71% against Section 59 repeal

The NZ Herald Digipoll found 71% against repealing Section 59 and only 21% in favour.

As I have said my preference is to amend Section 59 to more tightly define reasonable force, not to abolish it.

Also it is clear that many proponents of the law change do regard parents who smack children as ‘bad’. Sure repealing S59 by itself is unlikely to ban smacking, but I get nervous when smacking is categorised as merely a level of violence. Sorry but if your two year old tries to run in front of a car, then you are not smacking him or her to harm them, but to prevent them from harm.

I could be persuaded to support an outright repeal, but ironically it is the anti-smacking language of the proponents which puts me off, and makes me see the bill as a trojan horse for telling parents that the state knows better than them when it comes to raising their kids.

Despite that I would vote for the bill to go to select committee, and try to amend it so Section 59 defines more precisely reasonable and unreasonable force.

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