case can be made for outright repeal of Section 59, on the grounds that a small minority of parents can not cope with subtleties such as the concept of reasonable force. If they (Clark/Bradford) were honest that this bill would now ban smacking, but that they are asking parents to accept this restriction in order to help with that small number of problem families, then you might even have got a majority of parents onside and selflessly willing to make that sacrifice for the greater good. In fact almost every person I have spoken to has said that they could be persuaded if it was framed like that.

But the proponents of this bill have lied and twisted and spun. They are the reason 85% of NZers are now against this bill. It has been a catalog of political incompetence. Yes the bill will probably get passed into law, but the political ill will they have generated may haunt them for some time.

So what are these lies? Let us take them in turn:

NZPA quotes Steve Maharey using the standard Labour line of:

“It simply removes the defence of a person who is facing prosecution in court for using excessive force to discipline their children,”

The Labour spin is that smacking is already illegal, and that a defence in the Crimes Act is just something you can use in court. This is with all respect absolute bullshit and we know this with common sense.

Another Crimes Act defence is the right to self-defence. Now does Labour claim that it is illegal to use force to defend yourself in self-defence? Of course not. Take an example. Let us say you are in town and someone pulls a knife out on you and your girlfriend. He goes to stab you. You whack him in arm and he drops the knife. You have just saved your life, and maybe your girlfriend’s.

Now according to the Labour lies, you have just committed a crime, and that your right of self defence is something you will have to use in court. This is obviously not the case, Crown Law will not prosecute you, the Police will not charge you – because you have not broken the law. A defence under the Crimes Act means your actions are not illegal. So for Labour to claim smacking is already illegal, means you accept that defending yourself from a knife wielding maniac is also illegal. They can not have it both ways.

The second lie is that this is all about bating and thrashing, to quote Helen Clark in the Herald:

Helen Clark yesterday said some bill opponents were “demanding the right to be able to thrash and beat children”

This ignores that almost all opponents will be satisfied if the Borrows amendment is passed. And it is hysterical nonsense to claim that such an amendment allows any thrashing or beating. It sets the bar very low as only trifling or transitory. The more they try to demonise those who disagree with them as being “child beaters”, the more you piss off 85% of NZers.

Even if one does not like the exact wording of the Borrows amendment, the Government ignores the question of why it simply doesn’t pass a law saying you can not beat or thrash children, but a light smack is okay for correctional purposes. One can only conclude because they do in fact want to ban smacking, but don’t want to admit it.

Then we have the lies and spin over whether the Bradford bill repeals Section 59. It does not (her original bill did). The bill amends Section 59 to remove one defence and insert around four new ones.

Amazingly Tony Milne is arguing that this is a repeal. This I am afraid is a clear example of Labour tactics of arguing semantics over substance.

Let’s take Tony’s argument seriously for a second, that replacing one set of words with another is a repeal rather than an amendment. Let’s say a future Government removes the current definition of murder, and replaces it with a new definition which allows for three degrees of murder (like in the US). Well by Tony’s logic such a Government has repealed murder as a crime!!!

This is where all the Government arguments fall short. They argue legal semantics instead of common sense. They argue it does not ban smacking when it does. They then argue smacking has been illegal for 100 years when it clearly has not. They argue an amendment is a repeal. It’s just an insult to people’s intelligence, and is why 85% of NZers are now against the bill.

The Government is in fact having a false debate. They are arguing the merits of a total repeal of Section 59 vs the status quo. What is on the table is whether or not to vote for the Borrows amendment which will in fact drastically lower the level of force deemed reasonable and allow smacking for correctional purposes, on top of the four other grounds now listed in the Bradford bill.

The Government still appears desperate to get this through Parliament as quickly as possible. Having failed to ram it through under urgency, the signs now are they may make it an official Government bill (which at least would be more honest) so it can progress more speedily. It will be interesting to see if they finish committee stage today.

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183 Responses to “Lies, damn lies and more lies”

  1. GPT () says:

    “They argue legal semantics instead of common sense”

    I think straight semantics might be better – there is nothing “legal” about the govt’s spin on this one.

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  2. Graeme Edgeler () says:

    If it’s a government bill then Bradford can’t withdraw it if Borrows’ amendments pass…

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  3. sean14 () says:

    If the amendment bill doesn’t ban light smacking, as Sue Bradford and Helen Clark have said it doesn’t, how is it an improvement (from their perspective) on the status quo?

    If light smacking is ok, therefore some level of force must be acceptable, therefore we’re back at square one where juries will be deciding what is and isn’t reasonable. Perhaps the added twist will be thrown in of deciding whether force was used for the purpose of correction or not. No law can guarantee that a jury won’t make a bone-headed decision as has clearly happened in the past.

    I’m annoyed about this because of all the time MPs have wasted on this piece of legislation when they know full well it won’t make a blind bit of difference. People who are going to “thrash and beat” their kids aren’t going to stop mid-swing to remind themselves that Section 59 of the Crimes Act has been amended.

    On the other side of the argument for a moment, some opponents of the bill don’t do their argument any favours though when they send emails to MPs telling them that if they vote for the Bradford amendment they therefore must hate God and will burn in hell for all eternity. It beats the hell out of me why people like that can’t figure out that they are simply giving ammo to the other side.

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  4. Peter S () says:

    For a group of politicians (3 senior ones who have combind 75 years experience) that have a reputation for being clever and astute, this is an almost unbelieveable performance.

    It is almost as if they have become completely divorced from reality. You would not expect such ham fisted bungling from the 3 stooges.

    The only 3 conclusions I can come to are that
    either

    1 They have lost connection with reality to such an extent that they really think they are invincible come election time.

    2 They know they will never win the next election, so they are going hell bent to push through as much as possible before they get turfed out.

    3 They are planning to subvert the election process, making it impossible to remove them.

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  5. Tony Milne () says:

    “The Government is in fact having a false debate. They are arguing the merits of a total repeal of Section 59 vs the status quo. What is on the table is whether or not to vote for the Borrows amendment which will in fact drastically lower the level of force deemed reasonable and allow smacking for correctional purposes, on top of the four other grounds now listed in the Bradford bill”.

    Actually the opponsents of repeal are also having a false debate. As I’ve said – the debate is in the middle. Both sides support repeal of section 59 and it being replaced with something else. The amended Bradford Bill on one side and the Burrows amendment on the other. Both are compromises – but different version of a compromise. That is where the debate should be.

    Unfortuantly because of the lies and mistruths and deliberate misrepresentations which started with the fringe fundamentalist christians and have been taken up by others(mixed with a completly ineffectual pro repeal campaign to date) a major job is having to be done to get across to the public that this bill does not ban smacking.

    The origional bill did (although people argued the police would not prosecute).

    BUT WE ARE NOT DEBATING THE ORIGIONAL BILL.

    We are debating a compromise amended bill which still allows smacking, while dealing with those that cross the line.

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  6. PaulM () says:

    The amended bill bans smacking for purpose of correction, as you well know.

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  7. Peter S () says:

    “Unfortuantly because of the lies and mistruths and deliberate misrepresentations which started with the fringe fundamentalist christians and have been taken up by others(mixed with a completly ineffectual pro repeal campaign to date) a major job is having to be done to get across to the public that this bill does not ban smacking.”

    Can you condense that a bit please. It won’t quite fit on the Tui billboard.

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  8. Nicholas O'Kane () says:

    Good post David.
    Tony Milne, as for the bill not banning smacking, while it does allow reaosnable force in certain very limited circumstances, correction is not one of them, meaning that if a child runs onto the middle of as road, it would be okay to grab him/her to stop the child being run over, but it won’t be okay to smack the child once you’ve grabbed the child. The threat of Bradford to withdraw the bill if ammended to allow “transitory and triffling” harm to the child for correction shows where the true extremism lies.

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  9. Andrew Davies () says:

    Don’t forget the calculated and deliberate lie told before the election.

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  10. ross () says:

    > They argue it does not ban smacking when it does. They then argue smacking has been illegal for 100 years when it clearly has not.

    The funny thing is, they make both statements with a straight face. If smacking has been illegal for 100 years, then there is no need to ban it and therefore no need for Bradford’s bill.

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  11. ross () says:

    > They argue it does not ban smacking when it does. They then argue smacking has been illegal for 100 years when it clearly has not.

    The funny thing is, they make both statements with a straight face. If smacking has been illegal for 100 years, then there is no need to ban it and therefore no need for Bradford’s bill.

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  12. Tony Milne () says:

    Have you read the bill? It says this: “(d) performing the normal daily tasks that are incidental to good care and parenting”.

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  13. Fred () says:

    Big upside here for Keysy.

    Immediately this is passed he promises a referendum on it or repeal after next election.
    Hulun has to live with a “I know best about your kids” label that can be refreshed anytime he wants with a few words and perfect product recognition.

    Just mention the “Smacking Bill”

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  14. ross () says:

    > a major job is having to be done to get across to the public that this bill does not ban smacking.

    So Greg O’Connor is wrong and you are right? I don’t think so. Look at what police have said. They will investigate complaints, they will arrest and detain on the basis of a complaint. Smacking is to be deemed an assault under the proposed law. It’s truly amazing that after all this time and all this debate, some people still don’t get it.

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  15. ross () says:

    “Anyone who is arrested will be treated the same as anyone else who is arrested for domestic violence. Under current policy, they have to be kept in custody for 24 hours,” says Greg O’Connor of the [police] association.

    And that’s not including what action CYFS will take once a complaint has been laid. Tony Milne thinks this is an improvement on the current situation.

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  16. sonic () says:

    Ross, I see you are still pushing the discredited line that police somehow have no choice on how they respond to complaints.

    As I mentioned last week, being drink in public is a crime, do the police march up Queen Street nicking everyone who is intoxicated?

    Of course not, they use their discretion.

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  17. Gloria McAlesse () says:

    The following is PM Clarke’s statement in yesterday’s paper; “Prime Minister Helen Clark says that the Crimes Act already made smacking a crime and there was nothing in Ms Bradford’s bill to change that. The One News poll posed a false question, because it told people the bill would outlaw smacking.”

    Yes, Ms Clarke, the Crimes Act does make smacking a crime but SECTION 59, as it currently stands, means smacking is LEGAL – provided the force used is reasonable and for correctional purposes.

    Clarke’s point is irrelevant. She is using (what she believes is) peoples’ ignornance of the Crimes Act to confuse the issue.

    She will get my respect when she refutes the oppositions’ arguements not with power play games.

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  18. Sam Dixon () says:

    Wait a minute, you’re saying its ‘spin’ to talk about legal semantics when dealing with a Bill that would remove a defence to an existing offence? You’re saying that explaining the actual, legal impact of a piece of law passed by the legislature should not be done in legal terms?

