Wednesday, February 21, 2007

70 - 51

Sue Bradford's Crimes (Abolition of Force as a Justification for Child Discipline) Amendment Bill has just passed its second reading, 70 - 51. In the end it was passed on a party vote, rather than a personal vote, but as it was a split vote we will be able to record some names. in the meantime, here are the results as announced:

Labour: 49 in favour
National: 6 in favour (Paula Bennett, Jackie Blue, Chester Borrows, Paul Hutchison, Simon Power and Katherine Rich), 42 opposed
NZ First: 3 in favour (Brian Donnelly, Doug Woolerton, Barbara Stewart), 4 opposed
Greens: 6 in favour
Maori Party: 4 in favour
United Future: 1 in favour (Peter Dunne), 2 opposed
ACT: 2 opposed
Progressives: 1 in favour (Jim Anderton)
Taito Phillip Field: opposed

Thanks to the Brown Amendment to standing orders, those parties which split their vote must provide names to the Speaker. I'll publish them as soon as I get hold of them.

Meanwhile, the bill will begin its committee stage next Member's Day, on March 14th.

Update: added voting records from Stuff. They are now also available on CommoNZ.


hmm interesting that Taito Phillip Field was against and the Maori party was in favour.

Maybe Taito just wants to look independent of labour?

Also I would have thought smacking would be more favored to remain an option amongst Maori party voters (maybe that is unfair?) and that the Maori party were generally social conservatives...


Posted by Anonymous : 2/21/2007 09:43:00 PM

Genius: Maybe they're concerned about family violence in their community.

I'm interested as to what this means for Chester Borrows' amendments. If Labour and the Maori Party are against them (and I don't think any speaker from either party indicated support - though I didn't hear the whole debate), then they're not goign to need a lot of votes to kill the SOP and pass the bill as is.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 2/21/2007 09:46:00 PM

Tariana Turia gave a speech that seemed to be opposing the bill - "police [...] have indicated that they will prosecute", etc. I only heard a small part of it, though, so it might have been misleading.

Posted by Anonymous : 2/21/2007 10:04:00 PM

NRT, youre right

Labour, Greens, Progressives and the Maori Party will support the SOP. They need just one of the three from NZ First to get the 61.

Posted by Swimming : 2/21/2007 10:54:00 PM

Phillip Field was obviously going to be against - even his then membership of the Labour Party, and basically an express manifesto promise of civil unions wasn't enough to stop him being the only Labour MP to vote against the the Civil Union Act. Field is highly socially conservative (and represents a highly socially conservative constituency).

I/S - as am I. National's six 'yes' votes will switch, and I would guess Dunne would as well. Assuming everyone votes (and that everyone who voted 'no' votes with Borrows) then he'll need three others. He claims to have them (presumably within Labour, 'though perhaps Woolerton or Stewart voted in favour to allow a later vote).

With a briefing from Geoffrey Palmer to Labour (and reference to Borrows' amendment during the debate as the Law Commission's Amendment, and this note in the DomPost, maybe he does:

"But a faction within the Labour caucus is known to have strong reservations, particularly those fearing a backlash from conservative constituencies.

Law Commission president Sir Geoffrey Palmer briefed Labour MPs last night on the bill - a sign some may still have concerns."

Of course, the PM may not let Labour members vote with their conscience...

Posted by Graeme Edgeler : 2/21/2007 10:58:00 PM

"...a faction within the Labour caucus is known to have strong reservations, particularly those fearing a backlash from conservative constituencies."

They're right to have reservations, because the backlash won't just be from conservatives. When I need parenting tips from a bunch smug, pompous gits in Parliament I won't hesitate to ask. Until then, they can get tae fuck.

Posted by Psycho Milt : 2/22/2007 07:45:00 AM

PM - you probably feel that you don't need relationship advice from those "smug, pompous gits in Parliament " either. Fair enough. But this is distinct from saying you have the right to beat your partner, and the state has no right to intervene, or punish you for handing out beatings.

