Sue Bradford leaves Parliament.

In her 10 years in Parliament Sue has accomplished more than many MPs ever do.  She is a huge loss to Parliament but she will continue to make difference to the lives of New Zealanders in many ways by championing social justice causes.  Her accomplishments included successfully guiding  her bill to repeal section 59 Crimes Act 1961 through the parliamentary process.

Sue understood the importance of ending physical punishment of children – as a mother, from a social justice perspective and as someone with a deep interest in positive outcomes for New Zealand children.  Small wonder then that Sue placed a bill for the repeal of section 59 Crimes Act 1961 in the ballot which was drawn in 2005.  In 2005 her bill was drawn – details about the years of public debate on physical punishment of children and the law that have followed are well known.  Sue steadfastly retained her principles on this matter – refusing to agree to compromises that would give children a lesser status than adults in the law.  An amended version of her original bill became law in 2007 - with support from most MPs.  Sue has been an inspiring leader on the child discipline law.    Internationally the movement to end corporal punishment of children around the world is growing – 24 countries have now taken legal measures to end physical punishment of children.  Sue is held in high regard by activists in this movement – some friends have sent messages of appreciation at the time of Sue’s retirement from Parliament.   Sue’s name and reputation as a MP who bravely and energetically promoted the interests of children will remain prominent in New Zealand’s history.  Just as in 10 years time most New Zealanders will be proud of the section 59 law change so they will remember Sue’s name and feel grateful for what she achieved.   We wish Sue well.