    Currently, the law says: Crimes Act, s194,
    Common assault – Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year who assaults any other person. (assault is defined in common law as ‘even the slightst touching’). You see? Its an offence to touch someone, but there’s a whole lot of defences that justify touching, including, for now, s59. When s59 is gone (well, modified actually to remove correction as a jsutification), the offence will not be justifiable by reason of correction. That’s not spin that’s the simple effect of the Bill.

    I don’t actually care much about the s59 debate but it drives me nuts that you attempt to cloud the issue with this minor, legally illiterate point, rather than give reasons why smacking is good and ought to remain justifiable, or why Bradford’s Bill will not produce better outcomes for NZ kids.

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  19. Grant ( a new one) () says:

    Tony Milne, while I can’t provide a link for a quote, I am sure I’ve heard SB say that smacking as a form of correction will be banned.
    So when you say ” a major job is having to be done to get across to the public that this bill does not ban smacking.” I, and apparently most of the country, feel that you are being a bit underhand.
    As for HC’s statement on the news last night that a “few fundamentalists”, (or words to that effect) are behind the protests, I am just appalled. Does she really believe that 80% of the citizens of this country are so dumb as to let a few extreme fundies influence us?? Helen we are not stupid, lady. We know when we are being conned. Be brave and tell us why!!

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  20. Exiled () says:

    Sonic,

    Can you please show where the notion that the police have no discretion (wrt this bill) has been discredited?

    Has there been an official statement somewhere?

    Thanks.

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  21. unaha-closp () says:

    It is a just and moral crusade to rid our society of the scrouge of homosexuality, drugs, alcohol or whatever. The moral crusaders draw the same old (long) bows – homosexuallity leads to pedophillia, a glass of beer leads to homelessness, marijuana leads to smack and now smacking leads to child killing. It will, like all other moral crusades, bring prosecution against the weak and vulnerable. The moral crusaders residing as they do in middle & upper classes will enjoy an occassional clandestine affair with an old chum, do a line and with a glass of wine in one hand discipline little Percival for shouting. And they’ll feel so self satisfied doing the moral thing – pricks.

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  22. David Farrar () says:

    Sam you are also playing semantics.

    The Crimes Act could have been written so that it said “Assault, other than parental discipline which uses reasonable force, is an offence …”

    All they have done is split that into seperate clauses. It is not illegal to currently smack your child.

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  23. side show bob () says:

    Tony asks the great unwashed to believe the socialists can be trusted when they say this bill will not band smacking.

    Who decides what the “normal daily tasks that are incidental to good care and parenting”, the barron cow that calls herself PM?.

    Tony, going on the past histories of the scum that rule this country I would not trust these lying bastards with a tin of shit.

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  24. Gloria McAlesse () says:

    The following is PM Clarke’s statement in yesterday’s paper; “Prime Minister Helen Clark says that the Crimes Act already made smacking a crime and there was nothing in Ms Bradford’s bill to change that. The One News poll posed a false question, because it told people the bill would outlaw smacking.”

    Yes, Ms Clarke, the Crimes Act does make smacking a crime but SECTION 59, as it currently stands, means smacking is LEGAL – provided the force used is reasonable and for correctional purposes.

    Clarke’s point is irrelevant. She is using (what she believes is) peoples’ ignornance of the Crimes Act to confuse the issue.

    Why aren’t Politicans coming up with alternative ways to reduce voilence in the home? We pay them enough.

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  25. Peter Grooby () says:

    Tony, what part of the following do you contend allows smacking? Smacking being generally considered as force used as a means of punishment.
    (from http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Legislation/Bills/b/2/4/b24fba96f2224b1985bc254efac71c63.htm )

    “59 Parental control 5
    (1) Every parent of a child and every person in the place of a parent of the child is justified in using force if the force used is reasonable in the circumstances and is for the purpose of—
    (a) preventing or minimising harm to the child or another person; or
    (b) preventing the child from engaging or continuing to engage in conduct that amounts to a criminal offence; or
    (c) preventing the child from engaging or continuing to engage in offensive or disruptive behaviour; or
    (d) performing the normal daily tasks that are incidental to 15 good care and parenting.
    (2) Nothing in subsection (1) or in any rule of common law justifies the use of force for the purpose of correction.
    (3) Subsection (2) prevails over subsection (1).”

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  26. James () says:

    “Why aren’t Politicans coming up with alternative ways to reduce voilence in the home? We pay them enough.”‘

    That would involve them having to address the biggest cause of child abuse which is the existence of the Welfare State and specifically the DPB…

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  27. Sofia () says:

    Regarding the actual wording of the new Section 59:

    Each of the four clauses uses the verb ‘preventing’ which is present tense and three clauses add ‘or continuing to engage’ which is on-going or future to the present ‘preventing’. This means I am able to use reasonable force prevent my child harming herself, and continue to use such force as needed to prevent the action continuing. What I may not do is ‘correct’ my child.
    I assume therefore it is just a matter of saying to my child ‘This smack is not to correct or punish you – it is to prevent you from running on the road again.”

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  28. Sofia () says:

    Regarding the actual wording of the new Section 59:

    Each of the four clauses uses the verb ‘preventing’ which is present tense and three clauses add ‘or continuing to engage’ which is on-going or future to the present ‘preventing’. This means I am able to use reasonable force prevent my child harming herself, and continue to use such force as needed to prevent the action continuing. What I may not do is ‘correct’ my child.
    I assume therefore it is just a matter of saying to my child ‘This smack is not to correct or punish you – it is to prevent you from running on the road again.”

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  29. David M () says:

    Question
    If this passing this bill is a condition of the Greens support for the Government, why pick this bill? Surely there would be better or more important crusades the Greens would look at
    Don’t understand why they want to pass an anti smacking bill

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  30. Fishbowlnz () says:

    David M…

    Clearly the PM wants this legislation passed and was trying to avoid the flack of having additional fuss from the public about claims of social engineering from Labour… Now that 85% of us have been discounted as hard right cronies… the public will just fall into line

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  31. insider () says:

    Don’t forget all those ‘extremists’ who are members of golf clubs…

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  32. ross () says:

    > As I mentioned last week, being drink (sic)in public is a crime, do the police march up Queen Street nicking everyone who is intoxicated?

    No, Sonic, only some of them. So prosecuting some parents that smack will make you happy?

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  33. DavidW () says:

    ….. and Rotarians and Accountants ….

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  34. the Swift man () says:

    David M has an excellent point.

    The Greens will NOT bring down the government, so the bill is not to buy their support.

    What legislation have they done a deal over?

    I suspect it’s even more frightening than SB’s bill. (SB does not mean ‘son of a bitch’)

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  35. phil u () says:

    oo.!..swifty has hit the conspiracy button…

    stand well back everyone…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  36. casual watcher () says:

    What is really going on with this Bill ? The dogmatic insistence that this Bill proceeds as is, is political suicide for Labour. Is Helen trying to engineer a coup to tip herself out cause she is plain bored and can see the writing on the wall for 2008 ? She sure looked bored meeting Bush last week.

    Or is there a coup brewing in NZ First to get rid of Winnie cause they can see the writing on the wall if they don’t do something. Something significant in the way of a threat or change must be brewing for HC to be snuggling up to the Greens like this. She is a centrist by nature and her political judgement has completely deserted her. Or were her and Cullen just mad all along and noone picked it ?

    You Wellington insiders must know of something that is cooking – please enlighten.

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  37. Chuck Bird () says:

    Tony Milne says, “Both sides support repeal of section 59 and it being replaced with something else.” So what do you base that claim on? Have you read all the submission opposing the bill? Section 59 resulted in about 7 people being found not guilty. The facts of these cases have been embellished by the anti smacking fanatics. Can you show one case where section 59 has excused a real bashing that left a child injured? It is possible that a jury occasional gets it wrong interpreting section 59 as they may with a self defence. That is no reason to remove either defence.

    Many opposed to the removal of section 59 would prefer it remained but would accept the Borrows amendment.

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  38. ross () says:

    I tend to agree with you Chuck. I mean, last year about 30% of rape prosecutions resulted in a conviction. In other words, 70% didn’t. So if we ban sex, that will fix the problem with the lack of rape convictions. Right?

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  39. James () says:

    Im wondering why there is no post on the brilliant suggestion made by the CIS yesterday that people be allowed to opt out of the State systems of health,education etc?…..I thought this was great stuff…

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  40. GPT () says:

    Tony said:
    “…a major job is having to be done to get across to the public that this bill does not ban smacking.”

    Bullshit. The Bradford bill will make it illegal to smack a child.

    Why else would Clark and others be spinning the tripe about police discretion?

    The net effect is that the bill will ban smacking.

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  41. sonic () says:

    “The facts of these cases have been embellished by the anti smacking fanatics”

    Those aquitted include parents who;

    Struck a 6-year-old with a leather belt.

    Hit a girl with a hose pipe several times.

    Used a riding crop and a bamboo cane to discipline a child.

    Disciplined a boy with a piece of kindling wood

    Care to point out the “embellishment”?

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  42. Michael () says:

    Tony Milne said:
    “Have you read the bill? It says this: “(d) performing the normal daily tasks that are incidental to good care and parenting”.”

    Have YOU read the bill?

    Under subsection 1 it says that you can use reasonable force for: “(d) performing the normal daily tasks that are incidental to good care and parenting”, as you said.

    But, under subsection 2 it says: “Nothing in SUBSECTION (1) or in any rule of common law justifies the use of force for the purpose of correction”.

    Subsection 3 then states that: “SUBSECTION (2) prevails over SUBSECTION (1)”.

    It clearly states that you can not use force for correctional purposes. So yes, the amendment of section 59 does ban smacking.

    Tony, don’t try and tell people that only the old bill banned smacking, and that the new one does not. You talk about lies and mistruths from the anti-smacking side; you’re hardly one to talk.

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  43. the Swift man () says:

    Fuck you are an idiot Phil

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  44. insider () says:

    Well Sonic, I suspect all those cases were heard by juries, and I don’t think the juries are stupid, particularly on issues like this that are not complex or dealing with the finer points of commercial law or circumstantial evidence. If they found after hearing all the facts and arguments that s59 was a reasonable defence, I’m not sure we are in a position to second guess. It actually sounds like the system might have worked.

    and I’m not sure we should be changing the law in a significant way just becuase HC and SB didn’t like the decision. What does that say about their general trust in the public?

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  45. dmw () says:

    You obviously haven’t managed to read Michele Wilkinson-Smith’s piece in the Herald, sonic.

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  46. Paul Marsden () says:

    And Bill Hodge (Law Lecturer), says it will make it illegal to smack children, and that it is also a badly written piece of legislation. Sonic, how say ye..???

