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July 13, 2009 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

Fuck Off Sue Bradford

You know who needs to be smacked? Sue Bradford. I’m sick of people like her. Shouldn’t they be out planting a tree or picking up errant pieces of plastic? I’m sick of being told that my (non-existent) child has rights to their own body, while me as a parent can’t beat and bash my kid around. Next they’ll be telling me I can’t drag my kid behind the car when he starts crying about me using him as an ashtray.

Now why does Sue Bradford think a child actually has rights? Don’t these people realise that I own a child and can do what I please to it? If I want to sell it on TradeMe I can. I’m the parent, and therefore I own my child. I have the right to assign monetary values to the organs of my children and sell them off to rich people. If I want to stick apples on their heads and practice my target shooting I can. Even the Bible says I can sell my daughter into bondage if I so feel like it, and what’s the point of reading the Bible if you’re not going to take it literally? So for people like Sue Bradford, who say children have rights, give me one example of these ‘so-called’ rights. Sex abuse, duty of care and etcetera don’t count. Those rules are just pandering to the PC brigade who don’t allow me to blow smoke onto my newborn baby. I want rules that everyone takes note of, not just non-Maori.

Doesn’t Sue Bradford realise that parents’ rights are more important? Isn’t the whole point of parenting so you’ve got someone to look after when you’re old? I’m not having children for them to become independent and leave the house. I will always know what’s best. In fact, I’m making up a certificate as we speak, “The Parent Knows More Than You” Certificate to give out to concerned parents in case their children start talking about personal rights. I’m sick of the nanny state intervening and telling someone else how to run their life, when I should be the person running their life. You know what else Sue Bradford hasn’t thought of? The Freudian implications. Now Freud says children need to get beaten by their father so they don’t keep lusting after their mother. Now if we stopped people being allowed to beat their kids, we’re going to grow up with a generation of mother-luster afterers. No longer can fathers only not trust old Jim next-door, or old Sigmund down in the adult shop, but also young Sammy back at the hut.

I’ll tell you how I will deal with my kids. Firstly, I’ll be calm enough that I’ll be in complete control to choose between the wooden spoon and my rod carved out of elephant ivory. I can’t believe people claim most smacking is done when the parent is angry. Of course people will hit when they’re angry, we’re not Nazis. After I give them a couple of slaps and a few whacks, then I’ll sit them down and explain exactly what they did wrong for ten to fifteen minutes. Of course the kid may be crying and not actually know why they were hit, but my impassioned explanation will get through to them.

Then I’ll give them a pen and make them write a 1000 word essay summing up all that they’ve learned and why I had to smack them. You have to be firm. There’ll be no hugging. I don’t want to raise fags. Does Sue Bradford understand the meticulous way all parents punish their children? No, she clearly doesn’t. Now I don’t care if I’m in a supermarket or in the car, the rod, speech, pen and paper will come out.

Smacking separates us from the animals. Dogs don’t smack their puppies and look how stupid they are. You know what I also learned that Sue Bradford doesn’t know? Some lawyer from Sweden came and told me how their society is going down the drain. I know she’s not even a proper lawyer and isn’t actually admitted to the bar, but I’ll trust her opinion more than someone from Abba. And you know what would happen if Sweden went off the rails? There’d be a lot of hot, young slappers.

People will be talking about those Kahui twins and all that, but as the media have clearly shown, only Maori beat their kids to that extent. So I’ve got nothing to worry about.

You know what I wish the law would change? This is what people like Sue Bradford should be doing. I should be allowed to smack my best friends’ kids if they hit my child without being charged with assault. I demand the right to smack random babies. Also, I also demand a repeal of domestic violence laws. I slap my bitch around if I catch her with Jim or Sigmund all the time, and it clearly doesn’t do her any harm. While we’re at it, let’s get rid of this whole idea of the child’s interests being the most important concern in family law. If parents want to sell their Down Syndrome children with the mental age of 4 to elderly pastors who then rape those children, that’s their prerogative.

I demand the right to keep smacking children. Any child. Including Sue Bradford’s.

(Originally published in Salient August 7, 2006)


About the Author ()

Brannavan Gnanalingam has come a long way from being born in the teeming metropolis of Colombo, Sri Lanka. He may be known as feature writer for Salient, but is also the only man in history to have simultaneously donated both his kidneys. He is also an amateur rapper going under the moniker Brantank and hopes to win a Grammy.

Comments (215)

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  1. Mee says:

    I’d like to know the statics from when caning was abolish from schools. Has voilent crime risen since that time.

  2. John Rollett says:

    My Parents smacked me when I was a child when I did something wrong. I never did that again. It was very effective in my early education as I would not do that again.

    To remove this measured disapline would be a serious mistake. The communities are already suffering from undisaplined children. I dread to think what the Bill you propose will do to society. The breakdown of civil order is already underway.

    Please Sue desist from this dangerous intrusion in parental control.

    John Rollett

  3. voice of reason says:

    A major problem in the anti smacking debate is that the politically correct set of ideals appeals to the majority of NZ parents (dont ask me why). Sadly it is for this reason that a red neck peice of literature such as this only adds to the ammunition of large-mouthed, small-minded members of the PC crowd.

  4. Survivor says:


    January 2007
    A true life story

    Pain was a major participant in my childhood – both psychological and physical. I experienced terror in my childhood. I was forced to witness pain and humiliation being inflicted on my peers as well as on myself at school – in the name of “discipline”. Hidings from my parents all contributed to my fear and isolation. This childhood treatment resulted in “pain play” that served as an escape from the psychological pain and isolation caused by corporal punishment.

    As an adult, I came to realise that this behaviour has its roots set deep in childhood. The causes are very complex. Drawing from my own experiences, it is the result of psychological humiliation, caused by the common use of corporal punishment. The fear and anxiety generated by such treatment induced isolation that cannot be expressed in childhood. The outcome is the expression of pain and solace in childhood dysfunctional play. My story explains some of this phenomenon.

    The psychological shame and fear surrounding such behaviour has been very devastating. For a very long time I never spoke about it. The associated isolation has also been unbearable. This caused me to become suicidal. Throughout my childhood and into adulthood it was a closely guarded secret. It was many years before I found the courage to speak to another human being about my pain play behaviour.

    When I was around five or six years old, I would go into gorse bushes. I would use the prickles to jab myself. This produced a sexual arousal, which interacted with the pain – similar to the pain inflicted by corporal punishment. It is from here that the pain play behaviour developed. I began to use this to create secret self-induced “fun” and “comfort”. This became my way of dealing with the isolation I experienced as a child.

    I used several methods to “create” pain in my childhood and teenage years. One was by dripping hot wax on to my arms or legs with a candle. I invented this in my early teens, or perhaps even earlier than that. Another method I used was by applying small electric shocks, again on my arms or legs. I had some knowledge of electricity and often played with batteries and old radio transformers. I discovered that by reversing the input of a radio power transformer, each time a connection was made with a torch battery, the other end would produce an electric shock. I used a radio volume control to increase the intensity of the shock. So I secretly made a “shocker device” and used this in my “pain play”. Later, the behaviour began to take on a new turn when I began self-mutilation by cutting and burning myself. But sewing needles and pins were my most favoured options in my childhood for playing.

    The description “pain play” may not be exactly accurate either. Because it is rather, the repression of pain that is a major component of the play. I now understand that this behaviour is very addictive. I also understand that the addiction comes from the endorphin release in the body while pain is being induced under controlled conditions. The higher the “endorphin rush” the higher is the pain threshold. Under “normal” conditions, I have a very low pain threshold. During “pain play” I choose sites to pierce or cut that would usually be very painful indeed. Pushing needles through at normally painful sites induces a high excitement at levels that I could never experience at any other time. This certainly puts me out of touch with reality. No wonder it served such an important role in my childhood. In BME and BDSM circles this phenomenon is described as “subspace”.

    In my late teens and into my twenties, this pain play behaviour remained a closely guarded secret. This secrecy was enforced by the fear and shame surrounding the behaviour. I was certain in my own mind that I was the “only one in the world” who did such things to myself. I have since discovered that this behaviour is common within our society.

    A life-long struggle with my shame has finally ended. Instead, the shame is now appropriately placed at the feet of those who caused distress in my childhood. Those who advocate hitting children in the name of “discipline” like my parents and school teachers, now appropriately carry the burden of that shame. I take a pragmatic approach that I should have been able to do years before. My confidence has been a long time coming. This writing serves to completely remove my shame, secrecy and psychological pain. I now claim my dignity that was taken from me as a child. Today, I bear physical scars from my many years of self-harm and ‘pain play’.

    I need to be able to safely and appropriately speak about my behaviour. So every time some ignorant fool condones child “smacking” I provide my true story with purpose.


    Palmerston North
    New Zealand

    For more information on self-harm behaviour:


    Recover your life:

  5. Ian says:

    For all that Sue Bradford claims that it does not, this bill makes the slightest growl and pat on the bum a criminal assault. It would also be criminal assault to drag your child out of the shopping mall to the car by the arm when it throws a screaming tantrum because you won’t buy it an ice-cream. Sue Bradford assures us that the police don’t care about things like that. With respect she does not speak for the police. The police are obliged to enforce the letter of the law and are also obliged to investigate any complaint. Sue Bradford suggests that the police will use their discretion. She ignores the fact that it is precisely the `reasonable force’ wording of the current legislation that provides the police with the opportunity to exercise discretion. If this is removed the only plausible grounds the police have for exercising discretion goes with it. If a complaint conforms to the literal wording of the law they will have no option other than to prosecute. Even for a light `pat and growl’. They’ve said so – repeatedly!

    It is embarrassing enough as a male when your kid throws a tantrum in the supermarket. All you probably did was say `no’ to the idea of an icecream, yet it feels like every granny in the place is staring at you accusing you of doing TERRIBLE THINGS to your nearest and dearest who is screaming fit to be tied and thrashing on the floor. If you think kids don’t behave like that you haven’t had to deal with a 2-year old. It is hard enough to cope with this kind of thing under public scrutiny without the added pressure that some possibly unbalanced bystander may lay a nasty charge of assault on you if you touch the kid in the slightest way while dealing with the problem. This bill is a nuclear weapon! This is the kind of thing that destroys families and lives.

    Any charge no matter how minor is probably going to result in the kids being taken away from the family while an investigation takes place – horribly horribly traumatising to all concerned most especially the kids – and it may take YEARS – a lifetime to a child – before what is a likely CONVICTION (and hopefully discharge) under our painfully slow justice system finally happens. And then you’ll have to fight to get your kids back. That is SUCH a destructive process. You could NEVER put a family back together after putting them through something like that.

    Sue Bradford asks us to trust the authorities to never make a mistake with this … nuclear weapon … to always get it right – to never mangle a single family in the heartless machinery of the justice system out of some ghastly mistake. She can’t promise that! I simply don’t trust the authorities with that kind of power. This bill leaves every family in the country completely vulnerable to being destroyed on a whim. Yet it will have absolutely no impact whatsoever on cases of serious violence against children, which is the purported excuse for inflicting this on us.

    When my kid throws a screaming tantrum in the shopping mall I want to know that I can deal with the situation as a reasonable parent without the danger that some onlooker will have me carted off for assault. Which means I want to be able to pick the kid up by the arm and drag them out to the car forcibly if nothing else works … and I would also want to be able to give the big growl and pat on the bum to engineer the change in mood from screaming defiance to sobbing feeling-sorry-for-self if I have to.

    As a parent you try to use such tools sparingly. I’ve brought up 3 kids, and I very very seldom have ever spanked them. Almost never. When we were learning how to cope with the first one we spanked a bit more. The third one has hardly been spanked at all – maybe twice in his entire life. You learn more effective tools as you get better at the parenting game. There are better ways than spanking. However I’ve dragged a few kids off to bed in my time. I’ve also tapped a few bums and growled to get the point across when things have gotten drastic, and I wouldn’t like to tell any other parent that they absolutely cannot smack their kids (under penalty of a charge of assault no less) because parenthood definitely isn’t an easy thing. And while I personally don’t think smacking is a great idea – I am also not arrogant enough to try to tell other people how to bring up their kids.

    By the way – if Sue Bradford has her way – the previous paragraph is effectively a confession of assault which could see me arrested and charged. Read what I wrote. Do you think I should be arrested for writing this? Should I have to trust that the readers of this piece (if any) will all be sensible people who will use their discretion and let it go as Sue Bradford suggests will happen? All it would take would be a single atypical individual – perhaps someone like `survivor’ looking at the world through the lense of their own personal demons -to bring this to the attention of the police and I’d be in serious trouble. Fortunately the proposed bill isn’t retrospective else I wouldn’t have dared voice my honest opinion on this issue – such is the society of fear proposed by Sue Bradford.

    Those often religious types who argue that frequent smacking is a great way to raise kids make me uncomfortable. In my opinion those attitudes are outdated and on the decline. However I conceed that most such parents do love their kids and whole generations have been raised successfully using that philosophy in the past. So while
    I disagree with them, I’m not willing to impose on them by force my ideas of parenting as Sue Bradford seems to want to do. In any case it isn’t just the overtly disciplinarian parents who are threatened by this bill. The majority who would see smacking as a last resort are also impacted by it. Almost all parents smack a child at some point in the tortuous process between birth and adulthood. Sue Bradfords bill would lead to pretty much all parents being guilty of assault. The fact that we might manage to escape prosecution for our crime doesn’t remove the fact of that crime. Sue Bradford wants to make us all criminals!

    Children differ. They get up to all sorts of mischief. They throw tantrums and screaming fits. They are willfully disobedient. They throw food at you. They hit their siblings. They run away and ride on the baggage conveyor in airports. They steal the chocolate at the checkout in the supermarket. They torture the cat. They try to drown one another in the swimming pool. They run on the road. They bite other kids. As a parent you have to deal with all the horrible and unexpected things they throw at you. And you need to be able to do it without fear that your family will be totally destroyed if some peculiar and obsessive stranger observing takes a dislike to how you do it. That is what the defense of reasonable force is there for.

    If it has been abused (and there seems to be precious little evidence of that) then tighten it up. But you can’t remove this defense altogether and pretend that you are doing anything other than equating spanking to assault. Not if you are honest. Sue Bradford is dishonest. She is lying about the effect of this bill. She knows that it will equate spanking to assault yet she pretends that it does not. If she were a stupid person one might almost believe she was honestly deluded about this. Alas she seems to be moderately clever.

  6. Grant says:

    I totally agree with you, Sue get your condesending mind out of our political system, I heard a quote this morning (22/02/07) on the radio saying that “she has never hit her children” well I have to say different.

    When Sue was starting her life, working at the Auckland People’s Center (1992ish), she would often bring her kids into work. When they ran wild (as they often did) she would smack them really hard where-ever her hand would make contact, not just the smacking but yell at them (even though they were less than one foot from her mouth).

    Isnt it ironic that someone that shows such a dislike towards smacking is the one that was smacking her own kids??

    Also her hate against the gay community runs really deep with her also, so anything that she says about how much she likes them is a load of bullshit too.


  7. bran says:

    ok i was actually arguing in favour of the smacking bill with this piece of writing, or maybe i was just being too subtle. I’d like to think this wasn’t a “redneck” piece of writing.

    ian, how do you know the police will prosecute? technically rugby, cricket, soccer, league, basketball etc. etc. all contain assaults (eg a tackle, a bouncer, a block), and i don’t see the police running after sportsmen and arresting them. why would they do it with parents?

    to me this whole smacking debate is about parents’ rights v an individual’s right not to get hit (and if you know anything about family law, the basic foundation of it is that the children’s rights are paramount over and above any sort of parental rights). Basically a smack on anybody else is an assault, why shouldn’t it be so for kids? The bill’s not intruding into parents’ rights, it’s protecting an individual’s rights (if people complain about nanny state knowing best and legislating against smacking – even though it’s repealing a law – aren’t they guilty of doing the same thing and complaining they know best). As for claims that dragging some out is assault, I think there has been an amendment to the Bill submitted by academics in the Law School to allow parents to pick up their kids and remove them from situations.

    Also kids will rarely know why they’re smacked. Not only have childhood psychologists shown that children don’t really retain memories, but would kids seriously remember why they were hit if all they can think about is the pain they are feeling or simply fear violence? How many parents calmly and rationally explain why they were hit?

    As for claims it’s done by a caring, loving parent, let’s be serious, how much smacking is actually done with careful consideration, and not in anger/frustration?

  8. robin says:

    you may find that if you spend some time to do the research into the effect of corporal punishment on children throughout the western world the statistics and facts may sway such passionate opposition to the smacking debate………

  9. jerks says:

    i dont agree with anyone so far, from the arguments ive heard from both sides everyone is missing the point. what it would appear sue bradford is trying to do is abolish child abuse, that is abuse of individuals who do not have the abillity to defend themselves and the law fails to defend when they’re lives are threatend, can a kid of say 6 fend off an adult who is beating them half to death for something as stupid as wanting an ice cream? in that sense i agree with her. but at the same time she is going the wrong way about it. targeting the wrong people. its like when trying to stop people from drink driving you ban alcohol. the way she must see it is that you stop the problem at its root. but the direction she is going in is wrong. if you want to stop people from abusing their kids you have to figure out why it is they are being abused? and she has no line between abuse and dicipline.

    i was never smacked as a kid, but i still recieved the harshest of dicipline. no smacking but im dicaplined…….. are the alarm bells ringing? im not saying that a kid getting a smack on the hand or where ever for acting up is a bad thing, not at all, if thats how parents dicipline their kids so be it. let them eat cake, all im saying is i find it extremly unnecessary to beat your children half to death for the slightest wrong doing. how often does someones boss beat the shit out of them for being late? we live in a day and age where the religious morals of yore, an eye for an eye and all that sort of thing are out dated and unnecessary, do we really need to resort to beating the living shit out of our kids just becasue its easier than talking to them, on a level they can understand? using pain as a deturant may be effective but its not the only way.

    sadly i think its the only way some people can understand. your no better than people who blow up buildings because an army from that country marched across your deserted peice of land 300 years ago. is it to difficult to explain to your kid that what they are doing is wrong and that if they do it again they will be punnished? or are you to uneducated to make a concious effort not to beat the shit out of a child who cannot defend itself? i bet the people that do that sort of thing are the same ones that tourture small animals. i hope your abused kids end up like ed gain you sad peices of shit.

  10. Robert says:

    This country like Australia is already overly legislated. People like Sue Bradford just come along just try to reduce our liberties further.
    There are are already perfectly good laws in place to punish and prevent child abuse. All it takes is judge or Jury to be brave enough to enforce them.
    People like Sue Bradford are PC, Champaign Socialists. “Do as I say, not as I do” Should be her motto. Just another Politician taking advantage of her powers.
    What people do with their kids is none of her business. She should be off hugging a tree somewhere.

  11. Gina says:

    I completely agree with this bill and I will be very happy if it goes through.
    Section 59 is an exception to the law of assualt, the last of a host of revolting laws which used to include apprentices and school children, and (I think) wives. I know that this law chnage won’t stop many parents who think it’s a good idea from hitting their kids, we need a whole lot more to do that, but I think it needs to happen to make the point that children are valuable individuals with rights. This is the first step in the campaign against physical punishment, which is sorely needed.
    I believe that physical punishment:
    -can escalte to physical abuse
    -is psychologically, as well as potentially physically harmful
    -is demeaning
    -is violent
    -is morally wrong
    -is damaging to the parent-child relationship
    -is the basis for socially unacceptable types of violence

  12. Gina says:

    And Bran, I’ve just interviewed a bunch of parents who were smacked as kids and have decided not to smack their own kids, and they made your point: many of them had no idea what they were hit for. They remember the pain and humiliation, but not the lesson it was intended to make.

  13. Hey Gina,

    Are you a lesbian? Hitting your kids is fun.

    Fuck off.

  14. Danielle says:

    Hi, i’m a teacher and I have to teach some of the brats who haven’t been disciplined. I spend my whole days acting like a policeman and parent. Bring back the old days of teaching I say when children had respect for teachers and adults. We never stepped out of line. Of course the media only show the cases where children are severly abused- I am not for this at all but a smack on the hand or the bottom with the hand never did any harm. My parents did this for me and I have not been in jail or a burden to society. I have disciplined my children in this manner and the are the best, well behaved children a parent could ever wish for. I am so sick of all this P.C crap. It has filtered its way into the education system now to the point where we have to share our test results and teacher ‘only’ information with parents and the children. Go figure! I wish that all the politicians would stop making descisions when the majority of New Zealanders don’t want things like this to happen. I am sick of these academics telling me how to live my life and what I can and can’t do!!!

  15. Survivor says:


    You obviously cannot read. Go to the article posted above:

    January 2007
    A true life story

    And see the harm caused.

    Also go to:

    As a teacher, you may learn something worthwhile which may help you become a better teacher.

  16. Survivor says:


    Refer to the posting above:
    A true life story

    and go to:

    These are true personal accounts of the harm that has been caused.

  17. jerks says:

    this whole problem of sue freaking bradford wanting to ban smacking is just another in a long line of things that are turning this country into a nanny state. the whole reason we are like this is because of the minority of people who have no idea what the hell they are doing, be it raising children controling a vicious dog or driving a car, so some one has to step in and tell the whole country what to do. im sorry but this shitty god damn mess of a country is no ones fault but our own. dont blame the poloticians, dont blame “the system” or what ever. believe me i dont like it either, i dont like being told what i can and cant do in my own fucking house or car, but who ever the fuck had the bright idea of getting drunk and driving home or letting their dog attack the mail man or beating their defensless children half to death has done this to this country. why the fuck are we blaming the people trying to do something about it? atleast they are doing something. sure they’re doing a shitty job of it but atleast they are doing something. what the fuck have you done lately? have you not driven home drunk? not beaten you’re children half to death? not let you’re vicious dog maul the mail man?

    grow up new zealand. take your balls out of you’re P.C hand bags and ytake some fucking responsability for you’re own actions.

  18. karl says:

    Totally against this bill,
    I was smacked as a child when I was growing up & believe me my father was a hard man – but I still ended up and upstanding NZ citizen.
    I do smack my kids sometimes as a last resort – because sometimes talking with them just dosn’t work – I mine comeon they’re children, but I do not believe that the government have the right to tell how us to raise our own children.
    They also seem to pass bills left and right without even consulting us about them – aren’t they surposed to be their for us not the other way around we vote them in after all, Us as NZers have every right to kick them out if we want to.
    Seeing on the news the other night partitions being brought to them opposed to this bill and they blatenly ignore it is disgusting even by politions standards.
    Come on NZ get it together this bill is going to distroy the family union in this country it is heading towards children having more rights then their damn parents.
    I thought the law was clear children have limited rights until they are 18 after all the law states we are their care givers, parents and by law provide them with all they need to live until then, then they are considered Adults and live by the law of the land then.
    The country is becoming to PC for me – I didn’t have any rights when I was a child the next thing that will happen is children will be ringing CYFs complaining that their parents are to hard and children will run out of control due to there are no conseqences for there actions.

    This is just Rubbish………………….god help us all

  19. Sonny says:

    The main intention of this bill is to eradicate the abusive nature some parents have towards their children. And although that abuse is far reaching and widespread, this bill will do nothing to change that mentality. Are abusive parents now, going to be so terrified of this new law change , that they are going to change their ways? There are already sufficiant laws with adequate penalities in place to protect children and also society from these lowlifes. The only parents who will be terrified of this law are those who know that good parenting is balanced within the parameters of love, bond, support and discipline.
    Some people commit the hideous crime of rape. So in order to stamp this out totally should we be considering outlawing sex in our homes?…..ban cars incase you drink drive….have empty shops so people can’t shoplift. Of course not. Because there are laws in place right now to deal with these things. And we now need to tell the law makers of this country that we have had enough of this crap and that if they stopped breaking down the values of our society we wouldn’t have alot of these sad statistics.

  20. Paul says:

    all i can say is watch this…

    this bitch needs to DIE!!!

    bloody useless person in goverment i didnt vote for screwing up the future for my kids.

  21. jerks says:

    sonny, finally another rational voice.

    i take it you dont agree with anyone so far either? every one wants to be heard on this but no one wants to listen. its just another in a long line of a minority cant do something with any degree of rationality so the majority (who are decent people) have to suffer.


  22. Gina says:

    I disagree with Sonny. Abusive parents aren’t low life nut jobs, they’re ordinary parents, who this time, went too far with their discipline. Only 10% of physical child abuse is carried out by parents with psychological problems who actually want to hurt their children.
    If no one used smacking then it would never get out of control, which is why reducing the use of physical punishment is the most effective way to reduce physical child abuse. The fact that parents keep using it, and there is a law allowing them to use it, is the reason that, despite years of work, physical child abuse just doesn’t seem to go away.
    I know that most parents who use smacking don’t go too far, but surely (since there are more effective alternatives) all parents could make the effort not to use it for the benefit of the four or so children who are killed each year in NZ when their parents take smacking too far. We already do this with fencing of swimming pools and using seatbelts, which only saves a few children a year, but is worth it because these children are worth saving.

  23. ben says:

    I believe that passing a law which bans smacking is going a bit too far. You only need to look as far as the youth probelms in auckland, in schools and on the streets to realise that children are becoming more rebellious than what they were 20-30 years ago. In South Aux, there are now incidences of youths roaming the streets at ungodly hours, doing whatever it is that youths end up on the 6 o’clock news for (murder, manslaughter, theft, car crashes, under age drinking incidences). Children in schools are more abusive. There is one school in manurewa that use to and still does go through a regulation drug check, before the start of the school day. You have children wearing gang colours to school, and bringing in truoble from outside the school perimeter. Teachers in secondary schools especially, have been known to quit teaching because of constant abuse, and threats from their pupils. Can they do anything about these kids? not really, a time out doesn’t work on them. This behaviour is due to ill discipline, is due also to the fact that children know that they can do certain things without, incurring any real consequences. This is why we also see in extreme cases, parents having to seek professional help with their kids, which in turn can make for interesting reality tv programming. Has anyone really looked at the consequences of passive methods, and what might result. I believe this might lead to another extreme….ADULT ABUSE. A lthough I am dead-set against child abuse of any kind, I don’t believe that illegalising a very small, disciplinary action such as smacking, is the answer to the eradication of abuse problems. Good balanced, and consistent disciplinary measures are a good way to go. A smack never hurt anyone, in fact it might even save kids from a life of crime, and even instill in them a little bit of respect. Smacking your child is a far cry from giving them the bash. Giving your child the bash only really achieves and instills a rebellious nature as well, and can also lead to extreme cases of abuse, which can turn fatal. Anyway the moral of the story is, that we tread a fine line between good discipline and abuse, which is why I believe that good parenting is a tight rope that parents walk, now with a balancing pole that has recently been heavily weighted on one side. Sure there have been incidences of child abuse, and smacking a child isn’t one of them.

  24. Gina says:

    I think everyone needs to remember that Sue Bradford’s Bill doesn’t create a new law which outlaws smacking, it’s actually removing a law. In Sweden they removed their law (equivalent to Section 59 in, I think, 1957). It wasn’t until years later that they actually implemented a new law which banned physical punishment. The fact that they felt the need to introduce the second law is an indication that in their case , removing the law equivalent to Section 59 did not, in practice, equate to a ban on smacking.

  25. Gina says:

    Quote Ben
    “There is one school in manurewa that use to and still does go through a regulation drug check, before the start of the school day. You have children wearing gang colours to school, and bringing in truoble from outside the school perimeter. Teachers in secondary schools especially, have been known to quit teaching because of constant abuse, and threats from their pupils. Can they do anything about these kids? not really, a time out doesn’t work on them. This behaviour is due to ill discipline, is due also to the fact that children know that they can do certain things without, incurring any real consequences.”

    I think this is due to neglect, and I certainly don’t think that a strategy which will only further damage their relationship with their parents (smacking) will make any difference to the behaviour of these children. Besides, I’d be willing to bet that the parents of these children are over-represented in physical punishment use.

  26. Sonny says:

    Gina, you have completely overshot the debate with regard to what has been detailed. Changing the law isn’t going to address the ongoing problem of child abuse. Abusive parents have no regard for the law. Nor do murderers, rapists ,fraudsters, burglars and so on and so on. However, what this law change does do, is to align the majority of decent well balanced parents into the same category as the individuals we are trying to eradicate. These child abusers are lowlife and that needs to be acknowledged. So too are others who transgress the laws of this country. Why would you want to make a change in the law to increase the number of people who would now be regarded as abusers when we should be concentrating on reducing the number?

  27. Gina says:

    My personal view is that infliciting pain on children is abusive. However since I know you’ll disagree with me on that I’ll present a different agrument.

    I think that this Bill is the first step in acknowledging that NZ parents need to develop their parenting. There number of parents who already don’t use physical punishment is growing and will continue to grow with the encouragement of this Bill. I see it, not as an implementation of a law to make parents criminals, but as the removal of a law which allows adults to assualt children. Section 59 is an exception to the law of assualt; the only members of NZ society who can legally be assualted are children.

    By far the majoirty of the research suggests that physical punishment may be harmful, but even if it isn’t, it is unnecessary. Why should NZ parents continue to use a technique which may well be harmful or potentially harmful when there are more effective alternatives?

  28. karl says:

    Lets get this straight – there is nothing wrong with giving your child a smack on the butt when they deserve it for total misbehaviour.

    As mentioned before giving your child the BASH so to speak is completley wrong.

    What this bill is going to do is make the 90% of decent parents out their criminals for disaplining there children when they take no notice of other tacktics.

    This is when I smack my children when they don’t see reason (talking to them) sending them to their rooms taking things away Computer time, TV time and all the rest.

    Sometimes a good smack on the Butt is what they need to see since and realise that their actions won’t be tollerated.

  29. Sonny says:

    Section 59 has never been an exception to assault children as you state. The law in question allows parental guidence and discipline with the use of reasonable force. A smack on the bum or the back of the hand is reasonable force. Child abuse is another issue altogether. You are trying to blur these two very seperate scenarios as one. Responsible parents do not smack their child on the bum and then fly into wild fit of rage and beat the living daylights out of the child. That domain belongs squarely and solely with the abusers.

  30. Gina says:

    Section 59 literally is a law written as an exception to assualt. It is part of NZ’s assualt law.

    And I’m not trying to blur to completely different things. I’ll say again: most parents who smack don’t abuse their children, afew do. The child abusers you’re talking about are parents who have taken it too far but who usually only smack mildly like the rest of the 80% of NZ parents who smack.

    These are the references to studies which have found a link between the use of smacking and the occurence of physical abuse of children:

    Crouch & Behl, 2001
    Frude & Goss, 1979
    Garbarino, 1977
    Gil, 1970
    Graziano, 1994
    Graziano, Hamblen and Plante, 1996
    Lahey, Conger, Atkeson, and Treiber, 1984
    Marion, 1982
    Oates, Davis, Ryan and Stewart, 1979
    Ritchie & Ritchie, 1981
    Ritchie & Ritchie, 1997
    Straus & Yodanis, 2000
    Whipple & Richey, 1997
    Williams, 1983

    This is a quote from Gil, who looked at over a thousand cases of physical child abuse:
    Since culturally determined permissive attitudes toward the use of physical force in child-rearing seem to constitute the common core of all physical abuse of children…, systematic educational efforts aimed at…developing clear-cut cultural prohibitions and legal sanctions against the use of physical force…are likely to produce over time the strongest possible reduction of the incidence and prevalence of the physical abuse of children. (Gil, 1970, p.141)

  31. james says:

    Gina and sonny,

    you both seem to be arguing the same basic point. you are both saying that this bill is mearly a bill to remove the right of the parent to abuse their children, it is not a bill to ban smacking, it mearly changes the defenition of abuse vs dicipline, not nesecarily a bad thing, what sonny is trying to point out is that the law states, the use of resonable force. but what is the definition of resonable force? how can you resonably force some to do your bidding? this amendment is not aimed at taking away the right of a parint to dicipline their child using resonable force, it is mearly amending the definition of resonable force so that the parents who beat their children within an inch of their lives arent protected under law,

    what constatutes good parenting is neither here nor there in this argument, you could argue it for month and youd still be saying the exact same things based on your own opinions. the entire basis of the argument is the fact that some, not all but some parents abuse their kids and get away with it.

    a good example of theuse of “resonable force” was the rodney king beating in america, its old news granted but it has relivance, the police in this case have the right to use resonable force, they abused that right by beating rodny king nearly to death, and then they got away with it, all because it was deamed as the use of resonable force, which is protected under the law.

  32. James Sleep says:

    You guys need to get a life. She a member of the public and deserves a right to her opinion without abusive comment from fuck wits like you…..

  33. Bryce McClure says:

    Does Mz Bradford Really think that a law change WILL STOP KIDS GETTING ABUSED. like the new law changed for dog owners has now got ALL the unregistered dogs Registered.
    There is a Massive difference between Abuse and Discipline
    What Would Mz Bradford reccomend to stop kids running
    out in front of a bus ,truck or car.


  34. Bryce McClure says:

    James …..What Mz Bradford is say that smacking is abuse !

  35. Daz says:

    In a true democratic society this would be settled with a referendum. Let the people speak and be heard. Why should a miniscual portion of our society decide for the vast majority. Answer, they shouldn’t. Wasn’t it Sue Bradford who was protesting and resisted arrest and when asked why she resisted said something to the effect of “Sometimes words just aren’t enough.” But hey don’t blame poor old Sue. After all she is just trying to help the UN impliment another item on their global wishlist. Watch this space as they also want a global mandatory vaccination program. That will be interesting !! Wake up people, don’t give up what rights we have left so easily. Remember, once Hitler took the freedoms of the german people it took them over 20 years to get them back.

  36. Gina says:

    It’s not a miniscule portion of society who wants this to go ahead, it’s every child focused organisation that I can think of, plus, 20% of NZers don’t smack their kids anyway, so it won’t affect them.

    And Bryce, the Bill has provision for parents to grab children before they run out onto the road, or to physically pick them up and put them in time out. The Bill only addresses smacking children as punishment.

    And Daz, what about the right that children should have, as human beings, to be free from being hit?

