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TV Host To Help With Smacking Review

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Sept 7 NZPA - Well-known television host, author and clinical psychologist Nigel Latta, who openly voted against the law in a recent referendum on smacking, will help review policies around the issue.

The law as it stands bans smacking for the purposes of correction but the police have the discretion not to prosecute for inconsequential smacks.

In a referendum last month, 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?"

Prime Minister John Key today released the Terms of Reference for a review of policies and procedures used by Child, Youth and Family and the police when investigating smacking.

Mr Latta, Social Development Ministry chief executive Peter Hughes and Police Commissioner Howard Broad will conduct the review.

The review will look at procedures, including the referral process and identify any changes that are necessary or desirable.

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

Mr Key said he phoned Mr Latta and asked him to take part in the review.

His "direct and honest approach" was well-known and he would be a "clear advocate for parents".

The inclusion of Mr Latta on the review team showed the Government was "not there to sweep the issue under the carpet", Mr Key said.

In such a "polarising debate" as the smacking one it was "almost impossible to get someone neutral".

Mr Key repeated his belief that the law was working as intended and said the review was to assure parents the Government would monitor its implementation.

Mr Latta hosts the TV One programme The Politically Incorrect Parenting Show.

The review team will report back by December 1.

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