Posted by dc_red : 2/22/2007 09:16:00 AM


That's right. Most people don't want to have sex with children, beat up women, harm animals or physically molest strangers. Despite this fact, we still have laws against those acts to make it clear where society stands on those issues. The few that do have those incliniations know where the line is and can be punished if they step over it.

It is not *that* long ago that raping ones wife and beating her was not a crime, she was after all, her husbands property and it was the states job to protect the rights of property owners, right?

Posted by Anonymous : 2/22/2007 09:34:00 AM

I'm just imagining...

Lets say there is a mother who is suspected of child abuse by neighbors but in fact is innocent (as it will turn out) of avuse under current law but has smacked her child.

Charges are brought and it goes to court. Slowly the evidence mounts up in favour of the defendant and we reach a point where the person is still clearly guilty but the public on the whole sees it as a farce. then interest groups fall in behind the person.

The person is then 'let off' presumably by the system, but in the mean time the damage is done to Labour (greens are probably ok anyway).

With all the excitement over child abuse in NZ, the odds are someone wil be wrongly chargd at some point.

Not so much an argument against the law in itself as much as suggesting that labour could be vulnerable if it makes these sorts of changes.


Posted by Anonymous : 2/22/2007 10:28:00 AM

"With all the excitement over child abuse in NZ, the odds are someone wil be wrongly chargd at some point."

That's not an excuse for not legislating. Following your logic *nothing* would be illegal because of the odds that someone will be wrongly charged.

There may be reasons to oppose this bill but that's not one of them.

Posted by Anonymous : 2/22/2007 10:58:00 AM

Ah, the famous conservative 'backlash'.

Constantly predicted on everything from gay rights to immigration, from treaty settlements to smoking in bars.

And yet somehow New Zealand society survives - and progresses.

When will this 'backlash' turn into votes and consequently, the repeal of laws? If (big if) elected, will John Key's government change any of this so-called "PC gone mad" legislation back? And if not, why not?

Posted by Anonymous : 2/22/2007 04:12:00 PM


> That's not an excuse for not legislating.

as I stated at the end of my post - it isn't an argument against the legislation except in as far as one might support labour policies generally speaking and if they were to loose an election as a result of this issue one might be annoyed at their political blunder, if it turns out to be one. (I know the greens proposed the bill but it probably isn’t a blunder for them.

> Following your logic *nothing* would be illegal because of the odds that someone will be wrongly charged.

That certainly isn't my logic.

>Ah, the famous conservative 'backlash'.

This cuts to the key issue

1) Labour doesn't care much about the brethren or Brian Tamaki vote and the immigrants are a better long term voting block than the anti immigrants, most people don’t like smokers (including many smokers) and most are happy with treaty settlements as long as it doesn’t go on forever. Better yet there is probably a considerable majority of labour voters (and swing voters) on Labour’s side in all of those issues.
However most people are uncomfortable with this legislation. And those people who are uncomfortable aren't just national voters - in fact they are right across the spectrum.

2) But of course that isn't enough what is required for this to become a problem is for that majority to be 'activated' - to suddenly consider it a voting issue rather than a mild annoyance. This would seem to be an issue that could easily (maybe even inevitably) create a case study that would make for a good political talking point.

3) It also needs to be a voting issue. I.e. when people go into the voting both will they vote on it? Some issues can get people all excited (like many foreign affairs issues) and in the end the public just won’t take much notice of it in the ballot box. Id say something like this is one that the public could well take notice of. (but of course it still needs to be ‘activated’)


Posted by Anonymous : 2/22/2007 05:41:00 PM

Any backlash to this law will likely depend on level of enforcement. If it is rigorously enforced it will likely result in the conviction of large numbers of people and removal of their children to state care. If it is enforced selectively backlash will not occur.

Posted by Anonymous : 2/23/2007 05:19:00 PM

yeah thats my (2). it could easily be seen as a non-event if basically no one gets prosecuted for it.

I was thinking someone with an agenda might - decide to test it on an unsafe conviction.

Posted by Anonymous : 2/23/2007 06:52:00 PM