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  47. Peter Grooby () says:

    Struck a 6-year-old with a leather belt.
    — Big deal. A belt! Was she permanently injuried due to the application of this implement of torture?

    Hit a girl with a hose pipe several times.
    — Ooooh a hose!

    Used a riding crop and a bamboo cane to discipline a child.
    — If this is the case with the riding crop I am familiar with. The boy had just tried to stove in his step-fathers head with a metal baseball bat. As it happened the riding crop was near by and a short shap stroke got him to snap out of it, as it were and things calmed down. (Until CYFS blew it out of proportion)

    Disciplined a boy with a piece of kindling wood
    — A piece of wood 1 foot long and 2cm wide. It is my understanding that in the above case, the boy stated that the bruising that was visable some days later, was infact caused by a roller-skating accident.

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  48. Andrew Davies () says:

    Putting a child into time out can require the use of considerable force. Under the new law even time out will not be able to be used for correction.

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  49. sonic () says:

    I wonder if someone struck Peter with a leather belt, then hit with a hose pipe, then used a riding crop, followed by a cane and finished up by smacking him with a piece of wood, if he would laugh it off?

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  50. Bevan () says:


    Used a riding crop and a bamboo cane to discipline a child.

    I really love this one, you see what sonic has failed to tell you is that the boy got the bamboo cane after kicking a door in at his school and the riding crop across the backside was for swinging a baseball bat at his fathers head! For the rest read todays Herald A7.

    You will also notice that there are also five cases outlined where parents have used Section 59, yet have been convicted where it was blindly bloody obvious that it was a case of child abuse, and not reasonable force!

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  51. Paul Marsden () says:

    Sonic. Are you laughing off Bill Hodge’s comments or, are you as arrogant as your leader?

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  52. sonic () says:

    No Paul I just disagree with him.

    Is that allowed?

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  53. Exclamation Mark () says:

    Well sonic if Peter had tried to smash someone’s head in with a baseball bat he probably would have been shot if their were any police around, if he had been subdued by tasering or similar method he would have most likely been given prison time. Do you think the boy would have been given prison time? Of course not, and there in lies the unutterable stupidity of saying “we aren’t allowed to smack adults so why should we be allowed to do it to kids”.

    As for your asking us to point out the embellishments in the cases you mentioned, you didn’t bother to tell us about the events leading up to the children being punished (see todays herald for these reason). The juries were given all the facts that you deceitfully didn’t bother to mention which resulted in not guilty verdicts.

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  54. sonic () says:

    “the boy got the bamboo cane after kicking a door in at his school”

    So thats ok then?

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  55. Mike () says:

    So-nic,
    what do YOU think he should have got ?
    100 lines ?
    or some counselling?
    perhaps weeding the school garden ?

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  56. Mike () says:

    So-nic,
    what do YOU think he should have got ?
    100 lines ?
    or some counselling?
    perhaps weeding the school garden ?

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  57. Bevan () says:


    “the boy got the bamboo cane after kicking a door in at his school”

    So thats ok then?

    Well a jury seemed to think so.

    Why arent you commenting on the failed S59 defences sonic, dont want to admit that your sides standard line is bullshit.

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  58. Madeleine () says:

    An hour ago I was standing outside Benson-Pope’s electorate office collecting signatures for the petition against the repeal of s59.

    Whilst being interviewed by the ODT, Benson-Pope’s staff left the office and went around the back to the carpark. Shortly thereafter a van drove past us with a megaphone and announced “say no to child abuse”.

    This makes me sooooo mad. I HATE child abuse. The suggestion that becuase I oppose this bill I must support child abuse is RIDICULOUS!

    As I said to the reporter my preferred method of punishment with my children is time out. However, my children rarely consent to go to time out, I have to put them in time out – use force to get them there but this bill will make that illegal!

    You don’t have to agree with smacking to oppose this bill. Neither do you have to be a parent who smacks to have this bill personally affect your ability to parent.

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  59. sonic () says:

    Shorter Bevan

    “Why are you not making my case for me Sonic”

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  60. ross () says:

    > So thats ok then?

    No, it’s never OK to kick a door in…unless to save a life.

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  61. Paul Marsden () says:

    No Paul I just disagree with him.

    Is that allowed?

    Posted by sonic | March 28, 2007 1:42 PM

    Yes, of course it is allowed. So you disagree with a senior law lecturer who has taught a good number of our lawyers and sitting judges? Well, if this is the level of respect that you (and your leader), have for people of this ilk and standing in society, then it easily explains your low level of respect and arrogance towards fellow NZ’rs. Heaven help NZ.

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  62. Matthew () says:

    Sonic of course you are allowed to disagree. But let’s compare your credibility to Bill Hodge:

    – he states his real name, you don’t
    – he is a constitutional law expert, I’m not sure what you are.
    – you declined to state what these children had been doing in the lead up to their discipline with a smack.

    You are free to state what you want, but unfortunately your arguments are not holding water with most people in NZ or on this blog. Feel free to proceed, but you might in fact be more listened to if you presented more credible arguments. I recall the last time I had a long debate with you (about the Swedish case and the number of children who were killed since their smacking ban) we found we were quoting from the same set of statistics but you were exluding children who had not been killed by their parents, whereas I was. That was a useful discussion…

    Point out exactly what is OK and what isn’t about the boy who got the bamboo cane after kicking in a door at school.

    Now onto Helen Clark’s dealing with the question as to why she wont support Burrow’s amendment. In the House yesterday:

    Gordon Copeland: Why does the Prime Minister not support the amendment of Chester Borrows, since it allows a smack a hand to continue whilst outlawing hitting with an implement of any kind and, indeed, outlawing even a smack that causes injury beyond that which is transitory and trifling, since objectively that conforms with her stated position?

    Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: It is my understanding that Sir Geoffrey Palmer, who advised the Justice and Electoral Committee on both amendments, advised that Mr Borrows’ amendment would leave New Zealand in breach of international conventions and, furthermore, was a lawyers’ charter.

    Here Helen Clark relies on international conventions and seems to imply that “transitory and trifling” contravenes them. Anyone care to point out which international convention this is?

    Heather Roy: What right does she believe she has to override the views of the majority of New Zealanders and her own caucus and to tell me, as a mother of five, how to raise my own children?

    Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: The member will never get from me anything like Jenny Shipley’s code of social responsibility, which tried to tell people precisely how to do that.

    She fails to answer the question, but implies that she override NZ’ers view. What arrogance.

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  63. ZenTiger () says:

    Worse, the riding crop case, the mother was found not guilty, and yet the boy was kept by CYFS anyway. After 12 months waiting for the appeal case to come up, the boy had not been returned to the home – against the wishes of the boy and the family.

    When social workers declare that “any parent who smacks their child is not fit to be a parent”, and you see how CYFS can ignore a legal decision, as in the case above, then one gets to understand how dangerous this “anti-smacking” bill really is.

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  64. Peter Grooby () says:

    sonic wrote ” wonder if someone struck Peter with a leather belt, then hit with a hose pipe, then used a riding crop, followed by a cane and finished up by smacking him with a piece of wood, if he would laugh it off?”

    Forgetting the fact that I do karate and as are result get regularly beaten up for recreaton…

    The whole point of punishment is that it have some unpleasurable aspect to it. The same goes for time-out or a stern talking to, or sent to bed without supper. If it isn’t unpleasant then there is no corrective value to it.

    So, if I were a child I wouldn’t enjoy it, but that is the whole point. If an action has un unpleasant consequense, then it is one’s best interests to no-longer undertake that action.

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  65. sonic () says:

    ” So you disagree with a senior law lecturer who has taught a good number of our lawyers and sitting judges”

    I recall a certain group of people here that have vented their spleen on judges, laywers, parole boards and climate scientists, it seems that is just fine and dandy when you do it, yet it is ” arrogance” when I do.

    You really do not see what a bunch of hypocrites you are at times do you?

    On the “bamboo cane” case, we obviously have a troubled child here, in my opinion (if I’m allowed to have one that is) beating him with a cane is hardly likely to help.

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  66. Bevan () says:

    “Shorter Bevan

    “Why are you not making my case for me Sonic”

    So you admit then that the five cases outlined in the herald where a S59 defense has failed proves that what repel advocates typically spew ie: “…. removing the defence from the Crimes Act will stop people who beat their children from escaping prosecution.” is complete and utter nonsense as it is proven that S59 does not exceuse those WHO DO beat their children (and please dont confuse a beating with a smack).

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  67. sonic () says:

    Bevan, you have an almost uncanny abilty to not understand a word anyone says.

    x

    S

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  68. ChickenLittle () says:

    heh

    Have to laugh at Sonics constant practice of taking one or two comments from a thread and then painting everyone in that thread with the same broad brush. Makes for afternoon giggles, and I love to laugh.

    Do carry on old bean.

    I’m off down the beach to check my 20m measuring stick for water rises. (Nothing as of yet, but if I listen hard enough I’m sure I hear Antarctica breaking up.)

    xxx

    CL

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  69. unaha-closp () says:

    Sonic,

    “As I mentioned last week, being drink in public is a crime, do the police march up Queen Street nicking everyone who is intoxicated?

    Of course not, they use their discretion.”

    Agreed and this is why this is a stupid, horrible law. This law provides police with the a massive tool to use in coercing confessions. The police get to threaten collective punishment on the relatives of people who are uncooperative.

    If someone is suspected of a crime that the police cannot find proof sufficient to convict it is standard practice to charge with a lesser, but more provable offence. The burden of proof required under this law is quite miniscule and the merest hint of police action will lead to likely state removal of a child. Any person “helping the police with their inquiries” may have the choice of being very cooperative or having their family broken apart.

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  70. llew () says:

    Feck, I feel so dumb, I thought it was “snacking” we were arguing about.

    Silly me.

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  71. Andrew W () says:

    Are you being paid to argue on this blog Sonic? It’s pretty obvious to most NZers just how damaging SB’s ammendment will be. Or is it just that you have blind loyalty to your Leader?

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  72. Jim () says:

    I was hit with a leather belt (“the strap”) by the school principal at primary school. I remember being quite pleased because the “tough kid” who was next in line for the treatment cried while I took it without flinching.

    My mum once hit me on the backside with a wooden spoon so hard that it snapped in two. It didn’t hurt a bit. I laughed so much it made her even more furious.

    Both of those incidents were more humourous than harmful. It would be a shame to see someone go to prison over them.

    As for “timeout”: I quickly learned how to climb out the bedroom window and down the side of the house whenever banished to my room. Fat lot of good that did.

    What hurt was when I had a stone thrown at me by some pothead solo-mother’s feral child when I was about 10 yrs old. Could have killed me, couldn’t see for 3 days as the swelling had shut both my eyes. I still have a squint in one eye 30 years later.

    I can’t help but feel that there is a “reality gap” problem with those that think a reasonable slap on the wrist or backside should be a criminal act with no defence.

    The bill has alienated people in two ways. Firstly, the “pro-bill” messages are mixed and inconsistent. That makes me wonder if it is ideology trying to masquerade as something practical – but failing to do so.
    Secondly, because I am not convinced of the merits of the Bill then the Bill’s proponents would label me a “child beater”. In fact I am a parent who avoids any violence – not just physical punishment but shouting and yelling too.

    The Bill may have some practical merit, but unfortunately its “pushers” are putting everyone off with their righteous “if you don’t think like us then you are an ignorant child beater” message.

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  73. ChickenLittle () says:

    Nope, Nothing yet Sonic. Whens that 20m rise happening again?

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  74. sonic () says:

    “Are you being paid to argue on this blog Sonic?”

    Oh grow up Andrew.

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  75. dad4justice () says:

    The Timaru case involving the mother and son horsewhip saga was monumental and malicious lie (malfeasance), and it is sad that the young lad is desperate to re-unite with his biological family, but CYFS just keep feeding on the misery of parental/child estrangement. The bamboo cane used was smaller than the one that was administered by the discipline master at my high school in the good old days. I used to dread Monday Morning assemblies – please only joking – didn’t do me any harm . This government has build its foundations on one big utopian lie and now it finds itself feeling the backlash, as they fail to understand that the pissed off taxpayer is sick and tired of their arrogant complacency. In good times they are numbed by pleasures, while in bad times, their pain numbs them. The moment leaders become numb to the voice of the people, that is the beginning of their downfall. I can’t wait to watch the government move into self destruction mode –“ bring it on” –oh please you nasty witches – a what a big cat fight coming up – haha!!

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  76. Andrew W () says:

    “Whens that 20m rise happening again?”

    It’s started, but it will take a few hundred years for the whole 20m, ok?

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  77. unaha-closp () says:

    Sonic,

    Do you trust the police?

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  78. sonic () says:

    Chicken if you want to go down that road may I remind you

    “Das feiner Körper der Männer nur Aufträge befolgten!”

    Do try and stay on topic, you know it makes sense.

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  79. ChickenLittle () says:

    Oh, ok thanks Andrew.

    I was expecting the next couple of weeks or something.I mean, Sonic sounded so hysterical about the whole thing I assumed that water was lapping around his feet or somesuch.

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  80. dad4justice () says:

    Water rats love the H2O .

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  81. ChickenLittle () says:

    Could you translate for me please Sonic? I’m to lazy to look up a translator.

    TIA

    x

    CL

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  82. ross () says:

    > On the “bamboo cane” case, we obviously have a troubled child here, in my opinion (if I’m allowed to have one that is) beating him with a cane is hardly likely to help.

    Well, according to the child’s mother it did help. He didn’t swing a baseball bat at his father’s head again.

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  83. dad4justice () says:

    The government should be charged , so says the mother of the Timaru lad .

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  84. bwakile () says:

    I listened to Bradford at the Helensville meeting the other night and what really scared me was the blind ideological stance she took. Her ability to ignore plain commonsense was remarkable. She could not distinguish between light smacking for discipline and “beating” (which was her favoutite word). Most people would understand the difference and recognise that real violence towards children is an outcome of either demented behaviour or stress.
    Possibly a better approach would be get government out of people’s lives, ie less tax, thus increasing wealth and lowering stress in people’s lives. We will always need police and social services for the demented ones.

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  85. sonic () says:

    No he did, after the cane, then they used a horsewhip.

    I’m sure it was a loving horsewhipping however.

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  86. Paul Marsden () says:

    I remember JJ Stewart, if he entered a noisy science class room, would get one of us to call out a letter off the top right hand page of our science book. All the boys whose surname began with that letter were all ordered out to the front of the class and canned within an inch of their lives. Though it hurt like hell, most of us it thought it was funny and so a good deal of classes that JJ headed, always began with a few of us receiving a right thrashing! Oh for the good old days!

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  87. dave () says:

    Look, the bill effectively bans smacking, is effectively a government bill, and makes something that is effectively legal effectively illegal – so it effectively bans smacking. Because it is effectively as simple as that, Labour is effectively lying to the public, and the effect of all this is that Labour will probably lose the next election.

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  88. Andrew W () says:

    “Are you being paid to argue on this blog Sonic?”

    At least you’re honest enough not to lie

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  89. Bevan () says:

    “Bevan, you have an almost uncanny abilty to not understand a word anyone says.”

    Really sonic? You think you actually make any sense? My god man, you’re delusional!

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  90. ross () says:

    > I’m sure it was a loving horsewhipping however.

    You mean you weren’t on the jury? You do surprise me. But you’re right and they’re wrong. We could do away with the whole jury system and have you deciding cases. We’d never have miscarriages of justice. Wow.

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  91. Andrew Bannister () says:

    The whole point of punishment is that it have (sic) some unpleasurable aspect to it.

    Newsflash, you do not have to smack in order to discipline. Furthermore, if you smack regularly, it will lose it’s punishing effect.

    This whole S59 thing has turned into one great big debacle. The anti-smacking lobby should accept that repealing S59 outright was a mistake, and the pro-choice lobby should admit that they have turned a molehill into an enormous mountain. I personally feel smacking is unnecessary. Also if smacking does get results, you are more likely to smack in the future (the law of effect).

    All the boys whose surname began with that letter were all ordered out to the front of the class and canned within an inch of their lives.

    1) I suppose that is what made you the man you are today?
    2) How does random punishment teach anything?
    3) That sounds like sadistic behaviour to me. I had a teacher much like that at intermediate, who regularly strapped the boys in the classroom. A grown man thrashing 11 year old boys with a leather strap. I wonder if he will be at the march? You said “most of us it thought it was funny”. Yep, that is how it was in our class, i.e. strapping didn’t work.
    4) I wonder if we could have used reasonable force as self defence against that kind of assault?
    5) Who let you out of the cans?

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  92. Hoolian () says:

    This is one crazy mess. No doubt it will be remembered as fondly as the Pledge Card ordeal. And so early on in the year, our beloved leader is loosing her touch.

    Saw you at the protest today, David – you looked like you were having a bit too much fun :)

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  93. Bevan () says:

    “Do try and stay on topic, you know it makes sense.”

    Said the pot to the kettle…..

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  94. Andrew W () says:

    “if smacking does get results, you are more likely to smack in the future (the law of effect)”

    Logically if smacking does get results (and it does) you are less likely to need to smack in the future, (some other law)

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  95. Bevan () says:

    “No he did, after the cane, then they used a horsewhip.

    I’m sure it was a loving horsewhipping however.

    So sonic, what in your mind is an appropriate response for a 12 year old who has taken a swing at their parents head with a base ball bat?

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  96. sonic () says:

    Not a horsewhip Bevan.

    Whats yours?

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  97. Peter Grooby () says:

    Andew said, (and quoted me as saying) ”
    The whole point of punishment is that it have (sic) some unpleasurable aspect to it.

    Newsflash, you do not have to smack in order to discipline. Furthermore, if you smack regularly, it will lose it’s punishing effect.

    Newsflash, If you would have noted the context of my remark you would have seen that I was responding to a complaint that physical discipline is unpleasant. This was a nonsensical suggestion and this needed to be pointed out.

    I agree there are punishment methods that may work better than smacking. However smacking does not even need to be used in order for it to have it’s desired effect. However the threat of it must be plausable.

    Some parents I was visiting once would count to 3 before delivering a smack. On this occasion, the child was acting up and not doing as she was told. The father said in a stern voice “One”, immediately she behaved herself.
    The same scheme could, I am sure be used with any other threat of punishment, but that does not undo the fact that a treat of physical punishment can have an effect.

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  98. sigh () says:

    There’s a good chance that if a 12 year old kicks in a door at school and takes a swing at their father with a baseball bat the parents have already failed and it is time for the state to intervene.

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  99. unaha-closp () says:

    So sonic, what in your mind is an appropriate response for a 12 year old who has taken a swing at their parents head with a base ball bat?

    Probably indefinite incarceration of child with CYFS who may or may not systemically fail to provide an environment featuring child abuse, violence and neglect.

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  100. Nicholas O'Kane () says:

    So sonic, what in your mind is an appropriate response for a 12 year old who has taken a swing at their parents head with a base ball bat?

    I guess Sonic would probably want time out in the childs bedroom, with a telling off saying that whacking someone with a baseball bat is a no no, and hoping he doesn’t do it again.

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  101. sonic () says:

    Do you realise where you guys have ended up?

    First it was, “we do not defend child abuse, oh no, just a light, loving tap to correct the poor wee lamb.”

    Now it seems horsewhipping an obviously disturbed child is ok by you, indeed by his actions why not, whips for all bad children!

    Thanks for finally owning up to what you really believe.

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  102. sonic () says:

    Oh and if I may add, kid breaks door (something lost of kids do) kid gets beaten black and blue with a cane, kid thinks, “ah violence is the answer, next time they go for me I’ll be ready to hit back.”

    Another triumph for hitting kids.

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  103. DavidW () says:

    I suggest everyone who hasn’t already done so, finds the report of the “horsewhip” case so beloved by Sue Bradford and the PM and the Deputy PM et al and reads it carefully before rushing further into print.

    sonic, you look to be an expert on Google the way you constantly link to things so it shouldn’t be an issue for you.

    As an aside 2 questions.
    1. My wife hit me over the head with a piece of wood measuring 80mm x 20mm x 2m. Do I have a case to take for assault?
    2. It was balsa wood with several large cuts made 10mm deep in one side and we were both laughing like hell as it happened. Does this make a difference to my assault case?

    It is real easy to be selective as sonic has taught us so well. The trouble is that selective facts become meaningless when taken out of context and should therefore be treated with distain or left hanging in silence for their nonsensical nature to be displayed for all to see.

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  104. unaha-closp () says:

    Sonic,

    Shhh, don’t say things like that or some idiot politician who can’t tell the differeniiate will legislate that they are the same….

    ….ooops too late.

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  105. Andrew Bannister () says:

    Logically if smacking does get results (and it does) you are less likely to need to smack in the future, (some other law)

    Tell me, which law is that? Smacking may work over the short term, but kids habituate to smacking and it therefore loses it’s punishing effect.

    Peter Grooby, yes I think the threat of a smack would work, and I think it might work better than the actual smack. Off course, kids quickly learn when the smack never comes.

