Yes, another child is dead thanks to the alleged actions of her parent.
We can’t keep legislating to fix other people’s problems. At some point individuals and families need to take responsibility for their actions. Why is it that some of us are taught and understand personal responsibility while others aren’t?
I also find it really upsetting when a family friend of this woman attributes some of the blame to post-natal depression. I suffered post-natal depression with my first child. It took me eleven months before I got any treatment for it. I personally chose not to medicate but in hindsight it may have been useful. If PND, or general depression, was an issue for this woman did she seek treatment? Clearly, family and friends around this woman were aware of the rough start she had with being a Mum. What responsibility do they have, if any, in this child’s death? I know that I hid some of my PND very well but this woman is different to that – people did know.
The next issue is why are Maori killing their kids at such an incredible rate? In this case it’s clearly not a lack of access or knowledge of te reo or tikanga Maori. We know this because the head teacher at the kohanga said the alleged perpetrator was fluent in te reo and was set for great things. So, what went wrong here? and can we actually attribute it to ‘being Maori’? I know some will. May be Tara has a view on this.
Most of the people who are killing kids don’t give a toss about legislation. They will keep hurting and killing kids until someone stops them or they pull themselves up out of the culture that says it is ok to assault children.
This leads us to the smacking debate. I personally don’t smack my kids. I don’t think it is necessary because I know and use other ways to manage my children’s behaviour. I don’t like the idea that Government needs to legislate to tell parents how to parent. At the same time I do think the old section 59 did need to go – there were some cases where parents did use the defence and got away with nasty assaults on their children. I’ve seen the photo evidence – bruises and cuts aren’t the same as the results of a light smack. In a perfect world I’d like all parents to choose not to smack.
We all have choices and until all in society recognise they have a choice to act in any which way we’ll continue to have child deaths, under-achievement and mediocrity.