And what does this mean?
"As the law stands there are some circumstances where a light smack would not be illegal. Fifty-five per cent of the 1000 people surveyed thought smacking was always illegal, 31 per cent thought it was not, and 14 per cent did not know."
"'This proves just how confusing the law is to parents and it is this confusion that is causing huge harm,' said Family First national director Bob McCoskrie."And why, I wonder, would people be confused by this simplest of bills? It couldn't, I suppose, have anything to do with a massive misinformation campaign led by conservative groups and happily facilitated by the mass media, including the Herald. So it seems a little odd for the Herald to report that people were confused - was that not your intention when you carried out some of the worst reporting of a New Zealand issue I have ever seen? The next bit made me laugh as well:
It's quite interesting noting the different results. I suspect that the surveys' methodologies would make interesting reading - well, as far as statistical methodologies go. I suspect that the Family First NZ survey contained terms like: 'Nanny State'; 'Helengrad'; and 'PC gone mad'. These may have influenced the results.
"To add to the confusion, a survey undertaken by the Office of the Children's Commissioner in November last year found that 43 per cent of those surveyed who knew of the law change supported it."
"'Only 28 per cent were opposed to the law change. The remainder were neutral,' Commissioner Cindy Kiro said."
Interestingly - again - another piece, published today, suggested that "the New Zealand Health Survey 2006/07 showed only one in 22 parents considered physical punishment was an effective form of discipline," which supports my hypothesis that the media may have banged on about Section 59 so much that even the words conjure up a picture of Stalin with Hitler's head attacking people with a samurai sword. But ACT MP John Boscawen is unfazed, and is putting forward a member's bill to change the law back. But why now, John?
I guess it's a shame National voted for Section 59 too then, isn't it. I guess I am slightly comforted, having read this hilarious piece, that National are taking the piss out of ACT. So, you know, it could be worse.
"'The Labour 'we know best' government is out and National is now in,' he said.
'Perhaps we will now begin to see an end to the madness of the past nine years where politicians saw fit to tell New Zealanders how to live their lives.'"