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Report Finds No Evidence Of Needlessly Prosecutions For Smacking

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Nov 11 NZPA - A review of anti-smacking legislation has found no evidence parents are being subjected to "unnecessary state intervention" for lightly smacking their children.

The report, written by Social Development Ministry chief executive Peter Hughes, could not discount the possibility that there may have been "isolated incidents" where the practice differed.

Tabled in Parliament today, it used police and Child, Youth and Family (CYF) data to reach its conclusions.

Data indicated a significant rise in reporting, apprehension and prosecution of violent crime, as well as notifications of concerns about children.

But, in the two years since the anti-smacking law was introduced, it did not disclose "any changes" in the way police or CYF responded to reports of light smacking, or minor acts of physical discipline.

Mr Hughes said there was a trend that indicated many New Zealanders wanted to see victims of such violence made safe, and the perpetrators held to account.

"It is equally clear many New Zealanders do not wish to see families being the subject of needless intervention from government agencies as a result of light smacking hbeing reported to those agencies."

The review looked at procedures, including the referral process and identify any changes necessary or desirable.

In a referendum this year, 87 percent of those who voted said no to the question: "Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?"

The review was to look at procedures, including the referral process and identify any changes necessary or desirable.

It was also to "consider any other matters which, in the reviewers' opinion, will assist in ensuring that parents are treated as Parliament intended".

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