  37. Daz says:

    Gina, I was refering to parliment. As for “every child focused organisation”, why should they decide for every other parent ? What’s wrong with a citizens referendum ? Look at these links I just googled. Seem to me that the majority of NZ parents aren’t the slightest bit interested in some PC politician telling them how to bring up their children. Unfortunately no number of respondents listed but maybe still quite telling. 82% at this stage said they will still smack their children regardless of the law. Read it and weep Gina. This is reality. & Gina I think you are fully aware of the difference between hitting someone or smacking someone. So why make it sound worse than it really is by using the word ‘hit’ ? So tell me Gina, should this law work both ways ? If a child hits, smacks, bites etc a parent, should there be legal consequences ? If not why, what’s the difference ? Maybe TV was trying to condition NZers for this bill by playing all those trashy reality TV series like The Nanny. This PC world has got to go !!

  38. Gina says:

    If a child ‘smacks’ their parent, that is already against the law. There is no legal defence for anyone to ‘smack’ anyone else other than parents ‘smacking’ children. The reason I use the word ‘hit’ is because that’s what it is. ‘Smacking’ is a word that people use when they’re trying to downplay what ‘smacking really is: an adult raising their hand and bringing it down on their own child with intent to cause pain (because if it didn’t cause any pain then it wouldn’t be much of a punishment would it?)

    The reason I believe that this should go through against what is probably a majority of public opinion is because I have done my research on the topic, I know that it’s potentially harmful, both physically and psychologically, and unnecessary. I believe that the reason that most people can’t see it for what it is, is that most people were smacked by their own parents, and many have smacked their own children. This makes it very difficult for such people to assess objectivly. Ask yourself this: do you believe that animals should be taught with smacking? What about intellectually handicapped adults? Elderly people with dementia? If the answer is no, then you should ask yourself, why children?

  39. Darryl Ward says:

    Section 59 permits reasonable force to be used for corrective purposes. Anything unresaonable, such as beating, is clearly out.

    The law is not broken and does not need fixing.

    Most people are well aware of the difference between correcting and child abuse. Polls consistently show that 85-90% of the population opposes banning smacking, and it is interesting to note that a high proportion of those who want to ban smacking have never had children of their own.

    Banning smacking will do nothing to prevent real child abuse. Banning smacking will not save children like the Kahui twins, just like homicides are not stopped by murder being a crime.

    If t Bradford’s bill is passed, most parents will become criminals.

    Meanwhile, real child abusers will go unchecked, while CYFS targets those parents who dare to discipline their children

    It doesn’t take a village to raise a child. It takes two parents who are prepared to set boundaries and have the courage to stick to them.

  40. Bryce McClure says:

    James…….. also she is not just a member of the Public she has a say in what you a i do

  41. Gina says:

    Quote: Darryl Ward
    “Anything unresaonable, such as beating, is clearly out.”

    See that’s the problem, beating is not clearly out. All some parents know about the NZ law on smacking is that it’s allowed, which was the case with James Whakaruru’s parents who beat him to severely that he died from his injuries and were shocked when they ended up in court. They said he was naughty and they were just giving him normal punishment.

    I’ll say it as many times as I need to; most parents who smack don’t take it to the level of physical abuse BUT SOME DO. We need this law to say to all parents that violence against children is not ok, at any level. This is how clear we will need to be if we want to reduce physical child abuse in NZ.

  42. Disgusted says:

    I understand your plight, however, it is such ideas as you have published above that sue is trying to protect our children against. I grew up with an abusive father who felt it was his right to beat and humiliate my siblings and I to justify his own insecurities about being a coward towards the bullies who tormented him. Are you that sick to believe that you can bring human beings into this world to treat less than your dog??? Or does the dog get it as well. Perhaps you have written the nonsense above to guage the reactions of the general public.
    It is common knowledge that abuse within the family is often a forwarding cycle. Our criminal youth are not those who have been loved, cherished and respected. Discipline is necessary to ensure life lessons of right and wrong. Our children are not stupid. They can converse, learn from language given. A beating is not an explanation.
    For those out there who feel it their right to such measures as beatings, I feel for you. Get educated people!!!!
    Go Sue!!!

  43. Disgusted says:

    My comment was directed at the subject letter at the top of the page, not to the comments thereafter.

  44. Gina says:

    To the person who has called themselves Disgusted.
    I totally agree with you regarding child abuse, and the Bill to repeal Section 59, but I think the person who wrote this was being sarcastic in order to get a response. I wouldn’t want to speak for them but my take on it was that they were presenting a very extreme exampe of oposition to the Bill in order to demostrate some problems with the lesser arguments that are being made against it. I could be wrong.

  45. MC DOOGIE HOWSER M.D says:

    MC Dr Doogie laughed his arse off… keep writing Brannavan Gnanalingam. You’re hitting the point so good. Good shizzle

    Doogie Howser M.

  46. Brannavan says:

    yep, i’m taking the piss out of people who oppose the sue bradford bill. I guess irony doesn’t register with all people – do people seriously think this rant is real? seriously??? oh well.

  47. I believe in you, Brannavan.

  48. Adrien says:

    just because all fish live in water doesn’t mean anything living in water is a fish

    just because all violence is use of force doesn’t mean all use of force is violence.

    I’d be happy to abolish abuse and violence. But we are abolishing use of force.

    I just hope that one day, when you are confronted with a situation that requires you to use a little bif of force (regardless of whether you want to or not), you remember this demented bipolar rant of yours.

    Actually I just hope for your sake that you never have kids. Actually I hope that for their sake,and the rest of society’s sake.


  49. Sam says:

    I am one of Sue Bradford’s children. A recent Vic graduate. Some Salient staff will know me. Including Brannavan, who seems to have a better grasp of irony than the bulging-vein school

    There are reasonable people who contest the desirability of the bill. Fair enough, if they do so with reasoned arguments. Not with lies. Grant, who posted above, is a liar. It’s that simple. My mother did not assault me as a child. Nor is she homophobic.

    Perhaps us unsmacked Bradford kids did ‘run wild’ – actually come to think of it, we didn’t- but…
    somehow, we are all well educated and successful. and we don’t resort to lying on internet forums, because we have real achievements to our names.

    Strangely enough, I remember the naughty kids at school… the ones who you suspected would end up in jail, and did… were the ones who were most frequently smacked. Did it help? obviously not.

    I’ve never met a violent thug with liberal, PC, wishy-washy feminazi parents.

    To those of you wishing violent harm to my family for trying to protect others via the democratic process…
    channel your macho bullshit energy into something more useful, like watering those magic beans you bought off Ian Wishart. Then think about how stupid those who agree with you must feel when they read your comments. Most importantly, fuck off. Nothing gives you that right.

    Sam Bradford.

  50. adrien says:

    Hey Sam

    good on you for posting here. The world out here is wondering how you guys fared.

    We just had a baby 3 months ago, and he’s so precious to us. I can’t imagine ever wanting to hit him, and I don’t plan to. But I do know my main task as a parent is to teach him how to survive in the world. And I know the carry-on I got up to as a kid and earned a well-deserved whack or two.

    There are some things that aren’t being discussed though, and I’ve no doubt it’s possible to raise a child without using physical punishment, and we have every intention to do that, but the thing that most worries me is the social climate we are creating. It’s not just us non-violent people sharing this country.

    At the moment parents don’t need to worry about things like teachers dobbing them in to the cops because Jonny turns up with a bruise (that he got falling off his bike or something). There are so many horror stories you hear about; people having their young babies removed from them for 10 months on the whim of a doctor until they are returned without any charges being laid. Hmmm, maybe we should be worrying about these sorts of things anyway, since the horror stories are still going on around us.

    The climate of fear and mistrust is what concerns me. Also I wonder about how many kids won’t be taught things they need to know because parents don’t have the skills to do it any other way. Passing a new law is one thing – changing people’s methods is another, and educating people is really difficult. If anything, having a 3 month old teaches you how tired you get, and how short your wick gets when you’re tired. There must be so many people that just snap because they are incredibly tired.

    This social climate will affect everyone, not only those who smack, but also those who don’t.

    My brother-in-law is a teacher, and he has a lot to say about how the climate of mistrust has affected the way that teachers have to deal with students – e.g a male headmaster or dean can’t even call a female student into his office any more without a witness being in there for fear of harassment charges (no problem for a female headmaster). What do you think about airline policies about unaccompanied children being allowed to sit next to men or not?

    How would you prove that you never smacked your child if you were ever investigated because of a complaint? And a complaint could come from anywhere.

    The current law (S59) gives certain rights to all parents, those who choose to smack, as well as those who don’t. Other rights that we take for granted come along with these rights, such as the right to live without the fear of being unjustly charged of assaulting your kids. I dunno – how do you prove something like that? And in the meantime, your kids could be taken off you – a punishment worse than death if you ask me. I know if someone took our wee guy off us, we’d be inconsolable.

    My wife arguably owes her life to being smacked as a child (she was 2 1/2 playing on the road – laughed when her mum rushed out to grab her). One of 2 times she was ever smacked. So I wonder how many more kids will die on the roads, or die from poking forks into power points. I hope we keep stats about this.

    For some people being able to put the time and resource into raising kids without force is a luxury they just don’t have. I do believe there is a wrong way to use physical discipline, and I think most people have no clue, which is why it’s such a problem. I was only smacked a handful of times. If parents smack their kids all the time there’s some other problem. So maybe they shouldn’t have had the kids, but what if they already have them, or their situation has changed. I know you were one of 5, and that’s cool. I do think it must be more difficult for larger families though – there are only so many hours in a day. My mum brought up 3 of us by herself, and it was really tough for her. I think she did a great job, and I’m really thankful.


  51. Gina says:

    Hey Sam Bradford. Nice to see you here. I went to one of the select committee hearings and I was really impressed with your mother. I think that for a politician to do something like this, which has been so vocally opposed is quite brave really. I mean, we haven’t seen Labour have a go at it, despite the fact that Helen Clarke so clearly supports it. If you’re in the habit of telling your mother what people think on internet forums you can tell her congratulations from me. Hope it all goes through.

  52. Nick says:

    “never met a violent thug with liberal, PC, wishy-washy feminazi parents”.
    Nah, probably not ay?

    They’re probably the children of conservative poor people right? Let’s face it: the best way to give our children a better chance for the future isn’t to focus on things like poverty – it’s better to just go for the symptoms. Gets you more press coverage.

    But what I do know is that we can put down the obviously amazing upbringing the Bradford children had to their not being smacked.

    Quickly to the Moral High Ground!

  53. Harry says:

    What happened to the freedom of the people of New Zealand?

    Why is this government taking away OUR freedom?

    We are moving (slowly) to a communist state where the government will tell us what we can and can’t do. If you are a smoker you are not allowed to smoke in a bar. If you are a parent you now have become a criminal if you issue your child with a corrective smack on the bottom.

    My main issue is that this takes away the freedom of good Kiwi’s and this effects us ALL. What’s next? No more Beer, wine and spirits? No more fish and chips? The government giving us jobs instead of letting us choose? I’m sure there is an agrument to support these 3 samples, but it all takes away freedom.

    Why turn parents into CRIMINALS? It doesn’t make any sence. The more I look at this the more I think this kaw is about Sue and not about NEW ZEALAND. Please also keep in mind that this woman has been to jail and has a very dark past. Now Sue is involved in government to make herself feel better.

    If we want to keep our children safe we need to EDUCATE. Don’t take away our FREEDOM! As of next month I will be a criminal here in New Zealand thanks to Sue.

    New Zealand is a great country and lets keep it that way. Don’t let a solo mum who has been in prison change the KIWI way of life.

  54. Ralph says:

    hey , it’s slightly unrelated, but could someone clarify for me where the legal line would be drawn bewteen a kids legal right to protection from physical harm committed by their parents and the foetus not having any legal status?
    I assume once the foetus is removed from the mother body and can survive unaided it gains legal protection right?

  55. Marianna says:

    Just to clarify because I was confused by Harry’s sensationalist accusations of prison above, this in Paul Holmes’ profile of Sue Bradford in today’s Herald:

    “She’s long ago forgotten exactly how many times she’s been arrested [at demonstrations]. “30 or 40 times,” she thinks. She once spent “4 or 5 days” remanded in prison.
    “Both times I was there, it was fine. I had some of the most interesting conversations in my life in Mt Eden Women’s Prison.”

    Obviously the charges of being a solo mum are entirely indefensible. (Does sarcasm work in this forum?)

  56. Harry says:

    Hey Marianna just out of interrest: Would you mind Mark Lundy running your country if not where do you draw the line?

  57. Hal says:

    I would like to pick up on a point made by Adrien, in his reply to Sam Bradford, in that many parents do not know any way, other than smacking, to make a child understand what is acceptable behaviour, and what is not. Tthis is because I truly believe smacking, the use of force in a loving, guiding way, is an instinctive, natural method of parents educating their young. They dont even have to think about it. It is an immediate, natural reaction to a sitution. I am sure you will find It is used throughout the animal world, by all higher intelligent creatures, in rearing their offspring. When a child does something wrong, or is getting itself into a situation of danger, the average parent, who lets face it, certainly knows better than the child, instinctively wants to impress upon the child the error of their ways. This is probably verbal in the first instance, and if that doesnt work, then a smack is used as a stamp of the parent’s authority, in a timely, and relevent manner. They dont stop to think about section 59. I bet 99% of people had never even heard of section 59 until this bill came along. Only the smart-ass lawyers knew about it, and tried to use it to get the real criminals off.
    In making smacking a crime, I believe the government would be going against Nature itself, which would be totally wrong.
    I also take exception to a statement made by Sam Bradford in defending his mother, for trying to ” protect others via the democratic process”. When 80% of the population is against what you are doing, then that is not the democratic process.
    What we want is changes to section 59, which categorically spell out, exactly what the limits of reasonable force are, and a judicial system, willing and capable of enforcing those limits. Failing that, at the least, a referendum is required.

  58. Gina says:

    I think we all need to remember that that 80% figure that people keep throwing around is 80% of the people who were polled. How many children do you think were asked that question? Or would it be reasonable to assume that all the respondants were over 18?

    And you can’t go attacking Sue Bradford for having spent time in prison, when, as I understand it, she was there as a result of protesting for peace, women’s rights, and gay rights. I don’t think anyone can fault her for that. Besides which, her merits have nothing to do with the merits of the Bill.

    Hal raised the point about smacking being a ‘natural parental instinct’. There is hardly any such thing. Parenting is one of the most social proceses that humans undertake, and how to do it is socially learned. The reason that people smack their children is because they were smacked themselves. They learnt it from their parents, who learnt it from theirs. Conversely, if a parent decides not to smack (as my grandparents did) then their children will grow up to believe that non-smacking is the ‘natural’ way of dealing with child discipline (as it was for my parents, and will be for me). All you need is just one generation to stand up and say that they are not going to use violence to raise their children, and all of the subsequent generations won’t even need to consider it.

  59. al says:

    this bill is the ‘state knows best, and takes away rights from parents’. How dare the state do so… if we want to have sex with our children, how dare the state get in the away.. oh hang on…..

  60. Nick says:

    So what you’re saying is that you want to have sex with children? That’s weird, because not many people would admit to that, let alone fight for their right to do so, unlike smacking….

    Oh wait, you were trying to argue through analogy. Next time pick one that makes sense instead of just clouding the issue.

  61. Gina says:

    Go al!
    There are plenty of things that are law to provide for children’s safety, even other than the one that al used. We are legally obligated to fence swimming pools, children must wear seatbelts (or be in child seats) in cars, children must wear bike helmets etc. These are things that we all do, not because we think that our own children are in danger of drowning in a swimming pool, but because we know that if all of them aren’t fenced, a number of children each year are likely to die, and we value those few children enough that we think it’s reasonable that everyone should have to fence their pool.

  62. Hal says:

    You say that there is no such thing as parental instinct, and go on to say that smacking was learned from ones parents, who learned it from their parents, who learned it from their parents, who learned it from their parents, and so on, probably back until man first walked upright. I call that parental instinct.
    Now you come along, and people like you, and say “no, that is wrong”. Well, I beg to differ. I acknowledge that you are pushing this with very good intentions, but I am afraid you are blinkered, and just cannot differentiate between smacking and violence. I think a light smack is by far the best way to make a child realise that what they have done is not on. If it is administered at the time of the incident, together with verbal communication about why it is happening, then it is like putting a couple of explanation marks on the whole process. I think you would also find that it is probably less traumatic for the child than some of these alternative methods that people are advocating. It is short, sharp, to the point, and is probably forgotten about in 5 minutes. I am not saying that it will have any long-lasting affect on the child’s behaviour, and that he/she wont repeat the offence the next day, but it is a quick fix to a current problem, which is what many parents at their wits end want.
    Also, I relate all the above only to pre-school children, 2, 3, and possibly 4 year olds.
    Once a child is at school, I think you can reason with them much more effectively, but not the pre-schoolers. They do not have the intelectual ability or the attention span for reasoning.

