Since the last EPOCH New Zealand newsletter in September 2006:

The Select Committee hearing submissions on the Bill to repeal section 59 Crimes Act 1961 has reported back to Parliament.  The majority of the Committee recommended an amended bill drafted by the Law Commission (copy available from http://www.epochnz.org.nz/ under Publications) The amended Bill successfully passed a second reading in Parliament at the end of February 2007.  The Bill is now known as the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Bill.

Since then the Bill has had two hearings at the Committee of the Whole stage but progress is slow because of deliberate tactics to delay its passage by MPs opposing it.  Attempts to speed up the Bill's progress have not been successful and the debate in Parliament will now be resumed in early May.

Chester Borrows MP has introduced a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) which in summary attempts to define how children can be hit (the SOP and a critique of it is available from http://www.epochnz.org.nz/ under Publications))

Labour will be introducing a SOP which will add a clause to the Bill requiring a review in two years' time of the effects of the new law.

There has been extensive public interest and debate, some of which has been unpleasant, and there is much misinformation circulating in the community