The March for Democracy

This event, held on 22nd November 2009' was another attempt by those actively lobbying to have the 2007 law overturned to put pressure on Government to reintroduce a statutory defence into section 59 Crimes Act 1961.  Although the march had a wider agenda of making citizens' iniated agendas binding its immediate aim was an attempt to force the Government to respond to the recent referendum outcome.  The Government has already done that satisfactorily.  As many commentators have said goverment by citizens iniatated referenda does not represent democracy but rather mob rule.  The New Zealand system of elected representatives is democratic and allows MPs the opportunity to make well informed decisions for the majority of voters and provides opportunites for the public to share their views with politicians.

Support for the 2007 law remains strong among those that understand how well children in New Zealand will be served in the long term by the repeal of the old section 59 Crimes Act 1961. As the recent report from the Ministry of Social Development has shown there has been no increase in prosecutions for minor assaults on children since the law change but there seems an increased willingness to report more serious assaults on children.

It is also likely that the law is already contributing (along with information about positive parenting) to a social change away from use of smacking and hitting, International evidence against the use of physical punishment continues to grow.  EPOCH NZ have produced a paper reviewing the law in light of recent research and the referendum.  It is endorsed by well infromed New Zealanders. it can be read here: