New Families Commissioners

This week’s announcement of two new Families Commissioners, who are people reported to have opposed repeal of section 59 Crimes Act 1961, is of concern.   These appointments are surprising and of course raise the question, why these two and are there implications for the retention of the 2007 child discipline law as it is?  In the past the Families Commissioners  were strong supporters of repeal of section 59 and have steadfastly supported the 2007 law.  They have been strong proponents of positive non-violent discipline.  The Families Commission has  a strong “research” function and  have based their opposition to the use of physical discipline on evidence of the efficacy of positive parenting and the risks associated with the use of physical discipline.

Many people are asking whether these appointments are part of a move to weaken Families Commission support for the law. Does it mean that the Government might abandon its promise of not touching the 2007 law unless ordinary parents are being prosecuted for minor assaults?  Police monitoring indicates that this is not happening.

What is going on here?