Your Views

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Your Views: D-day looms for smacking bill - your final thoughts

What is your message to MPs but in one sentence only? Send us your views

Tensions are running high on both sides of the smacking bill as a vote in parliament nears - and you continue to send us your views.

Some urge MPs to vote for the bill saying violence in any form is unacceptable while others say the passing of the bill will influence their vote as they are strongly opposed.Roughly the email flow is running about 80% against the bill.

Here is the latest selection of your views.
We asked for just one sentence from you in a message to MPs so that we can try to publish as many as possible.

Denise Bates
Have the courage to drag the vocal "majority" of pro-violence rednecks into the twenty-first century by supporting this bill.

Hillary
Are who want to retain the right to smack their children the same people who fought to retain a mans right to beat his wife, too?

Matt
John Key must be delighted at this impending travesty of democracy.It is the death knell of Labour.

Micah Roughton
I am 20 years old my parents smacked me when I was young.

I don't smacking bill is going to deal with heredity problem of violence in families, but punishes parents that trying to do the right thing. But a big thumbs up for trying to fixes the problem, because it needs to be fixed and fixed now as a nation.

C Anderson
If this bill is passed I will never vote labour again.

George
Why not lower the drinking age/the age of consent/the driver licensing age/legalise pot and meth and whatever else we need to do to send us into the pits of hell.

Chris Brady
A majority view isnt necessarily the correct one; Sue Bradford should be widely congratulated for her high principles and compassion for children.

Sue Neal
I completely support the repeal of section 59 and commend Sue Bradford for her willingness to speak up about our violence to children in this country.

R, R. Grueber
Every child abuse and murder is likely to have started with smacking. It is time we did something to change New Zealand's most appalling international record on how we treat our children even if the bill will not change attitudes overnight.

Malcolm McCabe
Didnt the last election sent a message about the end of the electorates tolerance for social engineering?

Sam Harrowfield
We wont need half the social services and laws and intervention personnel that our government provides if we all learn to take responsibility for ourselves and deal with personal issues that may lead to the mistreatment of children.

E Sunil
Please note, majority of New Zealand parents are responsible and loving to their children. Please do not punish them for any relevant steps they may take to bring up their children as good citizens. Please listen to majority NZers.

Nicole
If each and every MP that votes for this bill can honestly say they were never smacked as a kid, or have never smacked their kids then go ahead and vote for it, otherwise leave it up to the parents how they see fit to discipline their own kids (reasonably of course) - a smack never hurt me!

MG
This is belligerent and insular "government" that will have zero impact on child abuse, but will elevate the usage of children as pawns in adults squabbles.

TC
They had better listen to the public. Parliamentarians don't have a conscience!

Dave Follas
Are there not far greater issues for MPs to work on rather than trying to control the fine details of how parents raise children?

Chrissy
Butt out of families lives. Why should the majority be hounded because of a minority. Try governing the country instead of our families.

Ayden
New Zealands democratically elected leaders must obey the will of the people - they are public servants, not our lords and masters.

Kerry Osullivan
I suggest Helen Clark stop worrying about lack of democracy in fuji and look at her own government! What a pack of lemmings.

Xtine
This bill is unnecessary - we already have adequate laws to prevent child abuse - spend the money wasted on this debate fixing the source of the problem, education, cultural mores and poverty.

Fiona Newton
Please dont support the bill - it interferes with all NZers rights to raise their children in a way that suits their personalities, whilst doing nothing to address the true causes of child abuse in NZ.

Craig Armstrong
Please pass the anti-smacking bill...there's nothing I want more than a National-led government at the next election and this is the best way to guarantee that result!

Jacob
Labour has just lost my vote! How can you not listen to the people who entrusted you to act on their behalf. This has been the final nail for me!

Henry
I believe the green Party support this bill, because they are green, but what about other 49 Labour MPs? That is not communist party from China, North Korea, or old Soviet Union!

John
I cant believe this current govt has listened to reason,let alone NZrs,they must have something far sillier up their sleeve .

Fiona Kerry
Please stop with the social engineering and get on with running the country and advancing our economic and environmental growth!

