Friday, February 23, 2007

Lobbying on Section 59

While Sue Bradford's Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Bill now looks set to pass, we shouldn't take it for granted. The fundies and child-beaters will be pulling out all the stops to try and persuade MPs over the next three weeks, and so if we want to see the bill become law, those of us who support it need to do the same. So, if you'd like to improve the odds and shore up support, try contacting these MPs and urging them to vote against the amendments and for the bill:

If you're concerned, you might also want to contact the Maori Party MPs: Tariana Turia, Pita Sharples, Hone Harawira and Te Ururoa Flavell, or some of Labour's social conservatives (e.g. Harry Duynhoven) as well. I'm fairly certain they'll support the bill unamended, but it won't hurt to thank them for their second reading vote.

While I've included email addresses, the best way of lobbying MPs on this sort of issue is a letter. Just address it to [MP], Parliament Buildings, Wellington, and it will get there. And remember, no stamp required - postage to Parliament is free.

Do people think I should set up a pledge on this, to try and push people who would otherwise waver?


I'm a tad curious:

Do you think that this legislation will prevent Kahui style killings?

Do you think it'll be a good use of limited police resources to attend everytime a kid is given a light smack on the thigh, bum or hand?

Do you think all the opposition to this bill comes from serious fundamentalists and child-beaters?

Do you think it is wrong for a parent to cause their child 'transitory and trifling discomfort'?

Posted by Anonymous : 2/23/2007 01:10:00 PM

I think a pledge would be an excellent idea I/S :)

Posted by zANavAShi : 2/23/2007 01:19:00 PM


I think the intention of the borrows amendment is to permit a smack but not anything more.

1) the court should take that intent into account, the jury might still get that wrong but that is an issue with using juries in general. If you don't like it you should be worried about the hundreds of other things they make decisions on too.

this is a bit similar to the 'police will charge every parent' argument anyway.

2) the poor wording argument is a technical one, I welcome the proposal of an ideal amendment.


Posted by Anonymous : 2/23/2007 04:10:00 PM

> if they only wanted to allow a smack, they would have stated that.

Are you disputing that is what he wants ? i.e. calling him a liar?

And it seems to apply the other way too... do they want this enforced or not? What parental techniques do they explicitly permit? which do they want to be charged?

> unless you wish to remain with the unsatisfactory status quo

I think that is a dead duck. Once the debate is opened it would be hard to end with 'let's just leave it ambiguous'

> it simply misses the point, allowing violence against children.

to clarify, what definition of violence are you using? (with any luck it will lead to us having a good amendment!)

> but I just heard a story about a Korean father who continually slapped his 13 year old daughter about the face (on the golf course, infront of other players).

Would that father be charged with assault without s59? what about with the amendment? would he be convicted?

what will the golf players think of his actions if s59 is repealed? what if it is repealed with the amendment?

Another interesting thing is that poor parenting and most 'normal' assault are different sorts of crimes in terms of what is required to prevent them. One might want to address them separately as opposed to being so hell-bent on merging them.

Posted by Anonymous : 2/23/2007 06:49:00 PM

Here is an example from my experience.

My baby and my pet for unknown reason like each other, the baby likes the pet in particular. The baby if given the chance will approach the pet and play with it eventually pulling its fur and generally inflicting considerable pain on it.

The pet will eventually move to defend itself and it will be more than a match for the baby.

Now my policy is to just be vigilant enough to keep them apart (which since pet can move right across the house in a few seconds’ means he spends a lot of time locked out). I have no plans of starting smacking.

BUT - some parents might smack the child when it starts to hurt the pet.

Should I do that?
Should I not be allowed that tool?
What if I find being vigilant isn't enough and baby starts to get hurt?
Will it be my fault for not smacking earlier?
Do I have to kill the innocent pet? (Sending it to the SPCA would be a death sentence)


Posted by Anonymous : 2/23/2007 07:11:00 PM