  63. Gina says:

    I can tell you with absolute honesty that discipline can be achieved without any use of physical punishment at all. My mother and her brother were raised without it, and so were my brother and I. Further, I’ve just completed research into 20 other parents who don’t use it. During the course of which, I found numerous NZ studies that confirmed that about 20% of NZ parents never smack their children. I can already hear you saying that these children are running wild, but this is not the case. Study after study has found that children who are not smacked are generally better behaved, which is probably because alternative discipline techniques require a lot of explanation and are often better related to the mis-behaviour, which means that the child is much more likely to learn about why the behaviour is inappropriate. This learning facilitates the development of morals, which is obviously important for children to behave well in the future.
    However, I think the most important reason that non-smacking results in better behaved children is that smacking damages the parent-child relationship. And the better relationship one has with their children, the better behaved their children will be.
    I know many of you will say that you smack and your children are very well behaved, and give anecdotal evidence about people who don’t smack and whose children are very poorly behaved. But the preceding statements are based on my reading of studies that have looked at many hundreds of children. Also, I’m not suggesting that people use no discipline at all, which would obviously result in very poorly behaved children.

    And agent0, nothing makes me sadder than reading about how traumatic it is for you to smack your children when I know that you don’t have to do it. I understand that you feel that there are certain behaviours which are so serious that you need a very serious punishment, but what you really need is to teach your children why they shouldn’t do it, am I right? The best way to ensure that they don’t do these things is to teach them not to in the most effective way, and that is talking to them about it, as many times as you need to. As far as punishment is concerned, An appropriate one for leaving the section without telling you would be that they have to stay in the house until you are satisfied that they can play outside unsupervised without leaving the section.

  64. Sam says:

    Hey Adrien, Nick, Agent0 etc, good to see some reasoned replies
    (tho I think ‘stupid bitch’ is a bit uncalled for)

    I know there are lots of happy kids in happy families that have been smacked.
    That doesn’t mean that smacking is necessary- that there is no other way to discipline children. It doesn’t mean that the smacking was right either. I know some good parents smack. It’s just not the smacking that makes them a good parent.

    And of course class and race come into it. It’s poor and/or brown families who provide most of the child-abuse horror stories. And that’s not surprising, because they’re the least educated, and least likely to think about alternatives to the way they were brought up themselves. Some people don’t seem to be aware that there are effective alternatives to physical discipline. Why not establish a culture where physical discipline is frowned upon, and force parents to think of alternatives?

    I’m a little uneasy about state intrusion into families too- obviously not to the same extent as some of you, I’m 90% convinced that the bill is a good idea- but for me, it comes down to one main point:
    smacking is not necessary. No it won’t necessarily traumatise your children etc, but
    it is not necessary. We aren’t depriving anyone of a human right.

    and I have faith that we are sensible enough as a nation to avoid fiascos like kids being taken away from parents because they have bruises from sport, etc. (Speaking of which, being a CYFS worker must suck. Either you break up a troubled family, possibly unnecessarily, or don’t, in which case you get crucified if your suspicions are confirmed in the worst way.)

    But hey, what the hell would I know. I’m not a parent. And not having been smacked myself, I’m obviously completely ignorant of the wonderful benefits it brings.

  65. concerned for your children says:

    Gina, as nice and idealic as your world sounds, your research has only relvealed exactly what you wanted it to. I’m sure that if you did research on parents that do smack their children and have positive outcomes you would find alot of evidence to back that up also. The interesting figure in that exercise would be a comparison in the ratio vs ratio. In saying that, I don’t need figures to verify my conscience and what I believe is right. If you have listened to or researched the implications of the bill thoroughly, you would realise that the comment you made about ‘not suggesting parents use no discipline at all’ would be null in void..because they are saying that the likes of time outs or naughty mats would be constituted as ‘reasonable force for the purpose of correction’ therefore making this too an illegal offence. (United Future MP Gordon Copeland has clarified this as being true and correct.) The thing that makes me so incredibly sad for the likes of someone like you, is that if this bill is passed (which it definately is looking like the most likely outcome), and you realise the reality and severity of its consequences affecting our kids, our parents and this nation, how are you going to sleep at night? The fact that you and your mother have never been smacked is great..good on you, but there are a TREMENDOUS amount of parents out there that have, and that do smack their children. Are you really going to think its a great idea when your friends, partners friends, cousins, auties, uncles, co workers etc, when ANY of them get their families torn apart for offences that in their mind and experience was not wrong or out of line. When giving their child a time out, or pulling them off the road to stop them from being hurt, or making them sit on a naughty mat till their child is ready to apologise to the brother or sister they have just hurt, or even ‘threatening’ them with being grounded for destructive behaviour, or for smacking them on their bottom or hand for continually displaying disrespectful or hurtful, or cruel or purposefully destructive or dangerous behaviour makes them a criminal, that SIPS has the right to not only take their children off them, but to enforce being jailed for up to two years?!?! How can you possibly support a leglislation that has ‘supposedly’ been ‘passed’ because it will protect our children, when the reality is that the WORSE affected parties are going to BE our children? My parents seperated before I was two years old and both remarried so effectively, I had four parents. I have been smacked by every one of them, and in MY experience, I would rather have doubled, tripled, quadrupled the amount of smacks I got if it meant not being taken away from my parents, or having them imprisoned. This bill is again ‘supposedly’ is suppose to lessen the child abuse in New Zealand, when the reality is, that there is ALREADY a law that parents that abuse their children are to suffer serious concequences. This bill being passed is not going to stop child abuse, the old law hasn’t so far so why would this make any difference at all?? Abusers will still be abusers. All this law is going to create is fear in the rest of us parents who are NOT abusing our children, but is held ransom by any other person including our children, our neighbours, friends, collegues, unknowing by standers any new zealand citizen that for whatever reason decides by their standards or MOOD that could pick up the phone and get us arrested or our children taken off us, they are not even going to require proof..and this is something that you support? Todays’ children are Tomorrows leaders..doesn’t that frighten you that under this legislation, our future leaders are going to be a generation that grew up in a society that has legalised prositution, that it is legal for men to marry men and women to marry women, that have never had to respect or honor authority if they didn’t ‘feel’ like it, because they had more rights than their authority figures (parents, teachers, elders) had?? Legalising marijuana is next on the ranks isn’t it? So lets just say your 15 yr old comes home, he will be able to LEGALLY marry his mate, have sex with prostitutes and smoke marijuana in your home, and you STILL can’t raise your voice, threaten him with kicking him out of house, ground him or forcefully take anything off him without YOU being arrested or reprimanded?? As far fetched as that scenario may sound, the reality of it happening is getting quickened by the appallling choices our government keeps imposing on us as a society. We that respect the law, have only learnt to do so, by learning that our actions have consequences, and that we have respect for authority which we learnt from having to respect for our parents and suffered consequences (smacking or not) enforced on us by them. My parents loved me, and the odd smack never made me think they didn’t. I was rebelious by nature as a child and a teenager, had I not felt the consequences of my actions, I do not think I would be here today. I have said more that I intended, though could carry on for alot longer. I won’t though, because my only intention for writing anything at all, was that I plead with you and others like you, to SERIOUSLY consider the implications that this may have before you get behind and support such a hurrendous law, that I can ASSURE you, WILL affect you in a way that will be far from positive.

  66. Hal says:

    I have absolutely no doubt that discipline can be achieved without any physical intervention, and I would even agree that in some cases, results could even be better, but in your next statement, I believe you have highlighted the whole argument against your case. You state that in your research of numerous NZ studies, you have confirmed that 20% of parents do not smack their children. That means that 80% of parents do smack on occasion. Now your 20% is trying to tell my 80% what to do, to the extent of making it illegal to do something which has been practiced by the majority of people for generation after generation. I think the worst claim you make though, is that smacking damages the parent/child relationship. I refute that totally. I think it would be almost impossible to find anybody, who received a few deserved smacks as a child (and I mean smacks, not beatings or abuse), in a caring, loving environment, that would hold any grudge against the parent who delivered them. I also doubt if there is any evidence that smacking (again not beating or abuse), has had any detrimental affect on the developement of the child, or turned them into an antisocial adult.
    No, it seems to me that it is a case of “my way is better than your way”, and Sue Bradford’s supporters are trying to impose their way on ours.
    For many people, her way will be preferred, if they have the time and the communication skills to apply it. But for many thousands of others, the existing method of a corrective smack, together with an explanation of why they are getting it, will always be preferred as an effective, timely response.
    Finally, I would like to say that I do not normally enter into online discussions. This is the first time I have ever done so. But it is such an important issue, affecting every man, woman, and child in New Zealand, that I felt I had to have my say, as one of the possible future criminals, or parent of one of the possible future criminals (my kids are all grown up with children of their own). Lets just hope the government comes to its senses before a real disaster occurs.

  67. Sandra says:

    I have 3 Children who have been smacked in their early years to protect and correct.Not abused ,how dear these people running our country think they know it all,I dont want to bring these people into my famlies lives,they are worst than a smack they are liers and have no respect for the parents of New Zealand.This is my first time online discussion to but as most people who want NZ to be a better place to live ,I feel very strongly on this.I have written to my mp and because of public feeling he has changed his vote so write letters join the petition.You can acess this online on Family First website or Morefm.

  68. Nigel says:

    Gina – some parents who have done the no smacking thing have found it doesn’t actually always work that well. Friends of ours brought up their oldest child with the no smack policy and with all the latest child rearing theories (she’s a trained kindergarten teacher) and quite frankly they created a monstor. This child has screaming tantrums as soon as anything doesn’t go her way and generally ignores requests from her parents to do things. At 3 years old, she is physically agressive towards other children and hits, pinches them etc if they won’t give her what she wants straight away. This child has a reputation as a bully and other children don’t like playing with her. So much for smacking breeding violence – in this case I would say the opposite was true. The parents have recently started using smacking as a technique after much embarrassment at their child’s behaviour and their lack of control over her in public, and this child’s behaviour does seem to be improving over the past few months – less tantrums, less whining and improved obedience and overall behaviour seem to be resulting.

    In case you are wondering, her parents are in a functional and stable relationship and there is no violence in the home.

    Some children are compliant by nature and may not need much in the way of correction, but others are very strong willed and need more correction than other children!

  69. Gina says:

    As I mentioned above, there are bound to be anecdotal accounts which differ from averages which are found in studies. The assertion that children behave better when smacking is not used is based on samples of many more than just the one child.
    I am in no way advocating that parents abandon discipline altogether. If alternative discipline techniques are used properly and consistently they are bound to be more effective than smacking. But I have to stress that they must be used consistently. It can be challenging at first to follow through on not letting a child watch tv for a week, for example, especially when a quick smack or three would be so much less effort. However, it is my belief that the possible risks associated with the use of smacking are serious enough that I’m more than willing to put the extra effort into child disciplne. Besides which, I seriously doubt whether I could bring myself to raise my hand and bring it down on my child with the intention of causing them pain, as punishment. I wouldn’t do this to a dog, and I certainly wouldn’t do it to my own child.

  70. Gina says:

    Oh, and as you might have noticed, I am a very strong willed person myself, which was hell for my parents as a child. But they managed very well without smacking me. And I’ve talked to a lot of parents who decided not to smack before their chilren were born, and were able to rasie very compliant and well behaved children despite their different personalities.

  71. Gina says:

    Actually agent0, it was me who I think you’re addressing your comments to, not Hal.
    I’m not sure your comments really apply to me personally since I’m female and we generally piss in toilets, even when we’re drunk.
    When I asked you ‘am I right?’ the question was, ‘is your goal to teach your children WHY they should or shouldn’t do something?’. Surely your answer would have to be yes here. I talking about moral learning. Which has been found to be poorly achieved by smacking and much more effectively achieved by other methods. If my child kept leaving the section without telling me I wouldn’t let them play outside unsupervised until I was absolutely certain that they weren’t going to do it again. And I wouldn’t be certain until they could tell me the reasons WHY it’s unsafe for them to be wandering around alone, and WHY that would make me extremely worried etc. In other words, I’d demand that they understand WHY they shouldn’t do it. I can’t imagine any way to get them to understand WHY without explaining it to them. If they don’t know why then they’re just going to do it when I’m not looking, same as every other moral action that childrenn need to learn about.

  72. anti-facist says:

    This is facism and the country is leaning more and more towards it.

  73. .agent0 says:

    Well Gina, do you have kids? Then shut the fuck up. Do you want me to keep him in the doors forever? So you are still WRONG!!
    The times I wrote about earlier took place last year. These do no include the times in previouls years where he left our section without permission.
    My son is of above average intelligence for his age (He gets that from his mother) but at the same time very obstinate. His will is so strong. This characteristic, I want to preserve and have no desire in trying to break it. I see it as a positve attribute but curbing it has proved more than difficult.
    Each time I allowed him to play outside unsupervised after grounding him, I asked him if he felt he was ready to do so without leaving our section. I believed his answer. Why? Because I feel it it important as a parent to have my child know that I can trust them enough to realise that they have made a mistake and that they will try not to to do it again. He wouldn’t immediately after being grounded leave the section then. It would happen after some time had passed. Weeks usually.
    As I mentioned earlier, I explained in great detail every possible reason why this rule is in place. From issues of his personal safety to the example set for his younger brothers to the trepidation it will cause us, his parents. I meticulously covered every base after each offence and I would make him explain in his own words to me what I was saying to make sure he had a full understanding of everything we talked about.
    You have no experience in dealing with such matters so enough of your shit already.
    The third time I grounded him, I kept him indoors for 3 weeks. I got more shit from friends and family for doing that than when I just gave him a wack. Especially because it was during the start of his end of year holidays.
    His mother, my mother, my father and my brothers told me I was cruel and that I was going to far and it put a strain on our relationships, me feeling I had to do what I had to do. It depressed me.
    On top of that, I had to watch my child slowly slipping into a state of depression. Now what would you suggest. I keep him grounded for months at a time???
    So SHUT THE FUCK UP because you don’t know shit when it comes to raising children.
    You say you were strong willed as a child. Most people would say I’m willing to bet, you were a spoiled, bitchy, ill behaved little wench who people couldn’t stand to be around.
    One of my nephews wasn’t smacked until just recently. He was a little terror. Not anymore. There has been a noticable change in his behaviour, all positive. The reason, his mother decided enough was enough and has started smacking him occassionally. It’s worked a miracle because I love children, I love my nephew but being around him before his mother decided the time had come to take action, was not easy, even for me.
    My sons’ behaviour in public, impeccable and towards others, they are very polite and respectful.
    Now please, until you have a child of your own, don’t talk to me. I have seen first hand people who said they would never smack their children become parents who do smack their children.
    Talk to me when you are a few years into motherhood.

  74. Gina says:

    Wow, that was quite a reaction. I don’t think I said at any time that I’m not already a parent. In my defence, I certainly was not spoiled or bitchy. I’m sorry that this debate has been reduced to name calling.
    Since you’ve asked so nicely, I’m happy to end this conversation. It certainly wasn’t my intention to put you on the defensive about using smacking because I can see that you’re now more convinced than ever about using it.

    However, I will not stop posting here, I’m not going to be bullied into silence.

    For anyone else who might be interested in reducing their use of smacking, or who wants to stop using it altogether, here’s a couple of links to websites which have some helpful information:

  75. .agent0 says:

    Oh I’m sorry Gina. As for me bullying you into silence, wherever did you get that idea? Definitely not my intention. What I meant, was for you to direct your comments elsewhere. I just don’t need advice from you unless you have something truly constructive pertaining to this particular situation.
    And for putting me on the defensive, my empassioned reply was due to your silly assumption that I did not try everything you suggested I try. I was offened by you. To think that as a parent I didnt… I did everything you suggested before you even suggested it and much,much more. Everything I could possibly think of to let him know “WHY”…What more could I possibly have done? What would you have me do? Lock him in a closet??
    You failed to answer my question also. Do I keep in indoors for months at a time? How do you propose I should have handled it? Remember I already tried everything you thought of. Please, give me something other than what you have already posted. No repeat answers.
    And if you are a parent and I’m quite sure you aren’t, you would have proudly admitted to such a great honour and privilege. You see, I see it as exactly that. An honor and a privilege. Not my right. It is what I am most proud of, the fact that I am a parent and I have an opportunity to forge and mould, young impressionable minds. To be a positive force in their lives for as long as I live. Which is why I let everyone know in my first post.
    LOVE. I live my life by this one simple word. I abhor the cowards who abuse minors in their care, regardless of whether they are their own children or not.
    A smack with the intent to educate (when all avenues have been exhausted) is not the same as one with the intent to maim or injure.

  76. Gina says:

    agent0. Our conversation is over, as per your request.

  77. Brannavan Gnanalingam needs to be rooted in the ass. So forceful in his opposition to that terrorist Bradford – it really turns me on to see a man with such brutal conviction. I love you Brannavan Gnanalingam.

  78. sam says:

    yeah its a fare call dude, that was well out of line, how can anyone have any respect for your points of view now?

    lets get back to basics shall we?

    the intention is to stop people who really hurt their children from hiding behind s54 in court.

    if the result of this law has unintended consequences e.g parents going to court for such issues (i note that in germany when they appealed a similar law it took them years before this happened with a population much larger than ours), we can modify the law.

    cant any of you see that this is not the objective of this law?

    its a law coming from a good place, Sue is trying to do a good thing.
    so lets try attack the issue not the person, cause as soon as you do all the points you make are lost.

