Referendum 09 – deceptive and destructive

Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand? This is the question put in a postal referendum to be held in New Zealand between 30 July and 21st August 2008.  This week New Zealanders will be advised to ensure they are enrolled to vote. The referendum question is confusing and the referendum is destructive.  The referendum undermines the positive message of the 2007 child discipline law.  The referendum question is loaded.  It does not ask a reasonable question such as ‘Should children be entitled to the same protection from assault under the law as adults’ or even ‘Are there occasions when parents should not be prosecuted for smacking their children?’  The 2007 child discipline law has not brought about large scale or inappropriate prosecutions for minor assaults on children.   The law is motivating many parents to think about how they discipline their children and to find non-violent ways of responding to their children’s behaviour. EPOCH New Zealand  urge the New Zealand public to look past the confusing referendum question and support the law with a Yes Vote in Referendum 09”.