Hugh
I did not vote for the Greens and they have no mandate to pass this law. They are a minority. Listen to the voice of the majority.

Andre
Another PC madness making good parents into criminals when the bad ones don't give a damn anyway.

Lou
Who will determine a little or big smack?My father gave little smacks that my mother thought was too big! I cannot see the police wanting to be involved in this.

Jerry Flay
So Labours relationship with NZ First is more important than expediting a law which will stop us all beating up our children?

Michael Coote
As with sex abuse allegations, so too with smacking allegations: the Bradford bill will lead to further blackmail and persecution tactics in child custody disputes. Families will suffer while lawyers prosper.

Deb
Who the heck are you to try and tell me how to raise my children. I bet your mother smacked you when you were growing up and the only thing she did wrong was let you get into politics.

Frustrated K
Hey Helen and Sue, This is not democracy, Would you listen to public for once?

Mootens
People who support this bill in the hope it will stop child abuse, think again!! those illiterate, un-educated swine, will still do these evil things regardless! wake up!

Doug Whitcombe
Smacking a child is not child abuse and should be a parents right to discipline their children.

Leeanne
Listen to the people, and the majority of us say no to this bill. Labour say yes and you will be voted out at the next election.

Phill
Ahhhh, uninformed, poorly thought out righteous indignation, where would the news media be without it?

Terry
Australian voters dumped Paul Keating and his government for similar arrogance, do you wish to follow in their footsteps? We are the people of New Zealand - Listen!

Richard
What is wrong with these people? If you notice, most of them dont even have children! I got a smack on the backside when I was younger and it did me the world of good.

Phil Sinclair
Dont hesitate NZers must acknowledge that children arent their possessions to be beaten raped and murdered as a parent chooses.

Nan
No, no, no leave alone. Get on with some real issues like health, and police.

Mr K
I agree abuse is abuse, but discipline is not (when given correctly) I fully encourage non-violent discipline. But whats next, when will "time-out" be determined inhuman??

Glenn
Its about time the politicians listened to the public and stopped their arrogant attempts to "please" each other. No Smacking - No Way!

Mike
Why do so many people want to smack their kids?

Dave
Who cares about smacking. When is Helen Clark going to pay back the $800,000?

Maria
As Helen put to us it is actually illegal to smack your child now - its just that the police do not police it. What makes them think that putting this in place is going to make a difference. Yet again the politicians don’t listen to those that put them there!

Mary McK
This is the first step to taking our parental rights away all together. This bill will not stop abuse on children. Wake up politicians.

Raj Subramanian
MPs cannot vote on their consciousness as they are not authorised by voters to do that on this vexious issue.

Helz
Vote labour? I dont think I will do that again.

Judy Knighton
The proposed replacement s58 allows use of reasonable force when required to prevent or stop children from hurting themselves or someone else, or from behaving offensively, but not for the purposes of correction - so it comes down to whether you smack to prevent or stop a behaviour, or as a rebuke for the behaviour. Should be fun for the lawyers!

Lloyd Vivian
Peter Dunne - vote for this bill and you and United Future won't be "stable government" after the next election - you'll be "comatose!"

Grol
I am strongly opposed to this bill!

Anthony
Listen to the people. Vote against the bill.

D
How dare the government tell me how to discipline my own child? I was smacked as a child and am very very far from ever being abused!

Shyrrel Saldivar
y brother and I were very seldom smacked as children but when we were we knew not to misbehave again and the same went for my three now grown up children, we had respect for our parents and so did they, which is not what children of today have. They just answer their parents back and do what ever they want to do.

Martin
If you dont have children, your not qualified to judge me.

Roger Poulter
If this bill is an example of MMP in action then we really do need to reconsider the whole MMP question!

Collette Geard
What right do they have to tell people how to bring up their children. This is dictatorship ! Laws are already in place to deal with people who beat their children.

Howard Rickman
This bill will greatly assist teachers who are struggling to cope with unruly children. Once everyone stops smacking there will be a level playing field. Children won't take advantage of teachers, just because they know that teachers cant smack them, while they wouldnt dare behave the same way at home, because dad would give them one hell of a walloping.