  79. si says:

    I am concerned that much of the debate against the use of force (in smacking) is focussed around elimination of pain from the childhood experience. If all pain is considered wrong, when will parliament be debating the right of women to have children without ANY pain? What remedy will exist for my wife when my nearly 2 decides to practice hitting? So far his sisters have failed to rationally convince him that hair pulling isn’t on either…

    How is it, that a politician can claim physical discipline is wrong, then hold themselves up to be a good and well adjusted person? There parents had the right to choose how they raised their children. They inherited the right to choose how to raise their children. They seek to change the right of people of their children’s generation…?

    As I think this is now a done deal, the few having provided their “guidance” to the many in another stunning display of politics, New Zealand style, I suggest both the green and labour parties work on new career choices before the next election. Even ever tolerant middle NZ voters cannot put up with this.

    (i do see a ray of hope in this kind of debate, queer bashers, god botherers, righteous and wicked aside…)

  80. si says:

    oh bugger. just found this on the green website, under
    “Review abortion services to ensure equity of access for women throughout New Zealand.”
    i’m sorry. i didnt realise this when i voted green: what the hell is the point of being all pious and concerned about the possible emotional effects of a child who might be smacked, when the party is supportive of turning human babies into mush? why would you be upset for the kahuis, when you find putting embryos in the blender acceptable? has anyone asked the embryos about their emotional scarring???
    how can you be pro-choice and anti smacking??? talk about trendy. its fine for a woman to undertake state sanctioned murder in nice quiet clinics, with equal access to all. but lets not allow people to defend themselves in a public court over allegations of physical punishment…

  81. Nigel says:

    Sam – the preventing of child abuse is a red herring. There are already laws in place against child abuse and people are regularly prosecuted for this. It is my understanding that in the last 16 years there have been only 7 cases where section 59 has been used as a defence. This proposed law change is a sledgehammer to crack a nut. The recent case which used section 59 as a defence involved a so called ‘horsewhipping’ of a boy – in reality this case involved a boy who was going to take a softball bat to his stepfather and the mother picked up a riding crop and hit him with it to stop this. Not a great situation, but one could easily see that the action was self defence – what were the parents supposed to do – allow the son, who had ongoing behavioural issues to hit them with a softball bat???

    This bill is really about Sue believing that we shouldn’t be allowed to smack our kids at all and wanting to impose that view on all parents – she has come out and said that this is her belief.

    For an alternative view to unicef I would suggest reading the material at

  82. sooshee says:

    Or try the local version :

    Gina, I’ve been smacked when I was young but my older brother was hardly smacked. The difference? I was the naughty one. Showed me you can’t treat all children the same.

    I am blessed with a wonderful daughter of 5yrs and the only time I had to “smack” her was when she started poking their fingers at electrical sockets and fireplace. These were raps to the knuckles as the incidents happened, which taught her real quick to associate “bad things” with sockets and fireplaces. At that age (1-2yrs), I don’t think a reasoned conversation would have achieved much. Her sister is 8mths old and I can see that she is very different in nature to her older sis – much more active and naughty. Time will tell if she needs a smack or two.

    Gina, you presented some interesting stats. I wonder of the 20% who don’t smack, how many would not hesitate to do so if their kids were to ever start getting out of line? Coversely, how many of the 80% who smack wish they didn’t have to but had been forced by unruly kids? What I am trying to say is, some of us are blessed with great well behaved kids but some of us just need have to work harder. Let not the former tell the latter what to do.


  83. Gina says:

    I understand the argument that some children are so poorly behaved that they need a good smack and won’t respond to anything else. However I interviewed a number of parents who decided not to smack their children before the children were born, and thus, before they could have any idea about the temperament of their children. Also, these people mostly had multiple children, each with their own different temperament. What they recommended for people who don’t want to use smacking, is: find out about as many alternative disciplinary techniques as possible because different techniques will work with different children in different situations. They were all able to find discipline techniques that worked with each of their children, despite their differences in temperament, without having to resort to smacking.

  84. Holden Iscariot says:

    I wouldn’t worry – I am pretty sure that this bill will be thrown out.


  85. Lynne (age 60) says:

    I dont believe you should smack kids – I never smacked mine more than a couple of times and they have never caused me a days problem. If I had my time over again I would not smack them at all – there are better forms of teaching them to behave – but in saying that, that kind of smacking and the frequency of it is still accceptable under this bill. In hindsight it was lack of parenting skills and my personal stress that preceded the smack. I had two parents – one who smacked and one who didnt – guess which one I remember fondly – guess which one I always obeyed – guess which one I respected and would do anything for – guess which one I remember every day of my life and he died in 1980.

  86. Parent that supports GOOD PARENTS says:

    There is a CLEAR line between smacking and beating your child and Sue Bradford is taking that right away from the good parents.

    Why should the government be able to have a say in OUR children’s lives therefore ‘if’ Helen Clark had a child or children we the public/parents wouldn’t be able to have a say in her children’s lives so therefore it’s WRONG to bring the smacking bill in and its NOT FAIR!!

    Smacking bill is WRONG, GOOD parent’s shouldn’t be punished for disciplining their kids.

    They already have people for family violence and now Sue Bradford wants to have another set of people for “GOOD PARENTS” come on now thats just STUPID SUE BRADFORD.

  87. Smacking is different from BEATING says:

    Can’t SUE BRADFORD see that there is a fine line between smacking and beating?


  88. We may as well publish this entire comment section as a feature (obviously with some kind of DVD-commentary-type material overlapping it. Maybe we can convince Bran to come out of retirement for one last kick around the ‘ol student media playground).

  89. Gina says:

    People keep talking about the fact that there are already laws in place to deal with people who physically abuse their children, and that is true. But I don’t see the issue being solved by those laws. What we need is a law that deals with the root of the problem, smacking.

    When a parent who never smacks has had a really bad day at work, they come home, their kids are screaming, and little Johhny has tipped over the rubbish bin, spilling the contents onto the floor, again, the parent who doesn’t smack does not accidentally hit little Johnny a bit too hard, harder than they meant to. They don’t send him falling onto the corner of the coffee table. They don’t have to take him to the hospital to get his head stiched up. They don’t have to feel guilty about the scar on his forehead every time they look at him for the rest of their life. And why? Because the parent who doesn’t smack isn’t in the habit of smacking their kids, so when the strain comes on they don’t even think about using it. Maybe they yell, maybe they cry, but they don’t hit.

    Frude & Goss (1979, p.333) surveyed mothers of 18 month to four year old children and found that those who physically punished frequently were more likely to worry that they might lose control and hurt their child, and more likely to report an “incident in which they had really lost their temper and hit the child”.

    Of the 83% of parents who used physical punishment, 12% described the most severe occurrence as resulting in “considerable pain” (Graziano, Hamblen, & Plante 1996, p.846)

    In a stressful situation, parents who believed in the use of physical punishment scored higher on child abuse potential (Crouch & Behl, 2001).

  90. That Little Johnny, I swear…

  91. lynn says:

    does anyone know has sue bradford ever been accused herself of child abuse

  92. REx Mundus Dei says:

    Funny piece. The main thing is that this is an assault on sexuality, not on violence.
    The bill, as suggested will make an even greater prison of you already limited lives. Something funny about the issues and the wording. There is an avoidance of the notion that this is a sexual issue. A great heaping portion of sexuality is about power, and this is to change the balance of power. It puts it where it already is. Great. Nice balance. THe repressed frustration in an already beaten-dog male population will kill us all. Smart bitch she is.

    Everyone is pussyfooting around the notion that this will provide inroads into the
    households where physical abuse is being used to ensure silence about sexual abuse. There is this ‘feeling’ unstated in many of the PC minded supporters.
    “If we can connect the two – it’s a coup d’etat.”

    Just learn to use rubber hoses and surgical needles. Fools. I pity them.

    Wha…you still here?

  93. patricia says:

    I don’t believe parents should smack their children. I was smacked as a kid, and it hasn’t caused me any permanent harm, and I do not resent the parent who smacked me at all. But there are better ways to deal with a naughty child than smacking, in my opinion. Making smacking a crime is just the wrong way to go about things, though. Why should the government extend its tentacles into people’s homes and tell them how to raise their kids? That’s just going too far, in my opinion. For those who don’t believe that smacking should be used at all – fine, don’t smack your own kids. Why try to enforce your views on other parents? I believe that most parents who lightly smack do so because they know what works for their particular child and they have that child’s best interest in mind. Why should they be made criminals? Besides, no legislation should be enacted when the public is so divided about it!

  94. holi says:

    i think the smacking law is 14 n i htink its stupid and ive got sisters and they need a smack if they are naughty…i’ve been smacked and im not mentally scarred so im still a kid and i think its dumb…now thats saying something
    and the maoris if there the only ones beating their kids to a pulp then you should be punishing the parents not deniying the children of bieng disiplined and growing up nice so sue bradford you can raise your kids your way and let other people do it their own way..i mean seriously its a smack…with your hand its not smashing them in the face with a pole…stop bien a drama queen and leave our families alone….x0x0

  95. somebody who cares says:

    hi…i think you are a big meany!!!
    im 14 and go to college in levin…
    i think you are being totally unreasnable!
    the anti smacknig law is a good thing!!
    think of all these young kids in new zealand that get beaten every night just because they..left the milk out nd it went off and the parents cant afford to just ran to the shop and get another 1 so they get angry and start kikking there child in the head or something!!
    some of these maori adults think that there children can take all these beatings!!
    who do you think you are?? maoris are just another race in new zealand! you shouldnt finger point them! they arnt the only ones who bash and abuse there children! some of these white men and woman get drunk and hit there kids! i think the smacking law is good. children need some disaplin in there lives so the right amount of disaplin is ok.
    thank you for takeing the time to read my letter and dont get angry at me for speaking my mind i just fort id let you know how some of us think up here in levin…
    stop being a drama queen and leave our maoris alone!!

    have nice day..

  96. Campbell says:


  97. Paul says:

    Should we not be teaching parents how to smack properly as opposed to administering in a violent situation. If done correctly there is no doubt it is the ultimate means of diciplining children. Our family has lived next to two teachers with young kids who dont smack but attempt to dicipline verbally and those kids will grow up with major psycological problems because of the isolation and deprivation punishments and extended verbal explanations and barrages they have endured for years. My 3 kids were smacked in a controlled manner that will have no lasting effect. I was strapped, caned and smacked as a kid but the only person who I have memories of was an older female teacher who would yell, out of control close to your ear……I heard those noises for many years. SUE , for christs sake put all of this energy into something constructive that might endear you to the n.z. public and get yourself off the worlds most hated list.

  98. Noel Caine says:

    As an Unemployment Beneficiary she sucked on the taxpayers’ hind ti.

    Now, as a List MP of the Green Party, she is busily sucking hard on both its front tits.

    Talk about “Milking the System”!

  99. Gina says:

    I think that the idea of the government teaching parents how to smack their children is disgusting. Of course I’m one of those people who believes that violence is violence.

    And I feel like I need to reiterate, again, that research demonstrates that children who are not smacked are on average, at least as well, if not better behaved than children who are.

  100. Andy Moore says:

    get a life “Brannavan Gnanalingam”.
    Youre comments are ill-founded – just stick to your lectures mate.
    Bradford’s bill is gonna mess up familes big time, despite what our friendly newspapers and politicians are telling us to the contrary.

  101. patricia says:

    I have a question for Gina – you don’t have to answer, but I’m just interested… I have a younger brother who had ADD, and he would always run across the road before looking both ways etc. He got smacked for this, of course, and that helped him to stop doing it! If smacking were illegal, what would you do, if you had a kid like that, to stop him doing dangerous stuff? I don’t think pointing out the consequences of his actions would have helped, by the way, since he was only about 3-4 years old when he did this, and he didn’t have the attention span to listen to anything for long!

  102. me! says:

    i think that u all suck! somebody needs to make a website for kids to have their own apinion on this smacking law…and mi other thing is tht fkng hell man adults r the boss of thier own chi;ldren and they should be aloud to do what they want when they want. thoses parents brought life to their child and when that child gives there perant grief its the parents job to treat that child with the proper disaplin…thnx

  103. Paul says:

    We hear far too many people who can not differentiate between violence or beating and controlled smacking or associating smacking with violence. It does make one wonder whether they may have beaten their own kids and now regret it…

  104. lawl, Andy Moore thinks Bran used a fake name.

  105. brannavan says:

    yeah, i wonder if andy moore thinks any ethnic name must be fake. i bet when he reads the bible he puts quote marks around all the weird names.

    but, there’s been over 100 comments on this article from sue bradford’s son to exclusive brethrenites! awesome it shows democracy and arguing over things is alive and well in new zealand. (though i think grant’s comment may be defamatory, and legally probably shouldn’t be up here – weird how we have laws to protect an adult from false comments but not…)

  106. Gina says:

    Hey Patricia.
    If I had a child who I knew was not able to learn effectively about safety issues by me explaining it to him, I would be sure that whenever he was in a potentially unsafe situation I had a strong grip on his hand. I know this might be difficult at times but I wouldn’t be willing to take the risk. I would also keep explaining until it eventually got through, even if I had to say it every time we were near a road for years. There are some things that people need to learn by making mistakes, but road safety is certainly not one of them.

    I don’t believe that smacking is an effective teaching tool because it doesn’t teach children why they shouldn’t do something, all it tells them (apart from ‘big people are allowed to smack little people’) is that their parent doesn’t want them to do it and if they do it again then the parent might smack them again. So then what happens when the parent is not there?

    Thanks for keeping the debate friendly,

  107. sumone says:

    i think law is stupid

  108. paul says:

    To Gina
    Can you please explain how we as a nation are going to teach parents and every new parent how to control our many different types of children with many different behavior patterns, without the use of smacking. The anti smacking methods used by the majority of parents that visit our store do not work and are excessivly harmful to those children and the mental stability of the parent. We have even considered getting trespass notices for some of them. We had a performing child recently where his mother was attempting to explain / console / quieten / control, when an older lady came up to me and said ” for gods sake why doesnt she just smack its backside”…. So to people like you – I hope you will give up your lives to tutor each one of the tens of thousands of parents that need controlled smacking as the most effective tool for dicipline. Good luck Gina.

  109. Gina says:

    I am absolutely in favour of the implemntation of education for parents in other methods of discipline. Since most parents in NZ were smacked by their own parents, many don’t know any other disciplinary strategies, and some (like those you described) may decide not to use smacking without learning about alternative techniques; I am certainly not in favour of parents using no discipline at all.
    However, information on discipline techniques other than smacking is readily available. The 20 parents who I interviewed who don’t smack their children got their information from books, magazines, television, parenting courses, plunket, tertiary study, and other sources. I think what parents need to know is that if they were smacked themselves, but don’t want to smack their own children, then they really do need to find out about some alternative techniques, because parenting is difficult at times, and you can’t just wing it; when the pressure comes on you need to have ideas to use.
    I personally believe that parenting should be a compulsary life skills module at high school.

  110. Paul says:

    So you agree that we need something like a parenting life skills module at schools which in essence is saying we are not set up to ban smacking yet , thank you. How long do you think it will take us to prepare for the consequences of this massive change. Do you also then agree that this whole thing needs to be shelved so that we can educate and prepare the existing parents of this country also. Good sense must tell you that you dont remove something like this until you have prepared for the alternative and that may take years.

  111. Paul says:

    So you agree that we need something like a parenting life skills module at schools which in essence is saying we are not set up to ban smacking yet , thank you. How long do you think it will take us to prepare for the consequences of this massive change. Do you also then agree that this whole thing needs to be shelved so that we can educate and prepare the existing parents of this country also. Good sense must tell you that you dont remove something like this until you have prepared for the alternative and that may take many years.

  112. Just what the fuck is this thread even about anymore? For fuck sakes, someone throw a pie.

  113. Gina says:

    I don’t believe that this is as massive of a change as you seem to think. Most parents already use multiple discipline startegies, and there has been a focus on this issue for about a year already in NZ. There have also been multiple television shows which have included many different discipline strategies. So while I do think that education is necessary, I don’t think that it will need to be a massive mission.
    Also, based on my own research, once a parent decides not to smack and finds alternative techniques, it only gets easier.
    Besides, I certainly don’t think that this law is really going to stop people from smacking altogether, straight away. I see it as the first step towards non-violent parenting in NZ. In some ways, the debate and publicity around the repeal of section 59 is more important than the repeal itself because it’s brought the issue into the minds of parents, many of whom may never have considered it otherwise.

