Uni groups offer differing viewpoints on s59 Bill
Nationwide debate over Green MP Sue Bradford’s so-called ‘Anti-Smacking Bill’ hasn’t passed by University groups, who offer opposing opinions on how New Zealanders should raise their children.
Bradford’s Bill would amend the Crimes Act so that parents will be banned from using force as a means of ‘correction’ for their children.
VUWSA Women’s Rights Officer Clelia Opie supports the amendment, saying that no form of violence should be used on children as it can lead to a cycle of violence. She says that smacking is never a valid disciplinary option, and that it is not beneficial for the child.
On the other hand, several members of the Christian Group on campus feel that smacking is occasionally necessary in the discipline of children and, even where abuse is occurring, it is better for the child’s wellbeing for it to remain within the family environment.
The group fear families being torn apart, with children informing on parents, police interfering, and the removal of children from “genuine loving homes” where smacking is part of a “controlled and consistent” disciplinary programme.
The Bill will not be voted on until May as a result of delaying tactics by its opponents and Parliamentary recess. With the current support of the Maori Party it is likely to get a majority and be passed.
If the amendment goes ahead, next generation’s parents may have to reconsider whether what they do is helping or hurting their children.