Dateline: New Zealand
By: AFP/ ABC. Net
From: Dads On the Air
Via: The Honor Network
(Priority News Exchange Program News Item – PNEP)
The Nanny State goes into over drive, as it comes down still further on good men as it loosens the rules for worse offenders in other areas. Maybe the All Blacks should just play touch rugby now too.
A New Zealand father has been convicted of assault for smacking his eight-year-old son on the bottom, in what is believed to be the first case under a controversial new law in the country. “One time, maybe you could have got away with this, but you cant do that now,” Judge Anthony Walsh told the 33-year-old man. “You must understand that what you did amounted to an assault. Our law has been amended so that children are protected,” the Wairarapa Times-Age newspaper reported the judge saying. A new law was passed in May, removing a provision allowing parents to use “reasonable force” in disciplining their children. Opponents of the law said the conviction of the man, who was sentenced to nine months supervision including undergoing anger management, showed the law was “parents worst nightmare.” The court was told the boy received a bruised shoulder when his father roughly grabbed him before smacking his bottom three times with his open hand after he had misbehaved at school.
The boys mother took a photograph of the bruise and showed it to a relative, who later reported it to police.
Bob McCoskrie, director of the conservative lobby group Family First New Zealand said the new law had created a “paranoid parenting environment”.
Child advocacy group Barnardos New Zealand welcomed the courts decision.
“I believe this is the first reported case in which the new law relating to child discipline in the home has been tested in court and the law has worked well,” acting chief executive Peter Gerrie said.
He says it showed that parents had to accept non-violent ways of disciplining their children.