Jason
Vote Yes. Save the children.

Wayne
I will never vote Labour again if this bill goes through.

M
This bill will never stop extreme offenders, but will break up the family unit. making parents criminals in the eye of the law. Just another step to a socialist state.

Andy Bourke
To every MP who votes in favour of this Bill - enjoy your last 20 months in Parliament as you will be ousted by the very people you chose to ignore the voter!

Duncan Christie
Any member of parliament that votes for this bill does so at their peril, as this one will not go away next election, and this is one member of the electorate that will never vote for any party that puts its name to it.

Andrew Macdonald
If you care about children then ban abortion first. Some hopes!

Harold Merriman
The majority is not always right, it is wrong on this occasion, and there is honour in standing up for what you believe, even in the teeth of public opinion.

Mad
For goodness sake you lot down there are you all stupid?.Where has your common senses gone.?

Johan Hendricks
If you would vote for the bill, you will definitely loose my vote and those of my household. We see this as an breach of my responsibility as a parent to correct and discipline my children.

Joseph Bagrie
A very clear message needs to be sent to the present government that the people of NZ will not stand for this kind of behaviour and their bullying tactics and we will take whatever measures necessary to make sure it stops!

Karan
The police have enough work to do chasing real criminals without having to check up on caregivers who are simply trying to prevent their children from becoming criminals by teaching them acceptable social behaviour.

I Stewart
At your peril Helen .. you are not a dictator - yet!

J Grainger
I strongly believe that politicians should listen to public opinion - that is why they are in parliament (supposedly) in the first place - to represent the people

Bill DeRenzy
Compulsory military training would go a long way to teaching people discipline and respect. What an insult to the general public of New Zealand having this bill proposed by a well known and practicing protester.

Adrian
A smack on the bum never hurt me as a kid, Helen C knows nothing about raising kids, so she should just butt out!!

Jacqueline
Child abuse will not stop with a pithy law - get a grip politicians apply yourselves to solving the real issues in this country.

Peter Cox
The current level of polling against the bill indicates nothing short of a level of ignorance and apathy from the public more than anything. Oh well - I guess fixing our appalling record of violence against children is not as important as scoring a few political points.

Elaine
This law will not stop the real child abusers, only making parenting harder for many.

NH
If this is such an important issue, listen to the public & get the wording right.As it stands, I will change my vote next time.

Grant Prujean-Smith
Drop this nonsense of a bill. Listen to the people of the country you are supposed to be representing....

Martin Legge
MPs seem to think that their conscience is of a higher quality or status than the majority of kiwis but if that was the case then you'd have to ask why they voted to keep their own tax free allowances when such perks have been removed from every other hardworking kiwi.

Charlene
Obviously the MPs voting for this bill do not have a strong willed child! I love my boy - this bill will make a brat out of him. Ridiculous bill!

Angry of Mayfair
NZ definition of lunacy: a bill introduced by someone not voted in to our parliament, that will criminalise average kiwi parents, while simultaneously failing to prevent harm or even death of our nations children at the hands of those "extreme cases".

Tony
Remember the MPs who voted for this law and make sure they are punished next election. People power..

Graham Keye
My wife and I do not support the bill as we already have laws which only need to be enforced more and do not need more State intervention. I prefer to be judged by my peers and not by Government.

Jason Howes
I am sure that theres already a law that prevents you abusing children maybe you should focus on those people and let the other 90 per cent of us get on raising healthy children!

Gavin Ward
Smacking is discipline not abuse.

RPS
The real problem is that we keep voting these "Rule makers/Life Changers" back into Parliament.

D new
I dont think this bill will stop adults/parents from abusing their children, and do not think the government have any right to interfere with personal family life how they discipline their children in a loving way.

Julia
Unless this bill can stop tragedies like the death of Delcia Witika, it is a waste of taxpayers money and will only disadvantage caring responsible parents.

Fraser Spencer
If this government succeeds in pushing through this law, then I hope the negative feeling is enough to vote them out next election.

