Physical Punishment of Children in New Zealand – An Update

15 February 2014  

Unicef New Zealand has recently published an information sheet on Physical Punishment in New Zealand.  It has been developed in response to recent media items which have not been accurate and in which there has been a call for an overturning of the 2007 law so that physical punishment of children would again be legal in New Zealand.  This is unlikely to happen but nevertheless it is unfortunate that attempts, based on misinformation, are being made reignite the debate in New Zealand.  The information sheet provides some current information on research into the effects of physical punishment, on current attitudes to the 2007 law which amended s59 of the Crimes Act 1961 relating to physical punishment, on child abuse in New Zealand and some information about the current Australian situation.