Dr Russell Wills is a paediatrician in Hawkes Bay with a large child protection practice and is the clinical director of Maternal, Child and Youth Services at Hawkes Bay District Health Board. He is also spokesman for the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Paediatric Society of New Zealand on the referendum issue.Goodness. And who have the 'No' crowd drummed up to oppose him? One Phil Jackson (no relation... I assume). His credentials, you ask?:
Phil Jackson lives in Auckland.Finding myself a match for Phil in this department, I thought I would comment on his opinion piece, "Parents, not governments, are responsible for children". I've written enough about the smacking thing of late to bore everyone to tears, so you can go and read it yourselves. I'll just make fun of a few highlights instead.
Members of Parliament know that they can get away with many things because they have denied the public the means to direct them on issues important to them. The Privy Council as the last means of appeal was abolished by a government that wanted its legislation to be interpreted in a particular way and despite the overwhelming number of submissions against this, decided that is what it wanted anyway.The sooner we get some direct democracy with binding referendums, the better. Then we can be more like beautiful Switzerland, where women managed to get the vote in federal elections in 1971. But even there the systems aren't perfect; in 1990, nanny state judges forced the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden to give women the vote in canton elections despite public opposition.
The law now states that parents cannot use physical discipline for correction. If this is a good principle, then it should also apply to adults and that time out should also not be used for correction for children.What? Firstly, I don't believe you can use physical discipline for the purposes of correction against adults. Secondly, that's not a sentence.
Those that argue that smacking is violence show a simplistic grasp of the subject. Society has rules that apply to different contexts that permit "violence". For example martial arts, contact sports and self-defence.I don't believe one can legally use martial arts for the purposes of correction either - even good parental correction.
When John Key says the legislation is working - I worry. If I were to say my car is working when someone expresses an interest in buying it, no one would for a second think that I meant "working well".What? What would it mean? 'Working like a dog'? 'Working the streets'? 'Workin' it'?
"When that baby grew into a 10-year-old"? That was quick. So what really happened in this little anecdote was a mother slapped her 10-year-old and didn't become a criminal. Good story.
A woman I know spent nine months carrying her baby, with morning sickness in the first trimester, and toxaemia in the final few weeks. The baby's head was too big for her birth canal and a caesarean with epidural was needed.
That baby woke three or four times nightly for over six months causing countless lost hours of sleep. When that baby grew into a 10-year-old and one day went too far, with the woman already stressed out, she slapped her child on the face. Under this legislation, she could have become a criminal.
Seriously, I read the Herald every day - so you don't have to - and I think this is the worst-written, worst-edited and worst-argued published piece of writing I have ever read. Anything that makes me want to go and give John Key and Phil Goff a big hug has to be doing something wrong.