    However, my point really was that you don’t have to use punishment in order to discipline. If you have ever trained an animal, you’ll know they respond best to rewards for good behaviour, rather than punishment of bad behaviour. I know, sounds very PC, but it is a very true and tried method that works. I am not saying that punishment doesn’t work, just that in most situations rewarding good behaviour can be far more effective. You just need to get a bit creative.

    So sonic, what in your mind is an appropriate response for a 12 year old who has taken a swing at their parents head with a base ball bat?

    The problems with this kid clearly started well before this incident. You have to wonder how a 12 year old kid gets to this to begin with. Where was the discipline before he started taking to his parents with a baseball bat? What sorts of discipline were used in the past? It’s a silly example, because it ignores a 12 year history. I would be willing to bet that physical punishment was used to discipline that kid. If so, look at the results.

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  106. Andrew Davies () says:

    Sonic is a mole hired by the manufacturers of Ritalin. That is how the state is controlling the boy of the horse crop (not whip, Sonic) case.

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  107. cubit9f () says:

    Have been listening to Question time in the house this afternoon.

    The arrogance with which the PM handled a perfectly reasonable question from Heather Roy was breathtaking.

    She was at her imperious “I know what is best for you” dismissing it in a simple snide comment that Heather Roy does not object to having her children compelled to go to school therefore what the problem about being told what to do here with this bill.

    Perhaps it was Heather reminding the PM that she had actually mothered five children.

    Then there was the response that even if 85% of the people objected to the bill Helen and her team have a greater self appointed responsibility to look after us.

    What is the legislation that is coming that must have green support?

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  108. RedRag () says:

    So sonic, what in your mind is an appropriate response for a 12 year old who has taken a swing at their parents head with a base ball bat?

    In that case something altogether more serious is going on than can be fixed with a “loving smack or two”.

    You have two choices:

    1. Ramp up the power struggle by thrashing him back. If you do this soundly enough he will either run away, fight back even more violently, or you will break him for the time being. Also don’t be terribly surprised if years later he beats your grandchildren.

    2. Admit that somewhere along the line you have missed chances to put in place some smarter parenting skills At this late stage you have a major recovery to stage; you probably need professional help of one sort or another. There are numerous resources available, ranging from Positive Parenting courses, through to full-on professional counselling. If you reallly need help you will not be on your own.

    Turning around such challenging behaviour at 12 yrs is possible, but if you leave acting constructively on this until after puberty. this kid is going to finish up in prison.

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  109. insider () says:

    This is what steve maharey believes the law does “It simply removes the defence of a person who is facing prosecution in court for using excessive force to discipline their children.”

    But excessive force is banned already and cannot be defended as s59 only allows reasonable force. This guy is Minister of Education…

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  110. Peter Grooby () says:

    Do you realise where you guys have ended up?

    First it was, “we do not defend child abuse, oh no, just a light, loving tap to correct the poor wee lamb.”

    Now it seems horsewhipping an obviously disturbed child is ok by you, indeed by his actions why not, whips for all bad children!

    Thanks for finally owning up to what you really believe.

    You know sonic, although I’ve read your numerous comments, I’ve never up till today attempted to engage in discourse with you. I can see why other have gained the opinion they have of you now.

    Any punishment should be proportionate to the action it is seeking to correct. Thus no-one but yourself has suggested whips should be used on all bad children. It is probably best if you stick to critisizing what people have actually said, rather than made up stuff.

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  111. insider () says:

    I too heard Clark at question time. She seems to be hardening her views.

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  112. unaha-closp () says:

    Red Rag,

    Please note: the boy is currently the focus of much professional attention from CYFS. This is however highly unlikely to be constructive.

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  113. ChickenLittle () says:

    OK Sonic – I got unlazy and translated it ??

    Now I’m just confused.

    Explain please.

    x

    CL

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  114. Horace () says:

    Sorry to have to quote such a chunk of your original post David but:

    “…Another Crimes Act defence is the right to self-defence. Now does Labour claim that it is illegal to use force to defend yourself in self-defence? Of course not. Take an example. Let us say you are in town and someone pulls a knife out on you and your girlfriend. He goes to stab you. You whack him in arm and he drops the knife. You have just saved your life, and maybe your girlfriend’s.

    Now according to the Labour lies, you have just committed a crime, and that your right of self defence is something you will have to use in court. This is obviously not the case, Crown Law will not prosecute you, the Police will not charge you – because you have not broken the law. A defence under the Crimes Act means your actions are not illegal. So for Labour to claim smacking is already illegal, means you accept that defending yourself from a knife wielding maniac is also illegal. They can not have it both ways…”

    Your reasoning isn’t strong enough. Remember Greg Carvell?

    Self defence has been found to be illegal and in the very least “legally frowned upon” in NZ, though the law does not say it is.

    The Crown Law Office can have it both ways, and do. The police will prosecute, and do.

    In a less high profile example, and one which I don’t have a linkable source for other than to say it was in the Dominion Post May or June 2005, was an old man in Wellington who was warned by the Police for whacking a home invader over the head with his walking stick. The invader bled everywhere and was caught dazed outside the man’s home. They were going to charge the old boy with assault. Someone may recall the front page pic: glasses, toothless grimmace, war hero etc etc.

    If you can’t get a guy on self defence, get him on the next best thing, no matter how trivial and that’ll be good enough. Everyone knows you’re doing it because of the self defence issue, it just isn’t “official”.

    This is what has happened in Sweden since their anti-smacking law came into effect. A legal “war” on families and children, whether or not the smack can be proven. Is Helen really meaning she is declaring legal war on parents when she says that smacking is already illegal?

    The point is, the cops can have it both ways, the lawyers and the government.

    All it takes is political intent. We’ve seen plenty of that demonstrated over the Shipton/Rickards cases:

    They started out as court based rape cases, and have turned into unofficial media based trials. The PM then casts in her “off the cuff” comments and happily rides the media as they drive the public into thinking the police are completely corrupt. It all coinicides nicely with a two year report into making historical rape cases more easy to bring to court, and gives an excuse to overhaul the base of power in the police force.

    I would suggest that soon, with her fingers of power firmly up the backside of the Police and her support of an anti-smacking bill, the PM and her government most certainly has it both ways.

    While the details of these cases and the amendment to S59 (thanks for pointing out it is an amendment, not a repeal) have nothing in common, the way the law is influenced by politics, interpreted and applied, is common.

    Only parents and children will lose in the application of this amendment.

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  115. unaha-closp () says:

    Sonic believes in this law, that will punish all force from tugging a child away from the TV to horsewhipping a child as being equally wrong. It is no surprise that sonic justifies the law by using the most outlying of the data this ideology allows. Sonic has to, there is no way sonic can win without plying hyperbole and fear.

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  116. Andrew W () says:

    “I would be willing to bet that physical punishment was used to discipline that kid.”

    I wouldn’t, I’ve seen too many kids raised by parents who have been too intimidated by this PC world to discipline their kids. the result is that the kids grow up thinking they have the right to do as they please, throwing things at people and biting other kids. When the parents are eventually forced to put their foot down the kids just don’t get it, they think their rights are being infringed, and can react violently.

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  117. Redrag () says:

    PeterG,

    The nub of the issue is this:

    Do parents have a legal RIGHT to assault their children for the purposes of discipline?

    (In this context I am using the term “assualt” in exactly the same manner that it is used in defining adult on adult assault…ie ANY non-consensual contact however trivial. If for instance you smacked a total stranger on the street, no matter how “lovingly” it would most definitely be an assault.)

    The law on adult assault is technically breached every time one person bumps into another in any busy public place. There are many social behaviours that amount to “assaults” as well, but it is almost never in the public interest to prosecute them. But this does NOT mean that you have a legal RIGHT to wander about in public touching people whenever the whim takes you. If you persist in such unwelcome behaviour eventually you will come to the attention of the police.

    This whole debate hinges on whether this same legal principle should also be extended to our children. Do parents have a legal right to “assault” their children for the purposes of discipline. It is that simple really.

    I believe the answer is no.

    So would you, if you realised that much of the hysteria over this very simple piece of legislation is really being driven by powerful fundamentalist Christians who truly do believe that it is not only their Biblical right, but their DUTY as good parents to quite severely thrash their children as a primary method of discipline. They explicitly want S59 to be retained unchanged, so as they can carry on caning and whipping their children. They know they cannot say this publicly, so instead they are exploiting the anxieties of normal parents by feeding the media lies and disinformation, in order to whip up an entirely misplaced outrage.

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  118. chiz () says:

    bwakile: listened to Bradford at the Helensville meeting the other night and what really scared me was the blind ideological stance she took. Her ability to ignore plain commonsense was remarkable

    Um… she’s from the greens. The greens don’t do commonsense. They’re all about ideology.

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  119. dad4justice () says:

    Redrag froths – “that it is not only their Biblical right, but their DUTY as good parents to quite severely thrash their children as a primary method of discipline ”

    Are you a DUTY paid liar for the communist liebore party !!

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  120. Andrew W () says:

    Firstly RR, in using the term “assault” you are implicitly saying that a crime has occurred as “assault” is the illegal act of touching, striking someone.

    Secondly “assault” is a deliberate act you don’t “assault” someone by accidently bumping into them, that is not a “technical assault” as you claim.

    My own view is that children are not adults, and if they commit crimes the parents should be held responsible, you know, as in the good old days, if the parents are to be held responsible they need to have the power to hold kids responsible, and they need to actually be trusted to rear their kids. Otherwise the state needs to take that responsibility as well as that power, and it really does seem to be the way things are going.

    RR do you think the state will do a better job that 85% of parents in child rearing?

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  121. Andrew Bannister () says:

    Andrew W, I agree. What you describe is true. But I think that is a general parenting problem. The same thing also happens in families where violence is common. It is not unique to families where violence isn’t present.

    I have a lot of experience with kids and parents in my work (no, I’m not a teacher or social worker). The least behaved kids tend to have parents who are very liberal with their hands. Of course, this may be a chicken and egg problem (i.e. they hit because they have very ill-behaved kids), but I also see that these kids just shrug it off when they are hit. There is absolutely no learning effect.

    The problem is that lot of people simply don’t have the skills and knowledge to be good parents. They use very simple techniques (e.g. smacking) and get frustrated when this doesn’t get results. No that this bill is threatening to remove their only form of discipline, they are starting to get concerned.

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  122. RedRag () says:

    PeterB,

    My wife and I are both active and long time members of a Baptist Church in Wellington. I participate in a number of multi-denominational activities that put me into close contact with many Christians.

    From this background I know that there is an equally diverse range of opinions inside the Christianity on this Bill as there are outside of it. The pastors of our particular Church (and many others) quite strongly support this Bill, but our fundamentalist co-religionists are virilently opposed. I can unequivocally state that from personal experience, that what I stated above is 100% correct.