  114. TM says:

    While I agree with the ideal of ending child abuse, this bill isn’t the right vehicle to get there. The root causes of child abuse, such as poverty and low education, can’t be legislated away. Education is needed for parents to help them deal with the circumstances leading to the abuse, but I don’t see any positive moves towards that coming from Bradford or the government.
    Certainly one very scary aspect of this legislation is that CYFS will become involved in situations where smacking is reported to the police. While I am sure many CYFS workers are good intentioned and some possibly even do their job well, it is clear that many CYFS staff are poorly trained and equipped to deal reasonably with many of the situations they have to deal with. Some appear to be downright malevolent and drunk with their own power (incidentally, has anyone noticed how people with little power in their own lives will walk really slow across a pedestrian crossing just so they can make the cars wait?). Until CYFS are made to be transparenlty accountable for their actions and performance I think we will find incidences where children actually end up being abused, traumatised and damaged through CYFS intervention (because someone reported they got a smack from their parent).
    I have a son who is two years old. I tell him not to go near the edge of the lawn where the hill drops steeply. He likes to throw his ball over the edge and would try to climb over to get it. I can tell him all day long that its not a good idea and explain the reasons to him. That isn’t going to stop him doing it. He just thinks that makes it all the more fun because then daddy gives him lots of attention. I tell him if he does it again I’m going to send him to live with Sue Bradford, but he still does it. I tell him if he keeps doing it then I’ll have to call CYFS in and they’ll take him away and place him in the care of a CYFS approved paedophile but he still does it.
    So it appears the course of action that actually makes him stop doing it is smacking and I don’t see why anyone should step in here and say I can’t do that.
    Now when my boy is older and can actually reason things out, then we could be in different territory, but at this stage of his life a smack is something he understands.
    I’m not condoning beatings or abuse, just that people have to allow for the situations where a smack is actually in the child’s interests.
    An interesting aside to this is that my parents would smack my siblings and I when they considered it appropriate (they are loving and intelligent people and there was no abusive element about it). Sometimes mum would use the wooden spoon (especially when we were close to her size) and dad would actually use a belt when the crime was severe enough (I got it when I was 9 and was caught shop-lifting). That was the way they raised us and I believe there were no long term ill effects. One sibling is Asia-Pacific manager for a large corporation. Another holds a PhD from Vic and is a senior lecturer (not at Vic). The other is an air traffic controller, and I’m doing fine in my IT career. We all have stable happy families and are grateful to our parents for being the parents they are, including the smacks. What is interesting to me is they are now anti-smacking in their elderly wisdom. I’ve discussed this with them as I find it interesting that their attitude has changed.
    It seems to me that they are now more patient and perhaps better emotionally equipped to deal with children without having to smack. Now if Bradford can somehow equip all parents with this profound patience and emotional stability then perhaps we can really wipe out child abuse. Why doesn’t she champion that cause?
    Education before legislation.

  115. TM says:

    By the way, I think the responses to this article from the BMJ make good reading.
    Read the Full Text responses.

  116. TM says:

    Quote from Gina
    ” would be sure that whenever he was in a potentially unsafe situation I had a strong grip on his hand”

    Then from the same posting
    “So then what happens when the parent is not there?”

    Self contradiction will not help you win reasonable arguments.

    And I am sceptical about the claim that “research demonstrates that children who are not smacked are on average, at least as well, if not better behaved than children who are”

    Here is a quote from Robert E Larzelere, Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center, in response to the article from the British Medical Journal (see link in my last post)

    “In the only published review of child outcomes of nonabusive or customary physical punishment, only 8 studies had taken the misbehavior levels of the children into account. All eight of those studies, including four clinical trials, found nonabusive spanking to have beneficial child effects when used to back up milder disciplinary tactics with 2- to 6-year-old children. Used in this manner, smacking makes milder tactics more effective, not “harder to use” as concluded by Waterston. One of those clinical trials was cited in the BMJ editorial to support the statement that “physical punishment is no more effective than other methods.” That clinical trial found only one of three alternative disciplinary tactics to be as effective as a two-swat spank in enforcing time-out: a brief room isolation enforced by holding the door shut. This is like saying that a long-used drug should be banned once any other drug has proven to be equally effective, even when that alternative drug is not being recommended.

  117. Gina says:

    Hi TM. Thanks for responding to my post. You’ve quoted me out of context though. Here is the context for that second quote. If you read it again I’m sure you’ll understand what I was meaning.

    “I don’t believe that smacking is an effective teaching tool because it doesn’t teach children why they shouldn’t do something, all it tells them is that their parent doesn’t want them to do it…So then what happens when the parent is not there?”

    In my own research I talked to a number of adults who said that while they remembered specific incidents when they were smacked, they couldn’t remember what they were smacked for, and some of them said that they didn’t even know at the time.

    As for quoting from Lazerlere. I researched the literature on this topic for a year and he was one of a handful of authors whose general opinion seemed to be that smacking was not necessarily harmful, if carried out under specific conditions, and that it worked as well as alternative techniques. And he was the MOST supportive of smacking of all the researchers I read work from.

  118. Sophie says:

    Oh my god, never heard quite so many half arse opinions in my life.

    There is a major line dividing disipline and abuse. Sue Bradford’s bill doesn’t recognise this. Do you really think that a wee piece of legislation is going to stop the scum of this county from beating the shit out of their children? In the split second before they punch their toddlers in the face, will they remember this bill? Will the clouds of booze and drugs subside enough for them to pull their fists away? Feel regret? Vow to never do it again? You bet your arse they won’t. The large majoriy of child abusers have shat on other countless laws, why would they finally take notice of this one. Child abuse won’t be stopped by any law, it’s not that easy. The scars run so much deeper! It is impossible to pin-point just one issue and treat it like a sore throat. Child abuse has been bred into this county, it has been passed down through the generations like some family heirloom. We, as a nation, should be ashamed. But we are not going about the right way to solve this issue. We can post as many comments as we wont, we can imposed as many bills as they books will hold. We can even turn a blind eye and pretend shit like this only happens in the Middle East or Africa. They’re all going to do as much use as the other.

    I’m 15. This is the world all you guys have brought me up into. My generation is going to be carrying yours one day. It’s my generation that is going to have to face up to your mistakes. Problem is, you’ve all fucked up so badly, that, when my time comes around, it’ll probably be too late to fix this sad, cowardly nation.

    Hope you’re proud.

  119. lmao “Hope you’re proud”


  120. Sophie says:


    Even bigger DESPAIR.

    How old are you, mate?

  121. TM says:

    Gina – I did read your entire post. The contradiction as I see it is in one paragraph you’re saying the solution is to always be present when your child is in a dangerous situation, then in another paragraph you are asking what happens when the parent isn’t present. I have to ask, what happens when the parent of a ‘non-smacked’ child isn’t there to keep them from harm? Or is the argument that a ‘non-smacking’ parent will manage to always be there to protect (and by inference, that a ‘smacking’ parent wouldn’t be)?

    Sophie – I think you need to get out of this sad, cowardly nation and find a happy, brave nation. Good luck and I hope you do a better job yourself.

  122. Wow.

    116 comments over such a flippant piece of satire. The original piece is actually making fun of people who support smacking of children. Brannavan was quite for the bill, others in the office against it. It was a heated debate in the office, as it was on here.

    Ummm… the only thing I have to say is, why are both sides insisting on barking and berating it? What does this even achieve any more?

  123. Jess says:

    “Brannavan Gnanalingam”, is that your real name? I bet it isn’t. Cheeky. Darkie. Let’s smack James.

  124. Sophie, why are you so angry?

  125. sarcasmo says:

    “Ummm… the only thing I have to say is, why are both sides insisting on barking and berating it? What does this even achieve any more?”

    One again James Robinson transcends the narrow limitations of binary thought to fly in the enlightened ether with Derrida. Hail our new God, the great uniter and resolver of all things dichotomous. Let me throw my legs back and soil my britches in awe of your open minded reasonableness which penetrates to the heart of every argument like a mighty penis penetrates a weak and feeble vagina. She bangs? You bang James, you bang.

  126. Brannavan says:

    Well to be honest Sarcasmo, this bill has been represented media-wise and elsewhere as a mere dichotomy – you’re either for the bill or against the bill. There has been little room for a middle ground in what the coverage has focused on (and if you read these posts, the majority have a clear position either for or against). Feel free to knock Derrida, but i guess he’s suggesting things are represented in dichotomies (such as the debate surrounding this issue), not that these dichotomies inherently exist.

  127. sarcasmo says:

    “This bill has been represented media-wise and elsewhere as a mere dichotomy”.

    No shih? That’s the most incisive and original critique of the media I’ve ever heard! You must assume an internship at The Listener immediatly as it is essential that your peircing social analysis should reach the greatest possible audience. Allow me to remove my drawers and sploof all over my keyboard in excitement of this bold new wave of thought.

  128. God, the only thing worse than the clusterfuck this thread of comments has yielded are the fucking awful attempts at sarcasm.

    “You must assume an internship at The Listener immediatly as it is essential that your peircing social analysis should reach the greatest possible audience” – what the fuck is this?

    Seriously, all of you stop badgering each other and concentrate your efforts into deciphering just what part of “You must assume an internship at The Listener immediatly as it is essential that your peircing social analysis should reach the greatest possible audience” was supposed to be in any way funny or dunk-worthy.

    I swear, I’ve read some utter shit before, but “You must assume an internship at The Listener immediatly as it is essential that your peircing social analysis should reach the greatest possible audience” is easily the fucking lamest thing I’ve ever laid eyes on, and I’m a poorer human being for having read it.

    Just… fuck… I just don’t know… fuck it. Fuck everything. Like… fuck.

  129. Well, sarcasmo, what a fantastic array of insults you can string together.

    While my comment was somewhat simple, when two sides are so fired up over an argument, both claiming to hold the universal answer to a particular argument what do they achieve by coming onto a student media website and making aggressive comments at each other on a piece of work that has been somewhat misread anyway?

    I guess what I was saying is that you can’t often resolve a dichotomous argument, and you’re not going to do it here anyway.

    There’s probably some sandbox somewhere sarcasmo that you can go kick sand in the face of some nerd and then high five someone while wearing a beanie. That’ll make you look way tougher than doling out the feel goods on the Salient website.


  130. sarcasmo says:

    “Just… fuck… I just don’t know… fuck it. Fuck everything. Like… fuck.”

    You hurt me so good.

  131. sarcasmo: the ongoing story:

    sarcasmo loses list of wacky “Listener” burns at laundromat, updates livejournal listing mood as “frustrated”

    to be continued.

  132. Gerard says:

    The thing that I find disturbing about this whole “debate” is the huge amount of misinformation. At present there is a law that says I cannot hit an adult, or a dog. That doesn’t mean that such events never occur, and that doesn’t mean that were I to hit an adult or a dog, even if an onlooker complained, that the Police would act. But they would act if my actions were severe, repeated, or part of some other crime. If they did act, I could mount any defence except to say that an act of violence was “reasonable force”. So if I do hit someone or an animal I had better be sure that it was justified (self defence maybe) or consented to (karate practise). Sue Bradford’s bill does not outlaw smacking. What does is put children in the same category as adults and dogs by repealing the defence that hitting a child with a vacuum cleaner pipe is “reasonable force”. The police will not pursue every slap or smack, they don’t do it now for dogs and adults, and they wont do it for kids either. And either way, I can drag a dog and a child unwillingly out of the supermarket without fear of prosecution.

    Am I really to believe that Sue’s detractors are so dumb as not to be able to work that out? That cannot be so, their passion speaks of a deeper need.

    What shocks me is the vehemence with which so many people insist that *they* have a *right* to inflict violence. Our tolerance of that fact, our comfort that sporting heroes can slap their partners and its “OK”, our mute acceptance of very high child abuse and partner abuse speaks of a defective, even sick, national society. Exemplified by child abuse and suicide statistics.

    Those who argue that they were spanked as children and came to no harm refute their argument in making it. Their parents thought violence OK, and now they do to, that was the harm they received. If we accept that when the cause is considered great enough, that violence is justified, then we will have violence whenever the perpetrator feels justified by the circumstances of their life, not based on the actions of the victim. Parents lashing out in anger at thri children, even to excess, can claim that they were using reasonable force to discipline *their* child. Sue Bradford’s act would remove that defense, and only that.

  133. zapster says:

    you all need to go and do a Philosophy of Law paper (PHIL362)… you might learn a bit about paternalism. Give the state an inch and they will stretch it into a mile. Well, Labour is red right? Think about it folks.

  134. TM says:

    Wow Gerard, you should get laid more

  135. dave says:

    wow TM, way to come back against a well-reasoned argument. Zang! to the side who are anti-the bill

  136. Gina says:

    I totally agree with everything you’ve said there, couldn’t have put it better myself.

    My argument is that if you’re only discipline technique is smacking you’ll have to be there constantly because the constant threat of another smack is the only reason your child won’t do it again. If you use methods that actually teach children why they shouldn’t do something then you will eventually be able to leave them to act correctly even in your absence. The contradiction you keep referring to came up because I suggested that until you’re sure that the child has learnt why, you can’t just let them go wandering onto the road, planning to smack them for it when they narrowly avoid being hit by a truck. I’m saying that with methods other than smacking, children are likely to learn ‘why’ earlier.
    However, since you clearly believe that pain is a great teaching tool, there’s probably not much to be gained by debating this partiocular point any further with you.

  137. patricia says:

    Thanks for replying Gina, I think your views on this whole subject are pretty good, and I agree with some of the things you say. I’m still not convinced that legislating against smacking is the right way to go, but i guess it all depends on the effects of the legistation. When I have children someday, I don’t plan to smack them. But I hate to think that if I did smack them, they might be taken away from me. I do agree that you have to do more than smack children to teach them things, though. Probably if you’re good enough at explaining things to the kid, and he/she has the attention span to listen, you don’t have to smack the kid at all. But in some sitautions, I think it might be necessary in the interests of the kid. For example, in my family, there were 4 kids, and so it was impossible for my parents to constantly be explaining things to my little brother who did dangerous things just to make sure he didn’t do them again.

  138. Rupert says:

    this is so fucking boring. you lot are awful. AWFUL.

  139. Rachel says:

    Those against SUe Bradfords bill are ignorant and have been drawn into a web of mis information and sensationalism. THe bill will not see parents prosecuted for smacking their child. What it will do is remove the defense for abusive parents to argue the point of resonable force. The police will not charge a mother for giving her child a light smack in the supermarket during a tantrum. THey will be able to act upon, and see justice served, for parents who beat their childer- such as the ‘mother’ who was not prosecuted for hitting her child with a riding crop. Every one knows the difference between a smack, and delayed abuse (go to your room and I will come into spank you in 10 minutes0, or outright violence. Those who seriosuly think that the bill is withdrawing their frredom, need to take an objective view, and speak with someone who can explain it to them. Parents who choose to smack, could benefit from expertise from parents who have never had to assult their children for corrective purposes.

  140. Dee says:

    Smacking, punching, slapping, kicking, banging someone’s head on the floor: they are all varying degrees of abuse. And they all (including smacking) are definitely forms of abuse.

    Smacking your child is usually intended to put them through physical pain as a form of punishment for their bad behaviour.

    Physical pain, in whatever form it takes, in this case smacking, is abuse. It’s as simple as that.

  141. Michael says:

    Poor Bran must be turning in his grave.

  142. Gina says:

    Hey everyone. I have to say, I’m pretty stoked to hear from so many people who are anti-smacking.
    Since the issue of whether parents who smack lightly, with an open hand, and rarely, will be prosecuted, keeps coming up, I thought I’d add my view.
    I don’t believe that such parents will be prosecuted, because this law brings the law on assaulting children into line with the laws on assaulting adults. And you don’t see adults being prosecuted left right and center for things like playing rugby, or practicing martial arts, or even hitting each other with padded swords. How often are adults even prosecuted for getting into a fight at the pub?

    Whether you agree with that assessment or not, I can tell you with absolute certainty that no children will be removed from their parents by CFYS for a light smack. For starters CFYS can’t remove children on their own authority, they have to go through the courts. And no judge is going to remove a child from a home for that reason because that would not be in the best interests of the child.

    I agree with Rachel: there has been a deliberate campaign of misinformation about this Bill and I for one have been extremely concerned about how effective it’s been.

  143. Not telling says:

    wtf is wrong with u ur fucking sick i would hate to be one of ur childs ur fucked in the head and ur bloody gross ur the one that needs to be smacked..smacked in the head ur a weirdo and fucking sick!!!
    children should get some smacks but not punishment like that
    thats just plain cruel.

  144. Peter Fanshawe says:

    Wow, James Robinson’s name links back to the Salient website. Wishful thinking man – you’re long gone and the magazine’s far better for it.

  145. Peter says:

    Gina are you telling me that a justice system that can’t tell the difference between a smack and a beating is definately never going to take children away from Parents who smack?
    You will find that similar laws in Sweden have resulted in hundreds of children being taken from parents.

  146. Timothy says:

    Fuck off sue bradford;
    bitch – why should she how to take raise our children when she turned out to be a freaking dumb crap working for the government, telling people to pick up rubbish? Dumb crap. I doubt she has children coz she cant get shagged. And if she does her children need a fucking spank once in a while.

  147. Gina says:

    Hey Peter.
    It’s jurys that decide what is reasonable under section 59, and judges who decide which children should be removed from their homes when CYFS recommends it. If that makes a difference to you.

    I just think that everyone is over reacting to this a little bit. I mean, I just can’t imagine children being removed from their parents on a technicality. Especially considering how difficult a task it is currently to uplift children who really do need to be removed. My mother is a teacher and is constantly frustrated that children who are clearly being sexually abused, or whose parents are making P are still not being uplifted.

