New pamphlet available

New Zealand's Child Disicpline Law:  What does it mean for your family?

Pamphlet available now -


to view or order

In 2007 the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act repealed section 59 of the Crimes Act 1961 and removed the statutory defence of “reasonable force” that for so long had been regarded as permission to smack and hit children as part of discipline in the home. The new law outlawed the use of force for correction but recognised that prosecution for inconsequential assaults would not be in either children or parent’s best interests. Police reports indicate that there are few complaints for minor assaults and that cases that result in prosecution involve significant assaults. Research reported on by the Children’s Commissioner last year revealed a good level of support for the law. However we believe that there are still many parents who do not understand the law or its relevance to positive discipline of children. Barnardos and EPOCH New Zealand with support from the Families Commission have published a pamphlet explaining the law and how it is working. Please help us distribute this pamphlet widely.