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  123. Grant ( a new one) () says:

    Redrag said:
    “So would you, if you realised that much of the hysteria over this very simple piece of legislation is really being driven by powerful fundamentalist Christians who truly do believe that it is not only their Biblical right, but their DUTY as good parents to quite severely thrash their children as a primary method of discipline.”
    Dear Redrag, the above statement is, quite literally, utter crap. If you want hysteria, take a bloody good long look at what you just wrote. Nowhere, in all the threads posted on this topic, have I seen anyone, Christian or otherwise, fundamentalist or otherwise, state that it is their duty to thrash their children. You sir, and others of your ilk, simply cannot be taken seriously when you concoct such wild statements and then use them as to support you side of the argument.
    PS, I do not consider myself a Christian, let alone a fundamentalist.

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  124. RedRag () says:

    RR do you think the state will do a better job that 85% of parents in child rearing?

    The State already mandates a range of duties on parents. You are legally required to provide them with the necessities of life, to arrange for suitable medical care, to provide supervision, to have them educated and so on. 200 years ago these requirements barely existed, but over that time the State has increased the responsibilities of parents, not reduced them.

    Smacking is by and large a lazy and ineffective response to a discipline problem. Mostly we do it because we either don’t know any better, or frankly we just feel like taking out our frustrations on someone who can’t strike back. Or more sinisterly, we believe it is some kind of twisted Biblical duty to administer forcely punishments in order to raise children with a proper “fear of God”.

    By contrast any professional who works closely with children is armed with the skills to manage the kids in their care without resort to force of any kind. And they are not hard to learn. As AndrewB rightly states, this Bill is intended to have in the effect of encouraging all parents to lift their game, and take MORE responsibility…not less.

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  125. unaha-closp () says:

    “By contrast any professional who works closely with children is armed with the skills to manage the kids in their care without resort to force of any kind.”

    The most powerful of which is to transfer them out of their care, parents do not have this option.

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  126. Paul Marsden () says:

    Redrag said: The State already mandates a range of duties on parents. You are legally required to provide them with the necessities of life, to arrange for suitable medical care, to provide supervision, to have them educated and so on. 200 years ago these requirements barely existed, but over that time the State has increased the responsibilities of parents, not reduced them.

    Redrag, you just don’t get it, do you??? By far, the majority of parents are good parents and provide the necessities of life to their children regrdless of any law laid down by Government. No law ever passed by any parliament anywhere, morphed a bad parent into a good parent.

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  127. RedRag () says:

    Nowhere, in all the threads posted on this topic, have I seen anyone, Christian or otherwise, fundamentalist or otherwise, state that it is their duty to thrash their children

    Exactly the point I made. They KNOW it would be totally unacceptable and counterproductive to say this explicitly in the public domain. These people are not stupid.

    But the proof of what they really want it this: they do NOT support Chester Borrows quite reasonable ammendment. (Personally I have stated before that I really could live with it if the Bill passed with it, if only to allay the needless fears of ordinary parents.) The real proof of their intentions lies in the simple fact that they do not want S59 to be repealed AT ALL. They want it retained intact…because they believe it is their right to use force for the purpose of disciplining their children.

    It is also a fact that many of these people are middle-class white people, with strongly protective social networks. As a result they have little concern that their actions will ever come to the attention of the Police. (Much as Shipton and Schollum assumed that their status and power conferred on them an immunity.)

    I can accept that many people may have a hard time believing that such people and such attitudes still exist in 2007. Sadly I have to report that they do.

    By far, the majority of parents are good parents and provide the necessities of life to their children regrdless of any law laid down by Government.

    But a minority do not. Which is why the law exists. It is why most laws exist. If there was no law against murder or rape, most people would still find such things repugnant and not commit them. But we still retain these laws for to protect us against the minority of people who will break them.

    But law can serve another purpose as well. 200 years ago there were no laws against child labour. Yet back then millions of “loving and caring” parents routinely sent their children into fields, mines and mills to slave in conditions we would today regard as horrendous. It was then an accepted thing. It was not until a few outstanding individuals campaigned against huge resistance for many decades that laws against child labour were finally enacted. In the course of all those years pretty much all the analogous arguments that you guys are using today were trotted out in support of a parent’s “right” to use their children as cheap labour slaves.

    It was not until the law changed that attitudes changed. Nowadays none of us would defend for a moment the kind of treatment that was at that time both routine and perfectly acceptable. In fact we look back on those times with a kind of wonderment at the barbarity of it all.

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  128. dad4justice () says:

    Redrag, may I humbly suggest that you be out of step with mainstream members of the Christian Churches of NZ. Are you’re mates linked to the heretic that was awarded an honour last year through the meaningless service to community awards? What was his handle again , as you know him well ? You devious social engineers are parading under the cloak of foolish religion. Remember well Mr Redrag, the eyes of truth are always watching? The Edward’s and double Judy staged act with the red paint handprints was a pathetic response by the communist spin doctors, which you are obviously part of. Shame on you. You are a disgrace !! You do not speak for the majority of Christians living in New Zealand .

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  129. Andrew W () says:

    “It was not until the law changed that attitudes changed.”

    Wrong! Almost always it is a change in attitude that leads to a change in law – at least thats how it supposedly works in a democracy

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  130. Paul Marsden () says:

    Thank you Andrew W, you said it for me.

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  131. thehawk () says:

    FOR 1 MILLION DOLLARS I WILL ALLOW NATIONAL TO
    USE THIS FOR THE NEXT ELECTION:

    NOW SMACK LABOUR.

    VOTE NATIONAL

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  132. dad4justice () says:

    Any Christian of the sane world would not support such a family destructive evil government . End of story Redrag !!

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  133. RedRag () says:

    Peter

    You do not speak for the majority of Christians living in New Zealand

    I only speak for myself. I can report, as I stated above, that there is as diverse a range of opinion on this matter within the Churches, as there is outside of them.

    On the other hand you seem to have no problem telling us that I am “out of step” with what you are tell us are the opinions of “mainstream members of the Christian Churches of NZ.”. Apparently it is you who is speaking for the “the majority of Christians living in New Zealand”?

    As for your other nonsense Peter, I am just an ordinary man with an internet connection and an opinion. As for your denigration and insults, I leave it to others reading this thread to figure out for themselves, what import they may have.

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  134. Bevan () says:

    “The problems with this kid clearly started well before this incident. You have to wonder how a 12 year old kid gets to this to begin with. Where was the discipline before he started taking to his parents with a baseball bat? What sorts of discipline were used in the past? It’s a silly example, because it ignores a 12 year history. I would be willing to bet that physical punishment was used to discipline that kid. If so, look at the results.”

    Well Andrew while I read up on the previous twelve years prior to the horsewhip, why dont you read up on the twenty minutes post! After the mother whipped the little brat, he snapped out of his rampage and dropped the bat.

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  135. Peter S () says:

    RedRag,

    I am not keen on the Chester Borrows ammendment.

    The reason is that it uses ill defined terms.

    Howver, his ammendment is infinitely better thought out than the Bradford one, and would have some chance of being workable.

    The current definition- reasonable force, is far superior.

    Why?

    Because the definition of reasonable force is set by a jury, and reflects the views of society.

    The law is, in effect, self regulating and self correcting.

    As the views of society change over time, the interpretation of the law changes.

    It is an absolutely brillient concept. The law reflects society, and it needs no constant tinkering, unlike laws that try to use hard and fast definitions or vague phrases.

    I suppose the fact that the law needs no meddling is in its self an insult to the likes of Bradford & Clark, both of whom are towards the extreme end of the control freak register.

    The push to change the law is simply a reflection of Clark & Bradford’s inability to convince society of their point of view.

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  136. Fred () says:

    The NZ left at its core is a 21 yo undergraduate circa 1968 with the same immature certainties and the same desire to improve the world in its own image via totalitarian proscriptions of behaviour and thought.

    I give you Hulun.

    These people truely believe that they know best how you..shall..bring up your children.
    They have not the wit to understand that the underclasses don’t give a shit and the middle classes will not accept govt halfwits inside their families.

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  137. Andrew W () says:

    A good point Very well put Peter S.

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  138. dad4justice () says:

    Redrag – “As for your denigration and insults”,

    I find it appalling that a heretic is supported by you .

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  139. RedRag () says:

    Wrong! Almost always it is a change in attitude that leads to a change in law – at least thats how it supposedly works in a democracy

    Wrong. Almost EVERY piece of progressive social legislation enacted over the last few centuries has been faced with overwhelmingly opposition. Have any of you forgotten how long and bitter the battle was for women to attain the right to vote? At first these few women were almost on their own, but the battle they fought TO CHANGE THE LAW, drew to itself the attention of, and aroused a controversy within the masses, until a sufficient number (by no means a majority) were able to support a Parliament into making the new law. And even then it took determined, farsighted Ministers to get a result.

    The mere fact that we are talking about this Bill is proof alone that attitudes ARE changing. As little as a decade ago this Bill would have been unthinkable; we were just not ready to talk about it then. But we are now. And even if perchance the numbers go against it today, the social momentum it has created towards change is unstoppable.

    Because the definition of reasonable force is set by a jury, and reflects the views of society.

    What you are assuming is that ANY force is “reasonable”. Once you assume that you are now have to rely on a jury to agree with what you think reflects public opinion. And that is not always the case is it? (Think…)

    As the views of society change over time, the interpretation of the law changes.

    And then from time to time, because the law itself is changed.

    I have repeatedly argued that the legal system does not prosecute trivial or technical breaches of many laws. Typically the Police exercise sensible discretion not to take cases that they judge are “not in the public interest”, nor would a jury convict. I find it odd that you think that the same logic somehow would NOT apply if S59 was repealed.

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  140. Andrew Bannister () says:

    By far, the majority of parents are good parents

    Good parents or okay parents?

    Almost always it is a change in attitude that leads to a change in law

    Rubbish! That may be true in the case where laws are being liberalised (e.g. drug laws, prostitution etc.) but not in many other cases. For example, randomised breath testing was a law change that changed people’s drink-driving habits. Are you trying to say that people stopped drinking and driving, so they thought it sensible to introduce random breath testing?

    After the mother whipped the little brat, he snapped out of his rampage and dropped the bat.

    Bevan, that is an entirely different issue. Of course violence can be a legitimate option in a case like that. I wasn’t questioning that. This whole S59 debate is about discipline and teaching kids how to behave. The parents’ response in this case is actually covered under S48 (self-defence). I was merely pointing out that this incident probably reflects more on the parenting that led up to this. Tell me, why on earth does a 12 year old kid think that swinging a baseball bat is an appropriate way to get what you want? Where does he learn that?