    Also, that woman who they brought out from Sweden who said that lots of children have been needlessly removed from their homes there was extremely suspect, not to mention the fact that in Sweden they actually have an explicit law which prohibits smacking.
    They decided to implement that about 20 years after they removed their eqivalent of Section 59, which just goes to show that, in practice, the repeal of their own section 59, was not equal to having a law which prohibits smacking.

  148. Dee says:

    Children should not even be lightly smacked. By the way, it’s not really about politicians telling parents how to raise their children, it’s more about children’s rights.

  149. Michael says:

    Children deserve the right to learn how to jam a FUCKING AWESOME guitar solo.

    Freebird? *fuck* Freebird. When my first-born, Wolfgang, is through with Guitar Hero XV, he’ll be shredding strings with his fucking eyelashes.

  150. Proud says:

    I am so glad we live in a country that has the freedom to voice our opinions on tentative issues such as this Bill and not be prosecuted for it. This Bill has certainly evoked controversy and support, and I am so proud to see that as a nation, we are not ‘dead’ in our thinking or opinions.
    As a parent I have the responsibility to care for my child and provide for them the best that I can. I don’t believe it is my ‘right’ to physically hit my child for whatever reason. I can say this because I grew up in an environment and time where physical abuse was ‘seen’ as the norm, so people accepted that. Sometimes I have often wondered and questioned why? and received a clap over the head to remind me that children were seen and not heard.
    There is a major difference between right and responsibility. Don’t get me wrong, children, for whatever reasons need to be disciplined, but is physical abuse really the answer?
    I have read the above comments, giggled at some, agreed with some, and have just ignored some. For some of you, stay true to your convictions, and for some, unless you have had children can you truly understand how a parent feels right now.
    The problem I have with this Bill is that a 14 yr old can come up to my 10 yr old, smack him around leave a couple of bruises on him and guaranteed would probably just get a slap on the wrist for his actions. But to prosecute a parent for a light smack literally, I cannot fully understand. For me, both actions are abuse, though the adult would be prosecuted and the underage child would not. So for those of you who are for this Bill as it stands, without the amendment, do you really believe that is right? Why should that child get away with it and dont tell me its because the parent is the adult and the child is too young to know what he did. Just a thought guys!

  151. Dee says:

    But, Proud, you’re implying that children should be smacked as a punishment for physically harming some-one-else. Smacking is a negative way to try to teach a child that physically harming some-one is wrong. It’s actually a form of hypocrisy.

    I have two sons and a daughter and I have never smacked them and they are now teenagers and are all doing reasonably well.

    As for children getting away with assault, this is because they are children. If they were locked up in prison, as Ron Marks would like them to be, then they should also be allowed to drink alcohol and drive a car and have all the privileges that adults have, which would of course be a ridiculous thing to have happen.

    It’s hard to sway people away from the viewpoint that they should be allowed to smack their children. This is because negative reactions to negative situations, like smacking children as a result of their misbehaviour, has unfortunately become so ingrained in our society. Physically harming someone, even lightly, is abuse, regardless of the fact that you, for example, may be smacking the child in order to get them to behave or understand what they did was wrong or whatever.

    What about emotional abuse? Verbal abuse? Is playing mind games and yelling and swearing at your children intentionally in order to get them to behave or in order to punish them really justifiable? I think not. It’s the same as smacking.

  152. Deirdre says:

    As an unemployment beneficiary, Sue Probably did the best she could. That she is now a prominent politician trying her best to make a difference and implementing laws which are logical to her is testament to the fact that she was most probably not ever the type of beneficiary that most people think beneficiaries are.

    I’m not an advocate of a welfare state but I think that many people on benefits do the best they can and because they are living below the poverty line the vast majority of them will take any opportunity that comes up for them in order to advance their prospects.

    Many people on benefits, especially younger people, often contribute a lot more to society than what they get by being on a benefit through work-based training programmes and the like. How would you feel if you were to work – not actually train but just do plain hard work – for your dole, for thirty hours per week, which equals far less than minimum wage, and then get told by mainstream society that you’re a lazy useless no-hoper? Do you have an answer to that, Noel Caine? How would you feel?

    So I think Sue is definitely a really cool great politician who’s understandably into human rights. If you had lived on the wrong side of the tracks, so to speak, you’d probably stand up for the rights of beneficiaries and children, too.

  153. Nick says:

    Good work Bran, only two more to go till you reach that golden 150 comments. This one’s a freebie.

    C’mon people, don’t let cross-party consensus stop you weighing in on an issue you have strongly-held ill-considered opinions to voice in order to prove your own moral superiority!

  154. D says:

    Hey, a lot of people seem to think that just because they are against the anti-smacking bill, that Sue Bradford should be kicked out of Parliament.

    I would rather have Sue Bradford as Prime Minister than either John Key or Helen Clark.

    John seems to be a people-pleaser, but Sue isn’t.
    Helen was raised on a wealthy farm, but Sue wasn’t.
    John manipulated money around and became very wealthy, but Sue didn’t.

    John and Helen didn’t come up with legislation which protects children from being smacked by their parents even if they accidentally spill a glass of milk, but Sue did.

    Sue campaigned for human rights before embarking on her political career, but Helen and John didn’t.

    Sue Bradford really is a good politician and should be New Zealand’s third woman Prime Minister.

  155. Franco says:

    Well i have Deirdre and i reckon Sues full of sh*t. Shes not their to help unemployed or the children shes there for her own self satisfaction.

    Shes a clown that has be police batten one two many times during her protest days.

    Did anyone read Paul Holmes write up about her in the paper couple of months ago oh man did he kiss her ass but pauls known for that, “shes a beautiful woman (fark me dasies Sue is farking ugly! LOL. Shes been raped (Big deal alot of woman get raped what an insult to those that have its like paul states sue being raped is a good thing or something! And Sue knows who her rapist are! But it was a long time ago you see folks so lets forgive and forget. Or is the rape thing just propaganda bullshit.

    I mean the greens are farking clowns anyways. I wouldn’t expect them to be in parliment next term

  156. Gina says:

    I think you’re kidding yourself with that one Franco, the Greens aren’t going away just yet, in fact I’d say that people are more concerned about environmental issues (which are the core of their policies) than ever before. And rightly so too. As far as Sue herself goes, everyone in NZ knows who she is now, how many other NZ politicians can you name?

  157. Jane says:

    I think it would be good if Sue legalised bigamy. People deserve the right to be able to choose how many people they are married to at the same time. Some people are in-love with more than one person at the same time, and they should therefore have the right to be married to more than one person at a time. It’s like gay people, not all of them can change, some of them will always ever only be attracted to the same sex. Well, some bigamists will always be in-love with two or more people at once. Therefore, the law needs to change to refelct the rights that bigamists should be entitled to. They should not be treated as second-class citizens.

  158. Michelle Davis says:

    I am completely disgusted by what I just read. I was researching information on the psycological effects of child abuse when I came across this article. I was a victim of child abuse and childrens rights are just as important as a parents rights. You could definitely use some counseling!

  159. Jean-Michel says:

    “I was a victim of child abuse and childrens rights are just as important as a parents rights. You could definitely use some counseling”!

    Oh jeez…

  160. Holly Foster says:

    When i was a kid i was smacked and i think it payed off! yes kids have rights but parents also do, they need to control their kids and the only way is disciplining them! i am 14years of age and discipline has worked on me, knowing that i might get hit makes me think before i act so i think getting smacked is good unless it goes to far!

  161. Sarah says:

    It’s a pityJohn Rollett didnt learn to spell while he was busy being smacked.

  162. laughable says:

    Seriously, this bill is a joke, I cetainly dont believe in beating your child with the dog chain, or hitting them for the sake of it, but I have children and I only smack as a seriously last resort. I was smacked as a child up to when I was about 12 when I realised what a little SHIT I could be.

    I am not scarred, I am not psychologically affected, and I can most certainly understand WHY at the time I was being punished, actually I am thankfull. Without the the firm but fair touch of my parents I would have most likely gone of the rails and ended up in Mt Eden, Paremoremo or worse yet in some P dealing gang that affects society far greater than what we are debating here.

    Sorry to say D, but Sue Bradford will never even be considered for such a roll, nor would she be voted in if given the oppurtunity.

    As a matter of fact I dont think 90% of our political system desrve such a roll. We are being dictated to wether the majority want to admit it, and that is a sad and laughable truth about New Zealand.

    Sue bradford is only out for her own agenda and nothing else, and I truly believe that this whole debate falls down to the fact that this country (and most U.N nations) is P.C mad

    The point is simple really,
    NO ONE person has the right to beat ANYONE to near death or cause grevious bodily harm.
    However a certain level of discipline has to be maintained, because it’s your fence being tagged on, your house/car being robbed , your kids being peddled drugs too, and you being spoken to in an insolent manner by the ones that don’t get the discipline.

    Sure there are other alternatives out there, but only so much works. I have found removing the bedroom door to be a good one, but this only works in there later years when it counts. Unfortunately, sometimes the best way to make a point is a firm smack across the ass, and Bradfords bill makes you a criminal from it.

    What a LAUGHABLE joke

  163. Ima Cumming says:

    Mate, with a name like “Brannavan Gnanalingam” you should ‘FUCK OFF’ – what the hell is that?

  164. Gina says:

    What a sad state of affairs it is when people genuinely believe that violence (however minimal) is the answer to any problem.

  165. Amanda says:

    I think that parents shouldn’t be smacked. It’s for the childs safety that it doesn’t happen to them. Parents should be teaching a good example to the child. We wouldn’t want VIOLENCE every-where would we?! No we wouldn’t.

  166. Amanda says:

    I think that parents shouldn’t be smacking their children. Its for the childs safety. They should think about the child being harmed and not what they have done.

  167. Francis Snow says:

    Sue Bradford is a Communist and had held to those view for years. By joining the Green Party she has found an avenue by stealth to introduce policies for her own agenda.
    The sad thing is that she has conned the Greens leadership. You will not be able to find one bit of legislation that she (Bradford) has introduced that is environmental or related policy. The aim of Communism is to destroy the Middle Class, increase the dependancy on the state of the working class by poor education standards etc.
    The Socialist leadership will then take over to become the elite ruling class.

  168. Unknown says:

    You know something funny Sue Bradford used to hit her children but now, when her children are older she decides to bring in this stupid bill to stop it. Thats just wrong, why was she aloud to smack her children, now that she can’t she doesnt like the fact of parents hitting/smacking there own children…..

  169. Anonymous says:

    I am 13 years old and when I was younger and my parents were unable to appeal to my intelligence they were forced to smack me. They didn’t like doing it but it taught me not to do certain things e.g. bite my brother. A little smack on the bum doesn’t hurt anybody and teaches the child that whatever they did was wrong.

  170. fed up with this woman says:

    Sue Bradford needs to F** herself honestly! i mean a child is a child for a reason…you are meant to guide them and teach them and you can’t rationalise with a CHILD!!! rationalising with adults is hard enough that you expect to rationalise with a child. there’s a boundary between abuse and dicipline. no one is saying tobeat the kid up, a little smack on the bum or lately a flick on the ear does and should not constitute assault. my parents used to smack me if i was rude or i did something wrong, needless to say, i never answered back to my parents till today let alone swear at them like some of the kids today.

    looking at the kids of this generation, the age of murderers are getting younger, and the crimes are getting more vicious…and don’t get started on the tagging. kids arguing and swearing at their parents and threathening to call the police if their parents try to discipline them. parents are scared to control and discipline their children by smacking some sense into them in fear of an assault case against them. .sue bradford, you will be responsible for the de-civilization of new zealands sue bradford, will be creating a society who have no fear for authority which will result in many problems. do you want a society like that sue bradford? because if you do, congratulations take a look around at society’s problems today…people blame the parents for it, but now with this stupid bill, parents are more afraid to stop their kids or slap them for being rude and disrespectful.

    i suggest you think before you act and stop being a matyr you think you are, because you are anthing but that, you hypocrite…everybody has heard how you used to hit your children. STAY OUT OF OUR HOMES. i suggest sue bradford, you want to make yourself useful, start desinging bills that will benefit the country, like trying to minimise the growing crime rate.

  171. Nathan says:

    Bran – what a great piece of work!!! who would of ever thought of using sarcasm to make a point?I can see that under all that you must truely be a deep and understanding person who knows alot about the individuals rights. especially when it comes to the right to raise their children however they see fit. Sad but true.
    But just as a small aside, this bill was intended not to turn the average parent into a criminal but to put a clear line in the sand about child beating.
    Do you seriously think that a law change will stop those parents who already crossed the line from smacking to beating?
    I have had the unfortuanate experience of dealing with parents who regularly beat – not smacked on the bottom but punched with closed fists – their primary aged child. I can say with absolute conviction that those parents payed no mind to the laws they were breaking at that time, and certainly do not now – new law or not.
    What a waste of time and a pathetic attempt to solve a very real and dangerous problem.
    A comparison could be made to the microchipping of dogs – the unregistered dogs of previous years have only become the un-microchipped dogs of today.

  172. Nathan says:

    Sorry to weigh in this late in the game, but do you feel the need to justify every decision you make to your child?

    “I don’t believe that smacking is an effective teaching tool because it doesn’t teach children why they shouldn’t do something, all it tells them (apart from ‘big people are allowed to smack little people’) is that their parent doesn’t want them to do it and if they do it again then the parent might smack them again.”

  173. Theophilus Q Wittgenstein says:

    I was often smacked as a child, and I turned out alright. Usually it was just one or two grams before bed though.

    (Disclaimer: it’s not a good idea to smack your kids. Not until the third trimester, anyway.)

  174. Bayley k says:

    I was smacked as a child and yes it hurts, I constantly thought that I was the problem and developed very low self esteem from there on into my teenage years which i still am going through as im 17 years old.

    I personally think that Sue Bradford is sticking up for all those unspoken for, and those who are silenced by their caregivers actions. What gives abusive parents the right to physically damage a young child? What gives them the right to belittle another human by physically causing them pain, and potential emotional damage?

    If you want to smack your child thats fine, but be prepared for the consequences.
    I think if anybody has a problem with the ban of smacking, they should seek other forms of discipline to action.


  175. scott says:

    but what about the parents, and based upon the average intelligence of a person there will be a few, who lack the skills to reason with a child, or put things in thier terms, which can be very difficult?
    if thier ability to teach thier children of dangers, or wrongdoings is significantly impaired then imagine how wild children will run? i get the feeling these will be the people most negatively affected by this bill, the ones doing thier best as parents, which could be better, but could be a lot worse.

  176. Cherie says:

    I have heard a rumour from a friend of a cop that sue bradford herself has been done for child abuse when she was younger.Does anyone have any info on this?
    And that anti smacking law isnt going to stop people from bashing their kids.Just like having a sentence for murder doesnt stop killing!!What a joke!

  177. Karl Marx says:

    But Cherie, the point of having section 167, and 168 for murder, in the Crimes Act means that when someone DOES kill, they can be held culpable in light of New Zealand law.

    Under the old legislation, it was always illegal to hit your child, that section was not touched. All that was removed was an ambiguous defence, which allowed abusive parents to claim they were using ‘reasonable’ force in disciplining their child. I think its incredibly hard to argue against a law change that makes people who beat their children more accountable.

  178. John Doe says:


  179. Humphrey says:

    Hey Karl: “allowed abusive parents to claim they were using ‘reasonable’ force in disciplining their child.” Well they can CLAIM it all they like. It was for a judge and jury to decide if it was reasonable. Do you think that the term “reasonable” is inherently ambiguous? and if so, will you remove it from all legislation? Or do you just think that you know how to raise other people’s kids better than them?

  180. Gregar says:

    It is unbelieveable that a lowlife person such as Ms Bradford can inflict her personal views on the nation, it truly shows how stupid we have become and how corrupt our systems have become under the Labour / Greens regime. Her tardy and typical low life attitude (it will be my way or else, I know better, all men are bad etc etc) reflects her sad and tragic past. The fact she has come into, and is trying to effect my life with her unqualified and ill thought policy to save our kids!!! Is a disgusting and repulsive situation. She should mind her own business. Her own narrow and confused thinking and a bit of power has overwhelmed her limited intelligence.
    Responsible parenting and accountability is out the door with her facist -communistic ideals. If she does not wish to smack, that is her choice, as it is mine to smack if the need be. I will continue to smack if I deem it neccessary. This low life, lazy, so called radical telling me how to lead my life leaves me feeling sick. Poor, stupid NZ, allowing people like this to make any sort of legislation.

  181. Greeny says:

    “It is unbelieveable”
    Well you get off on the wrong foot. It is believable. It happened. If you don’t believe it you’re obviously as logical as the rest of your attempt at an argument.

    “lowlife person such as Ms Bradford”
    Bradford has a bachelors degree in history and political science, an MA in Chinese, a post graduate diploma in journalism. She has worked relentlessly for on workers rights and the rights of children for for over twenty years. She is not a lowlife, she is far more educated than you and has spent much of her life helping those in need.

    “can inflict her personal views on the nation, it truly shows how stupid we have become and how corrupt our systems have become under the Labour / Greens regime.”
    This statement is just so very puerile for so very many reasons. I take it you mean the repeal of section 59. If assaulting your children is enlightened then call me and the rest of NZ stupid. As for our system being corrupt, well the ballot system for private members bills isn’t so much corrupt, but based on chance.

