Hundreds and hundreds of readers are taking the chance to send their final pleas on the smacking bill before MPS vote.
Should it be passed? We asked you to sum up your message to MPs in one sentence.The debate is closed for now but here were more of your messages:
The Bill only provides children with the same protection that the law already gives adults and animals and will not result in parents being criminalised for trivial offences. MP's should support the repeal of section 59.
The people have spoken. Do we live in a democracy or left wing "nanny state knows best" dictatorship?
Yes they should, just keep out of our homes. Go after the bad ones not those who are doing the their best to bring up good children.
How about listening to what the people who put you in power want instead of deciding what is best for us as if we don't know ourselves.
To the Labour party: I voted for you last time but I certainly won't do at the next elections.
Repeal this bill, listen to the people that elected you.
Anyone who supports this bill has clearly never had to raise difficult children, controlled smacking is sometimes the only thing that works, and to actually criminalise parents for it is just unbelievable!
Pass the bill, the majority of New Zealanders are ignorant parents if they think the only way to discipline their children is by smacking them, they need re-educating.
If the government is wondering why there are a Lot of Kids on the street, and gangs fighting everywhere than they should look in the mirror!! It's all because of their stupid plans. I'm 20 yrs, and I have young brothers who tend to think they can do what they want. They threaten my parents and say they can do whatever they like. My parents have no say, no power. There's no more discipline in my family because of the Rules of this country!!!
We are totally opposed to Bradford's bill.
Please use your common sense and vote against Sue Bradford's contemptuous bill. Government officials are appointed to serve the public interest, not to further their own personal interests.
The public is stunningly misinformed about this bill, as anyone who has paid attention knows, smacking is already illegal - pass the bill, and then educate those seemingly advocating child abuse how the bill will work. (most of the other responses make me embarrassed to be a NZer)
Listen to the people: 'we don't want this bill'
The current law has enabled parents to use hose-pipes, pieces of wood and chains to discipline their children. Of course it should be repealed.
There is a big difference between a smack, and a beating.
MP's should consider carefully public opinion and then go with an honest conscience vote of what is best for New Zealand's children.
Public opinion is flawed as there has been so much media, political bias & misinformation sensationalising this bill which only seeks to support & protect the children of N.Z.
I am against the anti-smacking bill.
Since when did hitting children become a right? I don't have the right to smack my partner, friends or colleagues. Aren't we taught not to hurt people?
If the intention of this bill is to reduce child abuse, then we should address the problem at it's root cause and make sentences for child abuse more severe. Don't make parents feel guilty for doing their job properly.
Children have the right to be protected against violence that unless this bill is passed can be justified as "discipline" by parents and caregivers. We already give adults and animals that protection, why not children?
I am a father of three, my wife and I do not support Sue Bradford's bill but we are more "gobsmacked" by Labour MPs being whipped to vote for it as a block. Having grown up watching Sue Bradford protest against everything, whatever she is selling I'm afraid we're not buying it.
Educate don't legislate, removal of Section 59 will prevent Police and the Court's from applying discretion to reported incidents, there will be demand from do gooders to pursue complaints - thus criminalising thousands of otherwise law abiding citizens.
This bill should not be passed in Parliament. Will never vote for Labour again if it goes through.
I am amazed at the inconsistency of parliament to be considering the criminalisation of parents who wisely correct their children, with a smack after they are born, yet you allow eighteen thousand babies to be legally killed before birth. This is legalised child abuse of an horrendous scale. That the government has the temerity to coerce all its members to surrender their conscience vote, when a huge majority of New Zealanders has spoken out against this bill, is appalling. Be honest please, in handling our nation's affairs.
Maybe the government should stop smacking the hand of ordinary good Kiwis and get on with the job of administrating.
Bad family values, and drug causes child abuse!! Not smacking. This BILL will only make criminals out of us law abiding citizens. Children need to be disciplined, be it with passive encouragement or sometime smacks to the bottom!! I think this country is turning to a communist country or something!!! Next I bet they will someday restrict us to one child per family because NZ is getting crowded!!
Listen to what we the public are saying - We do not want this Bill.
Why are so many people up in arms about their right to use violence on the most innocent powerless members of society, namely our children who we as adults are taught to protect?
To vote Labour is a vote for dictatorship! Spare the rod, spoil the child, never did me any harm (now a 34 year old mum of 2, and I am one of the few that gets to stay home with her kids).
Take a cue from John Key...change your stance if the majority of your voters differ to you on an issue!
If the anti-smacking bill is passed, the Labour Party would have clearly shown by their absolute arrogance and ignorance that they do not believe in democracy.
Won't make a toss of difference to the abusers and all the difference to good parents!
It's this simple. The Government has not right to cross our private thresholds in that manner without asking us, the voters our opinion on something so personal, and without giving us a chance to tell them what we want. It's this simple Ms Bradford and the Labour party - we put you in - we can take you out.
Were the MPs elected to government to represent Sue Bradford or their electorate - let voters decide!!
You can listen to public opinion today or listen to it when you are voted out next election!
Get Real! Do not do it.
I am a responsible parent and as such should be able to decided whether I choose to smack or not to smack. Why is yet another law being passed that imposes the will of the few onto the majority.