    Golly, I wonder if the kid learnt that attacking people with baseball bats is wrong?

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  141. dad4justice () says:

    As a pious and deluded paster, do you find it strange that this sicko government will not treat mothers and fathers on equal terms , or do we Mr Heretic Ltd, read different Bibles !!??

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  142. Peter S () says:

    RedRag,

    If you don’t assume that any force is reasonable, then the assumption is that no force is reasonable. That is patently ridiculous. It would mean that any physical contact whatsoever was unreasonable.

    Since absence of physical contact is impossible, then there have to be sensible definitions of what physical contact, or force are reasonable.

    Most of your examples of police sensible discretion are fallacies. Mainly because the supposed discretion is actually defined by exclusions such as S59. Drink driving laws being one that you misused.

    A law that has no boundaries is an ass. I would far rather place myself in the hands of a jury that might or might not reflect my view of public opinion than rely on police using sensible discretion.

    Yes there are probably a huge majority of police officers that are of the highest calibre (I have known many over the years). However, to gamble that Schollum & Shipton were the only bad apples in the barrel is a risk I would rather not take.

    Things like anti slavery legislation in the UK (and votes for women) came about because people outside parliament changed the public perception and this changed the views of MPs or the MPs elected, bringing about change. It was not because the MPs forced their views on the electorate.

    Labour are sowing at present. They will reap in kind before long.

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  143. Andrew W () says:

    “Almost EVERY piece of progressive social legislation enacted over the last few centuries has been faced with overwhelmingly opposition.”

    Illogical, if the opposition had been overwhelming the change would not have been made, the change only occurred after it was accepted by the majority, in the case of S59 we know the vast majority of NZers oppose SB’s changes AND we know the majority of MPs do to, if you look at another resent piece of legislation, The Homosexual Law Reform bill, although the opposition was vocal, it cannot be claimed that the majority of NZers opposed the change.

    Andrew B, are you under the impression that the majority of NZers were in favour of drunk driving?

    “Good parents or okay parents?” Good parents.

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  144. Andrew Bannister () says:

    Andrew B, are you under the impression that the majority of NZers were in favour of drunk driving?

    No, I am under the impression that the majority of NZs didn’t really think about it as being a problem. That is quite different.

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  145. Paul Marsden () says:

    Do law changes force a change in people’s attitudes? Answer- Yes. Do changes in people’s attitudes force changes to law? Answer – Yes. But none of the examples disscussed here breach the sacrosanct zone of the divine right of loving, caring parents to bring their children up the way they think fit. This is the zone that politicians now want to infiltrate. But why? The ‘law’ has worked perfectly well for hundreds of years and everyone agrees that any changes will not have one iota of affect on the perpertrators of real and harmful violence upon children. The problems in NZ society are much more systemic. Any superficial law changes that doesnt tackle the root causes (ie. mainly one of welfare and cultural differences), just gets the majority’s backs up.

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  146. ross () says:

    > I have repeatedly argued that the legal system does not prosecute trivial or technical breaches of many laws.

    Are you serious? There was a guy who was twice charged with burning the flag, even though burning a flag is not an offence. If the police can charge someone with a non-offence, and a pathetic one at that, there is no doubt that police will charge some parents with assault (ie, smacking).

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  147. ross () says:

    http://tvnz.co.nz/view/news_politics_story_skin/439104%3Fformat=html

    So although his conviction was overturned and burning the flag was deemed freedom of expression, the guy was arrested again for burning the flag! I think the charges were later dropped, but this tells us a lot about police. They can be pathetic and vindictive. That does not bode well if s59 is repealed.

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  148. Paul Marsden () says:

    The ‘legal system’ will prosecute anyone they choose, for any of the following five reasons: 1) You piss them off enough
    2) A friend asked them to
    3) Its illegal
    4) Just because
    5) The State has deaper pockets than you.

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  149. Paul Marsden () says:

    oops… deeper.

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  150. RedRag () says:

    Drink driving laws being one that you misused.

    No I used it perfectly correctly. The law defines a tolerance level below which it says it will not prosecute because the level of impairment is sufficiently low not to be of concern. But it does not confer on anyone the RIGHT to drive with 79mg/l of blood alcohol. That is the whole point of the law, it is basically telling us that any significant amount of alcohol impairs judgment and you as the person consuming it are the last person who is in a any position to judge how badly you have been affected.

    Most intelligent people have worked it out by now that if you intend to drive after the party, you do not drink any alcohol at all.

    That is patently ridiculous. It would mean that any physical contact whatsoever was unreasonable.

    Umm how many times do we have to debunk that silly one. The Bill specifically allows all normal contact. The repeal of S59 is about repealing the right of parents to use force (reasonable or otherwise) for the purpose of discipline or punishment. Please try harder.

    But none of the examples disscussed here breach the sacrosanct zone of the divine right of loving, caring parents to bring their children up the way they think fit.

    And if that ‘divine right’ includes a thrashing with a cane? Or if that ‘divine right’ informs a parent that a vital blood transfusion cannot be done? Or if that ‘divine right’ demands that the head honcho gets to deflower all the virgins?

    “Render unto Caesear what is Caesear’s, and turn unto God what is God’s” means to me that we live under a dual obligation to be obedient to the laws and obligations of the land we live in, and at the same time it our innermost soul and heart that belongs to God…that is His Glory.

    Sadly history informs us also that too many people of all faiths abrogate to themselves both a Law and a God…all of their own devising…and in their ego blindness usurp both the legitimate authority of the State and that of the Divine to their own purposes.

    God places on parents the very large responsibility to raise not just the physical bodies of their children, but their intellectual and moral beings as well. In generations past reasonable and loving parents would often use physical force in carrying out this responsibility largely because they knew of no other better methods. (And less loving and less responsible parents also beat the crap out of their kids as well.)

    But today we no longer have the excuse of ignorance. Any parent who WANTS to know how to raise their children, righteously even in the sight of God, has available to them the knowledge and the means to do this without the use of any force.

    Once upon a time “breaking a horse” was a brutal affair that involved the physical subjugation of the animal’s will. In recent decades it has now become common knowledge of how to do this without force. Most dog clubs now totally frown upon physical punishment of their animals. And all professionals working with children know how to get results with resort to it either.

    What then is the justification for parents to insist that the right to use force is in any way essential?

    The ‘legal system’ will prosecute anyone they choose, for any of the following five reasons

    In the last few weeks I’ve seen this totally daft argument or variations of it at least a dozen times. Think it through buddy. If you really think the Police cannot be trusted with a little law like the repeal of S59, then why the hell are you content that they should be allowed to administer anything weightier like murder or rape?

    Or are you telling us that ALL laws should be repealed because…well the Police might misuse them?

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  151. Adrien () says:

    Opponents of the bill are not all in favour of an amended bill. Personally I think the current wording of s59 is quite adequate.

    What everyone is ignoring is the key word “reasonable”. In order to argue against the current clause, you have to argue that “reasonable” is unacceptable.

    However I’m sure that reasonable cannot be unacceptable. Unacceptable cannot be reasonable.

    So the law is fine as it is. What could help is a better guide to courts on what is allowed to be deemed reasonable.

    And who are we to show contempt for the judicial process and ignore the verdicts of juries? If I were the judge in the horse crop incident, I’d have Sue Bradford before the court on a contempt charge.

    I’m sure that any juries weighing up a case in which s59 is being used as a defense consider the best interests of the child first. Removing a child from a home where they are in no threat of danger is not in the child’s interest. There are appalling statistics floating around about the rate of suicide in children put into state care.

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  152. Paul Marsden () says:

    Redrag. You live in a fool’s paradise. One of my very own (and once high-profile), family members, have used the Police on more than one occasion to pervert (and/or subvert), the course of justice.

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  153. adrien () says:

    redrag – please explain how murder or rape are weightier than child assault charges?

    the punishment for child assault charges – removal of child + imprisonment. Well how do you balance 5 years with time off for good behaviour vs prison time plus losing your child…. I’m not sure which one I’d go for.

    Also redrag, if you’re so concerned about being correct, then stop referring to smacking and start referring to use of force for correction, which is what is actually looking to be banned. Smacking is only one type of application of force for correction.

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  154. adrien () says:

    In the end, the thing that gets me is not so much whether a prosecution will or won’t be brought, but about right and wrong.

    Currently, by granting parents immunity from an assault charge for “reasonable force for discipline”, the law is saying such action is not wrong.

    By removing that immunity, the law is then saying that it is wrong.

    In the eyes of a 6yr old, there is a huge difference. This bill proposes to take any child who is a recipient of a light smack, and define them legally as a victim of assault, whether any prosecution is brought or not.

    Any psychologist can confirm that someone who believes they are a victim has a much tougher time coping with life than someone who doesn’t.

    Whether or not an individual believes it is right or wrong to use force for discipline where reasonable, the fact remains that 85% of the country does not believe it is wrong.

    If this bill passes, the law will no longer reflect the morality of the country on an issue of paramount importance – our children – our reason for existence.

    That can only lead to trouble.

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  155. RedRag () says:

    One of my very own (and once high-profile), family members, have used the Police on more than one occasion to pervert (and/or subvert), the course of justice.

    This is just typical fearmongering. It’s analogous to the bigots who claimed before the Homosexual Law reform that homos would be prowling around schools recruiting young boys, or similar such tosh.

    If you really believe what you just stated then you will realise that if a rogue cop wants to mis-use his authority against you, then he/she already has any number of existing laws to exploit. This has nothing to do with S59 whatsoever.

    Adrien,

    In order to argue against the current clause, you have to argue that “reasonable” is unacceptable.

    Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. Because we now KNOW how to raise children perfectly well without the need to resort to ANY force whatsoever, what used to be reasonable is no longer acceptable.

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  156. Paul Marsden () says:

    Redrag. I respect your personal views and beliefs in christianity, but they’re not for me. I prefer to be more pragamatic and like to think that I live in the ‘real world’.

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  157. adrien () says:

    redrag

    Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. Because we now KNOW how to raise children perfectly well without the need to resort to ANY force whatsoever, what used to be reasonable is no longer acceptable.

    The current statute does not lock-in any time-based view of reasonableness. Reasonableness reflects current public opinion already (albeit a reduced sample of a jury)! If public opinion changed so that no force was deemed reasonable, then juries would convict people who tried to argue that it was.

    The fact that (in the paltry number of cases where s59 was even used) juries in some cases voted to acquit is a reflection of the fact that people who believe no amount of force is reasonable are in the minority in this country.

    As for whether or not it is possible to raise a perfectly good person without any use of force, well actually we haven’t been doing that long enough to tell – the jury is still out.

