New Zealand’s anti-smacking bill looks certain to be passed by Parliament in a slightly weakened form.
The NZ Herald has confirmed claims by the bill’s sponsor, Green MP Sue Bradford, that she has enough votes to ensure it will become law.
The bill will change the Crimes Act to remove the defence of “reasonable force” that parents can invoke if charged with assaulting a child.
But the select committee that approved the bill yesterday has forced a compromise which will permit parents to use reasonable force to exercise necessary parental control.
This would include restraining a child to prevent it from harm, or from causing others harm, or to prevent it engaging in disruptive behaviour.
This may include, for example, stopping a child from running across the road, or forcibly removing one from a supermarket.
But the law will say that such force cannot be used for “corrective” purposes.