David Ball
The government must stop interfering in the rights of parents to discipline their children (nanny state)and concentrate on the important issues such as the justice system, education and health which are in an appalling state of disrepair.

Maureen Gallie
No,no,no,it would be an absolute disaster to pass this bill.Whatever happened to common sense and why has the labour party lost theirs!

Nadine
Go ahead Labour, I dare you, this will be the last straw for your voters.

Brendon Smith
Child abuse and smacking are not the same thing, but both need more education rather than legislation!

Tania
Repealing Section 59 will make criminals of honest, caring parents who will be robbed of the tools necessary to discipline their children: this in turn could lead to situations of parental frustration which could trigger unnecessary anger, emotional and physical abuse.

Helena
Think of those parents, who because of this bill, will not be able to discipline their children in public, going to their private homes frustrated, embarrassed and angry... what will happen out of public view?? Perhaps we will see an increase in child abuse.

Callum Smellie
The bill will probably pass - and in the end, the people responsible are those that voted for these tin-pot dictators, in spite of their proven history of social engineering.

Jason
The majority of NZ is against it so why not listen?

Shoba
If discipline is taught at an early age then we wont have the mongrels and brats that we have these days!!! NZ is such a stupid country when it comes to deciding on right laws!!!

Jeanette
Having a law against murder doesn't stop people killing each other. How will this help children like the Kahui twins or Delcelia Whittaker?

Mini
I oppose to this anti smacking bill. It is utter nonsence. Majority of the people have spoken. No to this bill!

Rufaro
What works on one child does not work on another!!! Time-out, talking just dont seem to discipline some children.

Sarah
I will be so disappointed if this doesnt get passed There is so much violence in New Zealand and when someone makes a move to reduce it people are angry. What a sad, sad situation.

J. Pearson
You tell me when I can drink, vote, how much it is going to cost me to run my car and where I can or can not smoke but dont you dare tell me I can not raise my kids how I feel is best. This country is taking PC way too far.

Trev
When will these politicians realise that the only way we will have a nice civil society is when they let us get on with our god given right to be beat down those who are less able to defend themselves.

Sanjay
This legislation is obviously about getting political points from the Green party.This is the effect of the MMP system which has allowed the minority to force their views over the majority opinion.

Linda Thomas
If you go ahead with the no smacking law, you better be prepared to build not a prison but prisons in each city, not just for the parents but for the up and coming youth who will have no ideas of right and wrong. Look at what has happened since you abolished smacking in schools.

Howard Webb
MPs who push through legislation on ideological grounds against the wishes of the electorate make a mockery of the democratic process.

Martin
Over 80 per cent of NZ think it is a stupid new Law, listen to the people ! Not a stupid private members bill.

Pearla
No Smacking is not going to stop those out of control violent adult morons who abuse our precious kids.

Michael
Please protect our children and pass this bill.

R Clarke
This bill is plain crazy, it infringes on the rights of parents and could never ever be enforced anyway.

Bob Arend
I have been a Psychologist for 20 years, and I can categorically tell you this bill will do nothing to prevent child abuse and will only cause a further disintegration of parental authority.

Electra
If you are not planning to prosecute most smacking parents, it should not be made criminal - vote for consistency, like any good parents.

Keith Shackleton
Listen to yourself,New Zealand. You are demanding the right to beat up your own children. Shocking.

Chris Brazendale
You are our servants so do as we have instructed - throw this ill-conceived legislation in the bin.

Thomas
MPs--You are elected to represent us, not follow your conscience (i.e., drive your personal agendas)

Bruce Grant
I thought that this country was a proud democratic country, why is it that the members of the Labour party can not vote with their convictions, sounds like a dictatorship!

Matt Berry
83 per cent of people disagree with the bill, so why does Labour think they are morally correct - who gave them the right on how to rightfully and lovingly raise our children when half of them dont have kids?

Kyle Sheppard
I don't believe this piece of legislation will do anything to curb acts of violence against children and will only victimise and make criminals or, ordinary New Zealand parents.

Stephanie
We dont need the govt telling us how to raise our children.

Annie
Any MP that votes for Bradford's naive and misguided bill has automatically lost my vote in the next election.