    Show me some grandparents who had more than 2 kids who were never physically disciplined who are truly happy and who have more than 2 children also who are in their teens and have never been physically disciplined and are truly happy etc. It takes generations to prove the effectiveness of new techniques.

    and the only true measure of success in my book is happiness.

    By and large, people today are not a happy bunch. We’re tied up in materialistic daft ideals, we’re self-centred, selfish, self-absorbed and inconsiderate. We have no respect for others, no thought to consequences, and no desire to take responsibility for our actions. These social traits are not symptoms of a society that is improving.

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  158. adrien () says:

    opponents of the bill don’t want to force their views on those who don’t want to use any force for discipline. We respect those parent’s right to choose.

    the irony of all this is that parents who choose not to use force currently benefit from the existing law.

    They benefit from the fact that reasonable force for discipline is not illegal, so they are protected from suspicion because there is no crime. They know that even if they were wrongly charged with abusing their children which they would never do, they have a good chance of a defense. The prosecution would have to not only prove use of force, but also prove that it was unreasonable.

    Parents who choose not to smack will lose along with all others this protection the law affords them. They will have to start worrying when their child falls off their bike and goes to school with a bruise. They will have to start worrying whether their child or a disgruntled neighbour may trump up some charges. They have to worry about their ability to prove that they never use force, in the face of a cynical prosecution who is inclined to believe any testimony that supports their position, and ignore or discredit any that doesn’t (your child must be acting under duress to say you don’t beat him), and in the end only needs to prove that any use of force occured.

    Welcome to NZ 2017.

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  159. dmw () says:

    I think we’re all focussing on the details here, and forgetting the big picture…

    1. How many of the children who have died from “child abuse” were already known to government agencies before they died?

    2. How many of them died from smacking as the NZ public understand the term, and how many from beating, hitting or bashing as the bills proponents call it?

    3. If the concern of Bradford and Clark is ostensibly “child abuse”, then does that warrant allowing the state into the private lives of families (and the threat of removal of children into CYFS care — there’s an oxymoron) on the basis of hearsay evidence of smacking for correction?

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  160. John () says:

    I have to laugh. It doesn’t matter what stupid ideas Labour has, Sonic supports them. Did you leave your brain at the door you hapless shill?

    I’ll bet you were pro a wee smack when Helen said “you’re trying to defy human nature” before the election.

    I’d be checking myself into a mental clinic if I was letting Sue Bradford dictate my moral policy.

    This will be the end of the labour party. 19 MPs devoid of their conscience and 9% behind in the polls. If they have any brains those rats will vacate the sinking labour party ship before that megalomaniac takes them all down with her.

    Goofy has been quiet lately. Plotting his next move?

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  161. unaha-closp () says:

    Once upon a time fools and morons made it illegal for a man to love a man or a woman love a woman. An act with no victims and causing no harm was made a crime. Now in our enlightened age we know this was a persecution of the innocent. Unfortunately we are still surrounded by fools and morons who will use their conceited stupidity to make illegal an action that causes no harm.

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  162. Dave () says:

    More lies from Steve Maharey – it doesn’t ban “excesive force” as he claims – that’s already illegal.

    It bans “reasonable force”

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  163. Dave () says:

    More lies from Steve Maharey – it doesn’t ban “excesive force” as he claims – that’s already illegal.

    It bans “reasonable force”

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  164. dad4justice () says:

    Redrag writes, ” Because we now KNOW how to raise children perfectly well without the need to resort to ANY force whatsoever.”

    I agree kids do need lots of love and caring parental direction without the need for irrational adult violence, to which – the law more than adequately covers such despicable behaviour. However, what I do find disturbing about you Redrag is that you constantly support a delirious government that you KNOW endorses principalities of powers?
    ANY such force (spiritual wickedness) is detrimental to the welfare of children and families. How can you call yourself a Christian when you support a government that has twice refused to ratify a United Nations declaration that states nations are to treat mothers and fathers as equal parents? 149 others nations thought is was a good idea, but no, not NZ as their rulers are from the darkness of this world!! In conclusion redrag I suggest your misguided hypocrisy can categorise you as a weekend nonsensical Christian and anything you say is totally irrelevant to a constructive argument .

    Talk about lies !

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  165. Peter S () says:

    RedRag,

    You attempt to debunk logical arguments with a singular lack of logic.

    “No I used it perfectly correctly. The law defines a tolerance level below which it says it will not prosecute because the level of impairment is sufficiently low not to be of concern.”

    Hellooooo…

    That is EXACTLY what S59 does.

    “That is patently ridiculous. It would mean that any physical contact whatsoever was unreasonable.

    Umm how many times do we have to debunk that silly one. The Bill specifically allows all normal contact. The repeal of S59 is about repealing the right of parents to use force (reasonable or otherwise) for the purpose of discipline or punishment. Please try harder.”

    Your interpretations of the law are completely out of step with msot legal opinion, including institutions such as the police and the police association.

    You keep telling others that their opinions and arguments are wrong, but you fail to back that up with either logic or fact.

    There are a couple of verses in the Bible (can’t remember exactly where offhand) that go something like (paraphrasing)

    Argue with a fool and he will bring you down to his level.

    Don’t argue with a fool and he will appear wise in his own eyes.

    I’m going to leave you to feel wise from now on.

    The saying is that the problem with common sense is that it is so rare.

    The heartening thing about what is happening at the moment is that common sense is prevailing- at least amongst 85% of the population.

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  166. unaha-closp () says:

    If your child is up past their bed time it will soon be illegal for you to put them to bed. They are breaking no law by staying out of their bed, they must be persuaded without any use of force.

    To remedy this Helen will legislate bedtimes for all children.

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  167. ross () says:

    Regrag wrote: “Because we now KNOW how to raise children perfectly well”.

    Alas, you have given us no evidence to verify that statement. What we do know is that many countries that permit smacking have far lower rates of child abuse than does NZ. We also know that Sweden appears to have a high rate of child abuse committed by other children and that their rate of children in care seems to be very high.

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  168. DavidW () says:

    Good one unaha-closp.

    Even more considering the current obesity epidemic expect legislation on the maximum number of calories parents will allow their children to consume on a daily basis.
    I’m sure sonic et al would lead the charge while chanting that those against such a law are fundamentalist right wing christians who can only be best compared with the geese farmers producing fois gras. CHILD STUFFERS no less.
    Reasonable folks trying to argue that circumstances must be taken into account will be vilified and will be required to answer the following questions yes or no. Is consuming too much food bad for kids? Can eating too much make kids fat? Does fatness predispose to diabetes?
    No further argument will be countenanced as the point is made. Adults are killing kids. State dietary control is the only logical conclusion. Parakura Horomia appointed as Minister of Diets.

    Nothing to see here folks move along

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  169. Exiled () says:

    Much has been said about the reasons for Labour taking this bill on board and some have linked it to a possible future deal with the Greens on some future legislation. I personally think that the rush is for no other reason than to get it out of the way and for Labour and the Greens to bank on the dependable collective amnesia of the NZ public by the time the next election rolls around.

    Remember that right now we’re in the middle of the Cricket World Cup. Next month we have the Americas Cup, and shortly thereafter it’s the Rugby World Cup. Lots of potential feel-good events. Couple all of that with compliant journalists and media who collectively bend over and take it up the bum from this Govt and you can be sure by the time the election rolls around all will be forgotten. Or at least forgotten enough for a few tax-payer funded bribes to ensure another minority Govt.

    The day my family decided to leave NZ was the day the pathetic sentence was handed down to the Chinese wanker who rammed his car into the little 4 year old girl (and her Dad) on the forecourt of a petrol station while he was evading the police and driving while unlicenced. I was so outraged at his sentence and I presumed most NZ’ers would have felt the same. But the news of his sentence broke on a Friday, and the All Blacks (or Black Caps, I can’t remember) had a good win that weekend. The sentence was hardly mentioned the following Monday.

    Such is the way in NZ, and so it will be at the next election.

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  170. ross () says:

    This is an interesting article and shows that the UK has also tried to grapple with this issue but without much success. It also shows that the UN is probably behind our govt’s efforts to ban smacking.

    http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=31&id=47032007

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  171. cubit9f () says:

    A real concern about this issue is the way it has come to dominate the government of this country for an inordinate period of time. Is this really an issue that should be allowed to almost paralyse all other activities. Or has it?

    Perhaps more important and far reaching things are just being quietly dealt with, without any great publicity. That’s a real worry.

    Could it be that ants are being trampled on while elephants defecate all over us.

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  172. DavidW () says:

    Careful cubit,
    you risk being classified as a conspiracy theorist by the shrill brigade defending the gummint if you suggest that for them to place so much at risk over a relatively unimportant item, there must be a corresponingly large payback somewhere, sometime.

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  173. DavidW () says:

    Careful cubit,
    you risk being classified as a conspiracy theorist by the shrill brigade defending the gummint if you suggest that for them to place so much at risk over a relatively unimportant item, there must be a correspondingly large payback somewhere, sometime.

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  174. DavidW () says:

    ooops, the fickle finger struck again – sorry about the double post

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  175. cubit9f () says:

    DavidW

    You are right on. There has to be a big payback guaranteed. You can bet your boots it is going to be much more important and worrying issue than the current little (or is that huge) diversion running at the moment.

    I am selectively deaf to the Shrill Brigade.

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  176. DavidW () says:

    Of course cubit the other possibility is that taking on this risk is actually averting a bigger one. eg TPF being charged, the Rt Hon bailing out, a revolt from those being “cleaned out” of the LP caucus and a couple of by-elections looming. If HC can keep it together with a couple of staples and a bandaid, she will.
    This whole affair has the hallmarks of either a fight for survival or a desperate bid for a big prize. Ain’t too many other good reasons in politics to “bet the farm”.

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  177. DavidW () says:

    Of course cubit the other possibility is that taking on this risk is actually averting a bigger one. eg TPF being charged, the Rt Hon bailing out, a revolt from those being “cleaned out” of the LP caucus and a couple of by-elections looming. If HC can keep it together with a couple of staples and a bandaid, she will.
    This whole affair has the hallmarks of either a fight for survival or a desperate bid for a big prize. Ain’t too many other good reasons in politics to “bet the farm”.

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  178. DavidW () says:

    BTW does anyone know it they have paid it back yet?

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  179. Horace () says:

    The problem is that you can argue and argue but they will just restate the original position. What we need(ed) is a well honed FAQ site as a reference. Each time a prominent person makes a contrary statement it could be reffered for analysis. The aim would be to elevate the FAQ site as a noted authority. Tag Rhetorical Sandstorm

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  180. sg5 () says:

    Although it is a partisan site, i.e. anti the Bill, I guess http://www.politik.co.nz would be an appropriate place for a FAQ. It doesn’t have one at the moment.

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