    “Her tardy and typical low life attitude (it will be my way or else, I know better, all men are bad etc etc)”
    Tardy? Low life? She is neither late or a low life (see above). While she may have an idea of how she wants things done, what politican does not? To the best of my knowledge she is not a bra burning feminist (it would be rather disconcerting if she was because she has an ample bust) and I cannot recall her ever being anti male.

    “The fact she has come into, and is trying to effect my life with her unqualified and ill thought policy to save our kids!!!”
    Here is where you really show your ignorance. How has she effected your life? Do you routinely assault your children? Probably not. Hopefully you are a good parent who doesn’t use excessive force. All the repeal of section 59 of the crimes act did was to remove the defence of discipline when children were being assaulted by parents. If I was to walk up to you and start smacking your bottom if you littered you probably wouldn’t like it. You might press assault charges. Why not accord the same rights to children as we accord adults?

    “Is a disgusting and repulsive situation.”
    Yeah it is fucking disgusting that parents can no longer hide behind a legal defence that is illegitimate and that parents can now be held fully accountable if they assault their children. Totally repulsive.

    “She should mind her own business. Her own narrow and confused thinking and a bit of power has overwhelmed her limited intelligence.”
    This is hardly narrow thinking Gregar. It is thinking in a grad scale. Why was it that parents had a legal defence to assault children. Why is it that NZ has so many social ills, where countries that are similar to us in population and economy, but that have similar legislation to the repeal of S59 don’t have so many problems such as from truancy to teen suicide. As discussed before she is probably more intelligent than you for the sheer fact she has an three degrees.

    “Responsible parenting and accountability is out the door with her facist -communistic ideals. “
    WOW a fascist communist… ummm I can only assume you don’t understand either of these words to mean anything but bad. Responsible parenting is what the repeal of S59 was about. It was a message to say that domestic violence is not ok. It was about making parents accountable for their actions. If you hit someone it is assault. Unless it’s your child. Then it is discipline. Shit. That is a double standard One law for all, including children, the most in need of protection.

    “If she does not wish to smack, that is her choice, as it is mine to smack if the need be. I will continue to smack if I deem it neccessary.”
    And here is where you showcase the full extent of your ignorace. the repeal of S59 does not stop you from discipling your children using physical intimidation and violence. It just removes the defence in law that if you are assaulting your child you can’t claim discipline. By all means keep smacking your children. We need more ignorant people like you who live in fear and who grow up to be as ignorant.

    “This low life, lazy, so called radical telling me how to lead my life leaves me feeling sick.”
    She isn’t lazy. She is very hard working. Radical maybe. But when the system is so fucked up sometimes you need radicals to point you in the right direction. And once again she isn’t stopping you from hitting your children. I suggest you go lie down, all this beating your children must be making you sick.

    “Poor, stupid NZ, allowing people like this to make any sort of legislation.”
    Yeah… because it was just Sue B who single handedly, at knifepoint forced the Govenor General to sign the bill into legislation.

    Gregar. Maybe before writing and feeling so emotively about issues you obviously do not understand you should research them. You should try and understand both sides of the argument. Your thought process is irrational, illogical and you are a plague on NZ society. Someone who clings on to outdated ideas and who doesn’t understand new ones.

    As Bob Dylan sang:
    “Come mothers and fathers
    throughout the land
    and don’t criticize
    what you can’t understand
    your sons and your daughters
    are beyond your command
    your old road is
    rapidly agin’
    Please get out of the new one
    If you can’t lend your hand
    For the times they are a-changin’.”

    Gregar, please get the fuck out of the way before I come discipline you.

  182. Sookie says:

    I wish people like Gregar couldn’t breed.

  183. jfitz says:

    Greeny, you are 100% right. The educated people in this world know’s what is best for the “uneducated” (is that good english? You may have to help me, as I have not been to University).

    Get a grip, having the fancy University degress doe not qualify you as a social welfare expert.

    Opps, Sue has worked relentlessly over 20 years for Workers and Children Rights.

    What about parent’s rights, senior citzen’s rights (for when they are murdered in their own homes by children) and single people’s rights (why should they have to put with disrespectful, rude and abusive children). I guess these people must not be needy?

    And, is Sue going to propose a similar law for children who abuse adults?

  184. Shitkicker McGee says:

    There is a law you retard. It’s called the Crimes Act.

  185. richard says:

    well . greeny . you don’t even seem to be able to put your real ‘name’ on your comments mate . your a hero aren’t you ! like your kind ! your interest – like bradfords – is to change that which has worked fine for hundreds of years and replace it with more liberal laws , like the ones that have , over recent years , led to fuller prisons , higher crime rates , and more – not less – violence in our community . if we judge legislation by results , even us dimwits without degrees can figure out our liberalization of our culture is a slow downward slide to oblivion . no doubt now you , or one of your fellow ‘pacifist ‘ ( lol) will attack me and prove yourselves hypocritical as well as maligned . At least put your name to it pal .

  186. Paul says piss of silly sue says:

    sue bradford makes me bloody laugh shes on about not smakin kids i bet that jumped up old hag has smacked her kids b4 so she needs 2 shut the hell up and let people rase there own kids and stay outa other peoples lives and get on with her own OH AND franco i agree with you shes BUTT UGLY

  187. Paul wants a piss of sue. says:

    Lucky for you Paul that looks aren’t the sole means of grading social status.
    P.S Don’t let this stop you from your scheduled much needed penis enlargement.
    The bill was designed to distract and engage silly little public minded fu*kers – and it was probably also designed by sue to try cut down on the high rate of infant deaths in this country.

  188. Matt says:

    Paul 1, I have to ask. Are you, like, twelve? Or just really stupid?

  189. Louise says:

    I just have one point to make, children have been smacked for many many years, and there are many many great people to have come out of this kind of disciplined society. And what have we got now? A whole bunch of disrespectful, foul mouthed, boy racing, abusive children, and this is what makes our current youth and will make our future society. Yip thats right folks, carry on with your timeouts and thinking chairs, and see if you can improve our children. We all need to take some lessons from the good old days when young people had respect.

  190. mikeCC says:

    ‘good old days when young people had respect#’

    That’s right, when the roads were paved with gold and there was no hate.

    You’r living in a dream world! Your point is ridiculous.

    ‘A whole bunch of disrespectful, foul mouthed, boy racing, abusive childre’

    And none of these children were smaked? Pffft, you’re silly.

  191. Matt says:

    It’s called the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy Louise. Idiot.

  192. MikeCC says:

    So Matt, does that mean when I read the Salient comments, I don’t become smarter :P

  193. Hank Scorpio says:

    yeah the majority of kids are out of control, chaos reigns in the streets, pokemon cards thrown around with reckless abandon, playstation 3 games used as weapons in an endless battle of attrition gangs of kids on bmx bikes racing up and down streets wearing highlighter orange helmets it’s fucking pandemonium

    why is the baby boomer generation so full of violent child-abusing animals

    we should ban the baby boomer generation you’re all garbage

  194. Felicia Jollygoodfellow says:

    Say no to SMACK…ing. Interesting how the supporters of “belt your children for Je-sus” justify their views with sexist and homophobic comments. What Ms. Bradford’s bill attempted to do was to close the loophole in the Crimes Act that allowed people who physically abused their children to get away with it. The referendum did nothing to address this.

  195. once and for all. says:

    Greeny,You truley are the bigest time wasting,dole bludging,left wing facshist that has ever darkenend these pages.You need to do something about the real issues that are plauging this country off ours.Babies are murdered every day and more so since your anti-smacking bill has been launched.Stop interfering into our Tax paying working class lives and focus on the walfare state system that has bread this kind of abuse.FACE THE FACTS GREEN.

  196. Matt says:

    hahahah, it’s so hard to find good satire these days. Thanks Once and for all, you’ve made my day. You should ask the editor if you can write your own column—you’re funnier than the Colbert Report man!

  197. Hank Scorpio says:

    “once and for all” is just itching to write “… and our kids wouldn’t be getting bashed in the first place if it weren’t for those fucking nigge–“

  198. Ralph says:

    Brannavan DID have a column that year. Keep up.

  199. Matt says:

    “Brannavan DID have a column that year. Keep up.”
    Yep, thanks. And perhaps you could learn to read?

  200. If you want this kind of power over your children without the confines of laws, then you have to reject not just the laws society places on you, but the benefits it exchanges for your physical freedoms. When you sacrifice the safety and comfort of self preservation you have gained from society, then your in a state of nature and can exercise this dominance over your inferior children. But then everyone else in the state of nature can exercise this same power over you, for instance if I see you smack your kid because you have more power then them, then I can smack you because I have more power over you. You speak of children as if you were to be the first parent. But you are a child and so were your parents and they the children of your grandparents. Now I hope you defend their right to exercise dominance over you just as you try and establish it over your own children. Or perhaps you defend their right and they did exercise physical power over you far too much and that is why you are able to write this sick and hateful piece. If you have any genuine interest about the rights and freedom involved in the relationship between parents and children read Plato, Mead, Cooley, Hobbes and Rousseau. Until then maybe spend your time doing better things than just ranting about a teacher you don’t like so much.

  201. Anonymous says:

    That was not by william, I am william and a dickhead called PHILLIP LEE wrote that. i wish to have no connection between my name and his opinion. that is all.

  202. Mariana Andrews says:

    This is the kind of article that makes me resent having to pay my fees to VUSA

  203. smackdown says:

    first of all its VUWSA but hey fuck wellington what’s that city ever done

    second of all you’re dumb

    third of all i’m smackdown

    fourth of all hello

    fifth of all salient rules you drool

    sixth of all i’m smackdown please to meet u

  204. Urminator says:

    Wow, I can’t believe people like Sue Bradford and “Gina” have the guts to come out and say the sort of crap they do. I’ll tell you what this country needs. This country needs a hell of a lot less self-righteous tree-shagging feminist psycho bitches who like the smell of their own farts.

    These people, in and of themselves, are not bad people. Let them go out and smoke tinnies and shag each other round campfires while singing that stupid, endlessly repetitive John Lennon song from way back (you know the one, “All we are saying…is give peace a chance…”. This is all the words for about 15 mins of song). I don’t care if they do that.

    Its when they start imposing their view on everyone else when I get pissed off. Being accosted by a Greenpiece frontliner in the street is one thing. I can beat them off with my superior logic and amazing kung-fu skills. But when these sorts get into parliament, totally un-elected (she’s a list MP of course) and use underhand dishonest tactics to force nanny-ism on good, honest, hard-working, loving NZ parents, that I get pissed off.

    I remember one of her earliest statements was “I don’t understand how anyone who loves their kids can ever hit them. I have 5 kids and never hit any of them”. Good on ya, sue. This shows your basic intentions – TO BAN SMACKING. Other parties in parliament voted for it because that lying bitch convinced them its intention was to remove the defence for abusive parents.

    I agree with this last bit, I think its a good idea. Anything to prevent abuse is good. But this is not the way to do it (see above comments, its all been said before and I’m not going to bother repeating it).

    All this bullshit about psychological harm – get a bloody life, you whinging turdnuts. In cases of good parenting, how the hell can this lead to abuse?? All those studies that “Gina” quotes are meaningless – I’m a researcher in structural engineering. A real science. Now even in a real science, you can make the data say what you want it to (to an extent). How easy then, would it be to manipulate studies in some airy-fairy bullshit “science” like psychology. To quote Rutherford, “All science is either physics or stamp-collecting”. You would come up with just as many studies showing that smacking does NOT cause psychological damage. All of it is meaningless.

    Anyway I’m sick of ranting away like this. Sue Bradford, just a bit of advice: No-one likes you (within statistical reason). No one likes people who impose thier ideals on other people. The issue, at its root, is not about whether we get to smack our kids or not. The issue is about these 5% of hippie psycho feminist bitches telling the rest of the world what wonderful people they are and forcing their screwed-up philosophies down everyone else’s throat. Piss off.

    Love, the Urminator

  205. Julie says:

    Gosh I have so much to say, however the only thing that you deserve is ………. douchebag.

  206. Julie says:

    Hey just wanted to check out what sort of douchebag writes this shit and then I saw a picture of you, sorry man – you ugly.

  207. gabrielle says:

    oh my G.O.D – i needed a good laugh guys! why attack a woman who has got the balls to try and change a fucked up society? good intentioned. it’s simple really bringing up children. treat them with respect AND all that lovey dovey stuff that obviously all of you people never got and reject now because of your inner child didn’t get enough hugs and mummy had her issues and was disconnected from you – so respect, listen to them let the little fuckers talk your fucken ears off and Listen to them – they are actually funny little fuckers and are very very clever. and get this concept give them ‘attention’ – again, listening – and talk to them ask them their opinions, ask them ‘why did you try and throttle your sister’ don’t assume the child that did the attempted throttling was the ‘naughty’ one. obviously there was the sister antagonising her brother – right. why because mummy has got house work to do, cooking and can’t entertain them 24/7. it’s important that children know a parent will treat them fairly – speak to them ‘violence is not the answer’ little fuckers that hit turn into big fuckers that hit. and get them listening and talking. obviously most ‘adults’ i agree we are all children just older have been brought up especially under british rule to ‘be seen and not heard’ and so the ignorance and control and dictatorship gets passed down from one generation not listening to the next generation not listening – acting out. we live in a society in nz that are unable to speak because we have been conditioned that no matter what happens ‘we are not going to deal with it’ and don’t listen to others. don’t you just love it when you listen to someone speak for ages and when you try and talk they have that ‘glazed eye’ look and you just know their not listening. i’m but a mere uneducated maori woman so on the bottom of the shit heap in society – was a near mute most of my life and thank god for suffering and pain and injustice right – because now i’m an empower woman that has seen the light. yes i’m in poverty, that’s what happens when you work all your life and then marry what looks like a ‘good’ churchie man – white collared educated control mother fuckers are I think worse than say someone who is ‘out’ like say a mongrel mob dude who wears ‘don’t fuck with me as i like to control’. now i have recovered enough i will finish my degree, another couple of years of struggling financially – getting attacked by naenae thugs – why because i will not bow down to intimidation. i will never be quiet again and i love debates because all nzers can’t speak without loosing their marbles and their temper. it’s very powerful to be a verbally cocky bitch that has this power. it’s amazing too how most people would judge a poorly dressed maori woman as being fucking stupid. no – very intelligent well i am anyways can’t speak for the rest of them, as they do look fucking stupid – but an MP trying to tell me ‘no i don’t think you can go to The House of Representatives’. Me playing dumb maori – “oh but are you sure about that – i’m sure i can take a personal grievance can’t i?” keep the people ignorant, don’t tell them about their rights or legal standing in any sense and we men and usually white at the top can stay here ripping the system off. nope. it’s not the smacking that needs to stop, it’s the control and self loathing we have to stop – obviously we do that by ’empowerment developmental programmes in the education system for say college age and I feel especially a requirement to receive ongoing dpb payments – attend ‘domestic violence /empowering/developmental educational programmes. seems pretty simple then people will be aware and in control and a lot happier and will enjoy their kids. ground zero is where it starts and it trickles on out – it;s in the hands of the women, we create life we are the mothers – we are in control of the destiny of this fucked up world. ‘We can’. So lay off Sue Bradford – she tried – what the fuck are you loosers doing to change the world? Me – well, you should see my 9 and 7 year old son and daughter. emotionally balanced because i let them express themselves, funny, happy – socially ahead of most kids. they can talk to any adult with no fear, talented performers, 7 year old tells her friends ‘if you drop your rubbish again i’m not going to be your friend’ that’s because i can’t stand littering as it is total disrespect for our land and she has developed her own strong value which she is teaching kids around her. obviously the parents aren’t teaching kids fuck all. so i’ve started with myself, my children (are mini me’s) we are in poverty still, i’m finishing my degree at vic uni and they both know that after college is university. after they attain a degree they can do whatever they want to do. be a truck driver, hairdresser, med school, law, horticulturalist or my son will most probably join the army. they are affectionate with me and each other, their family and my son still enjoys playing dolls with his sister and his sister likes playing armies with him. no forced gender roles in this family. they know never to lie not even little lies – so i am developing two children not to be good people but outstanding and exceptional people with characters of high integrity. not bad for a ‘dumb maori’. wouldn’t be surprised if my daughter wanted to become the prime minster when she’s older – what would i say to that ‘of course you can – have a plan, work hard and with determination, perseverance and unwavering self belief – hell yeah baby!’

  208. Guy says:

    So can you hit them after you listen to them?

  209. Simon says:

    I’m gonna assume this is some kind of an attempt at satire and therefore say, “heh”.

  210. smackdown says:


  211. Paul says:

    Stupid ass. Parents are responsible for children in their care. If talking nicely doesn’t get them to do what they should, then sorry, they need a good thrashing. That usually gets them back on track.

  212. Paul says:

    No-one should be allowed to be involved in the passing of any legislation in New Zealand that concerns children unless they are parents of at least 3 children and certainly no-one who has ever had an abortion. Most of these bitches are only in parliament because they sacrificed family life. They believe that an 8 month old child still in the mothers womb has no rights, but one month later and no longer separated by tummy skin, they suddenly develop rights.

  213. President Ronald Reagan says:

    what a defoetus attitude

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