Bevan
This is your final warning from the voters/employers, look forward to being dismissed without redundancy next election as NZ will not tolerate socialist dictatorship with arrogant controlling agendas that defy the majority good sense of the currently law abiding citizens.

Kelvyn Alp
Our so-called "honourable" Politicans need only remember four simple words; "Yes Sir, Yes Ma'am" and do as they are told!

Tom Capey
If a hand smack is punishable by law, children will rule their parents by using the law to blackmail them.

Glenn W
Sue Bradford doesn't have a leg to stand on and now shes backing off her once so "determined/aggressive" stance on her bill to try smooth over and not lose so many votes. No pity from me. Labour is scum. National +1pt

Neville
It is a parents right & obligation to discipline their children.

Alistair Miller
This is stupid legislation which will turn loving parents into criminals and do absolutely nothing to reduce the embarrassingly high incidence of child abuse in New Zealand.

Andrea
You cant reason with a two year old, the only people that are harder to reason with are socialist dictators who have lost their conscience.

Angela Paul
What is wrong with the consciences of parents?

David Slater
If the Government do vote for this, I hope everyday honest New Zealanders show their contempt for Government interference at the next election, if not earlier.People are sick of being controlled and dictated to.

Peter Heath
I think that this bill is arrogant, who are you to tell me how to raise my kids?

Chris Mills
To all you anti-smackers, cant you see this is not about smacking children, this is all about more socialist control of a supposedly democratic country.

Wendy Anderson
They should listen to the public view and look at the polls that have been done. It should most definitely not be passed.

BT
Condemning parental forms of discipline as child abuse is just blatant generalisation! Its like calling all Christian priests pedophiles, and contrary to popular beliefs you will find child abuse increased when corporal punishment was abolished.

Jamie Hosking
Smacking is unnecessary and it is not good for children - section 59 should be repealed.

Belinda Robertson
Why are our MPs concerned about this when just yesterday a man fell asleep due to the effects while filling up his car while his child was inside it? It seems like our priorities are all wrong.

Rachel
We live in a country with incredible high child abuse rates. If this bill goes through, it is the governments responsibility to provide educated alternatives on parenting. Discipline - means "to teach" - what is it you want to teach your child? Pass it.

Aureliano Vignati
Will never vote for Labour if they let pass this bill.

Jenny Sheldon
Listen to the public: We do not want the bill.

Jcm
Absolutely not necessary, We dont want more communist
control over our lives.

Angela
This bill will not prevent child abuse, it will just turn good parents who occasionally discipline their children with a smack into criminals, who do these politicians think they are, they ignore the majority of people at their peril we will remember at the next election.

Cheryl Smith
You ignored the opinions of the majority with the prostitution reforms, lowering the drinking age and the civil union bill, when oh when are you going to listen? Or is it you will wait, and cry, when the red-green clobbering machine is no more,

Pam Taito
What good is it having a leader that wont listen to us?

Brian Lane
If there are Labour politicians who oppose this bill, why dont they have the guts to stand up for what they believe in?

Kris
If this bill is passed and the education of our children begins the next day to inform them of their rights, can educators please ensure that they also include the fact that, since our children should be treated as adults, our police force carry handcuffs, batons, taser guns and, potentially, shotguns, which cause amputations at the very least, to execute reasonable force for the purposes of discipline upon those who disregard authority.

John Eide
Shame on you Clark, you should listen to the people and stop being a communist.

R Poulter
If this bill goes ahead then the whole question of MMP as a parliamentary system needs to be looked at as it is MMP that has allowed this crazy situation to develop!!! What happened to the referendum on MMP we were promised after 3 terms anyhow?

Jonathan Lee
Please do not put this bill through. It is simply not well thought out enough. You will not have my vote next election if this passes.

Alison Hussey
I have become increasingly distressed at the passion with which people want to defend their right to physically punish their children. Surely this is something most parents regret after the fact and would prefer to be supported in finding alternative methods of behaviour management.

Ken & Lee Andrews
Please dont pass this law as it takes away the right to bring up kiddies from their parents you have no right to do this democratic country.

NL
Lets make smacking your child illegal and then make smoking marijuana legal, that way when you catch your 10 year child smoking it you can just put him in the naughty corner. Makes lots of sense.

Scott Robertson
If Clark thinks "extreme-right-wing fundamentalist groups" are behind opposition to this bill, and 85 per cent of the country are demonstrably against it - then the Labour Party is in deep trouble, isnt it!! We obviously need an election!

Alan
Helen Clark is a dictator.I am tired of the government not listening to the wants of the people and her "My view is more important than yours" attitude.

Chontelle
I also live in a well off suburb on the North Shore, but would like to point out to Jessica, having been raised poor in early childhood and wealthy in teenage years and having socialised with both groups that abuse of children be it sexual or physical is not limited to the lower social economic class. I am not in favour of an anti-smacking bill but am definitely in favour of the police having more power to prevent violence in any area including the home.

Bruce Murray
How is New Zeland displaying itself as a democratic nation when the government is ignoring 75 per cent of its citizens (which by NCEA Maths is a majority) to push through Sue Bradfords bill? More like a dictatorship!

Mark
This is why I dont like MMP. You used to need a majority for things.This bill is laughable.

Gerald
I have two lively boys who are not smacked an never will be;, they don't need to be because there are other ways of dealing with situations.Just like hanging, smacking is anti social and should be put behind us.

Justin Henehan
The Herald is displaying terrible bias in adopting the right-wing term 'anti-smacking bill'. It is not an 'anti-smacking bill' because it doesnt take away the ability of a parent to discipline a child with a smack. It merely takes away the ambiguous defence of reasonable force.

Jessica Travers
I come from a suburb on the North Shore of Auckland where child abuse is not a problem, but I believe that if it takes this bill to reach the few members of lower socio- economic groups that hit and abuse their children, and lets them know that it has to stop, then the 90 per cent of parents who are responsible parents should support this bill.

J Duthie
The irony: parental authority restrained by unrestrained governmental authority. If one goes, the other will go eventually.

Alan Portman
Why when you need a majority of the public to elect you, do you then think you can ignore the majority when it suits you?

Michael Fisher
Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the governments purposes are beneficent…The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by [people]of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.

Lynn
I am totally against this bill and I say leave us parents to do our jobs you Home Invaders!

Sashi
I am a mum and have 2 children. I believe that this smacking bill is not right - we need to discipline our children and dont want our children to become criminals or end up being violent in the near future and ending up in jail.

Leanne Li
I need to retain the rights to discipline my children, and smacking is sometimes the most effective way. I choose to bring them to this world, so I am responsible for bring them up rightly.

Ron
Come on Helen, let your MPs vote according to their conscience.

Craig
Social engineering is not a role of Government - never will be!

Damien McCardle
I am totally against the passing of this bill. The government has no right intruding into how I choose to discipline and bring up my children.

Stan
No to this stupid useless bill, for goodness sakes listen to the people opinions.

Jeff
I will still smack my child if he deserves it and he will be better for it,just as I was as a child and I can say I am better for it,thanks mum & dad.

Grant Diggle
If you want to reinforce the view that you hold the citizens in complete contempt then vote for the abolition of Section 59. If however you believe in democracy and the freedom of the individual then vote against Section 59. The ball is in your court.

Stephen
While on a long bus journey, I watched a father angrily and repeatedly smack his baby girl and yell at her, apparently to try to stop her crying! She cried more with each smack. It was horrible to watch and our laws should be changed so that he is not allowed to do that anymore.

Sandi
The UK was considering outlawing any smacking above shoulder level, and any physical discipline that involves use of any object or that causes bruising. Wouldnt this provide adequate protection for children and clear grounds for prosecution by police?

Neville Stokes
The Anti-smacking Bill must not pass and MPs should listen to public opinion on this one and leave the bringing up of children to parents who know best and desire their highest good.

Lisa Clarke
The use of physical force against another human being is unacceptable. Full stop. Surely we are intelligent enough not to need to resort to "smacking" in order to control our children? To all those people out there that think a smack is the only way, its time to educate yourselves on non-violent ways to condition behaviour!

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