School teachers are already prepping children as to their "rights" in regard to this bill. One light tap we are assured wont see the police intervene, but hey the child's perspective will be that mum or dad are"bad". Two children we know in different families have already come home and said" mum you can't touch me.....and if you do I'm allowed to tell the teacher. Surely National's amendment gives plenty of clarity to what is force and what isn't? If a judge cant decipher force under that amendment then surely it says something about the caliber of people within the justice system? And for that matter lay people as jurors? Where has commonsense gone?
Goodbye Helen, this is your last term in office if you persist in being so arrogant as to force through legislation that at least 75 per cent of people do not want.
I cannot believe the arrogance of a block Labour vote on a Bill so wrong so potentially damaging and so unpopular.
Any politicians without children should not get a vote on this subject.
We already have enough problems with young people in out society who no longer have any fear of the consequences of their actions from their teachers or the police and neutering parents as well will only make it worse.
Strongly disagree with the bill, as a parent, I should have the right to discipline my kids if they misbehave.
One sentence, one word, referendum.
Stop Sue's very naughty Bill!
There's no way Labour will win the next election again if this bill passes; good on them!
They are elected by us, therefore our views should be listened to.
The opponents of this Bill are whipping up hysteria by focusing on the powers of parents when the Bill seeks to protect children from violence.
Members of Parliament will ignore the wishes of the great Majority of New Zealanders at their Peril.
As a parent, I ask all MP to please listen to the public of New Zealand and do what is right: retain section 59 of the Crimes Act; any other action will have consequences at the 2008 General Election.
The present law is sufficient to convict parents who abuse their children and allows good parents to discipline. Without fear.
The small minority of NZ people, well known for their ill treatment of children, are the ones who should be punished, not the rest of us who know the difference of a light smack as opposed to a brutal beating. Remove the stupid bill.
Murder is illegal but it still happens; abuse will still happen under this proposed law however decent parents will also be found guilty - ridiculous considering how tough a job parenting already is!
There are far too many namby pamby parents out there who let their offspring run riot with no consideration for anybody, a good smack on the bottom never hurt anybody, stop being so bloody PC.
New Zealanders do not need this bill, so politicians should listen to the voters and scrap this bill once and for all.
It is disappointing that the resistance to this Bill is largely coming from church groups, fundamentalist "christians" and those who desire to justify their own past practices and why are we not hearing from professional psychologists and educationalists who know full well that the regime of physical force on children is an abomination in a modern, sophisticated society?
If this bill passes, those MP's who made it happen need a smack on the back of the hand!
Don't use any violence on children; it is not acceptable against adults and not acceptable against children.
Please MPs, there are far more important issues facing NZ than this. My (future) children will be getting a smack if they misbehave (just like I did) no matter what you decide!!!
I am sure that there is a big difference between one child getting smacked on leg and another child having his/her head pushed into a wall during a senseless beating, the law needs to be looked at more closely.
As this is supposedly a democratic country then the government had better listen to the overwhelming majority of the people who are opposed to this bill, otherwise they may find themselves in the dole queue next election.
Slapping, smacking, wacking, no difference . All the same result, scared kids.
This bill will strip parents of their authority, create unruly children and a police state. It must not be allowed!
This bill does not target child abusers, it targets normal people, therefore strongly oppose the bill.
Why, why, why do the politicians listen to the People?
PC Madness . . . Politics and Child raising do not mix.
When you mix Red and Green together you get Brown and that's the colour of the stuff this sub-standard, sub-intelligent coalition will be in if they push this through - bring it on so we can be rid of this socialist, feminist regime once and for all.
Moral absolutes have become politically incorrect under this current regime. Spare the rod & spoil the child.
Not everyone smacks their kids but sometimes it is needed, Helen Clarke hasn't had kids so it's a joke that her LABOUR Government is telling us how to bring them up. My VOTES WITH JOHN KEY for the Next Election.
Good on you Sue! You would feel that every generation would evolve just a little bit more, wouldn't you? Turns out you have the wrong generation to deal with. All the back-in-my-day's are driving me crazy. There's no proof that smacking a child causes violent adults; but there's also no proof that disproves this. I say, let it pass and we can judge again in a couple of years whether it has done harm or good.
To all MPs: You are paid to represent the people of NZ. The vast majority of NZers do not wish this bill to be passed. Do what you are paid to do. This bill will not stop a minority of parents abusing their children. It's already against the law to do so and children are neglected, abused, injured and killed every day by angry parents who aren't the slightest bit interested in what laws their are. Listen to the majority of NZ and do not pass the bill. You would be far better off, finding constructive ways to assist parents to be better.
Quite simple. Listen to what the people are saying or ship out of office at the next election.....and we won't even need to smack them....however tempting the thought may be.
If you are an Electorate MP, remember your voters or they'll forget you.
Maybe just this once the Government will listen to the majority of the NZ public that we don't want this bill.
I guess it stands to reason that a minority government will represent the minority view else this stupid piece of legislation would never have gotten this far.
The bill should be scrapped.
Did the laws mean anything to the ones that abuse their children now? Good parents are going to be pilloried. We won't have to ask ourselves where we went wrong. Sue will know.
Glad I don't live in NZ - it hasn't changed from 20 years ago - still over regulated and overly politically correct. Throw this bill OUT.
Labour voter for 40 plus years, P.C. gone mad. This bill will not help the kids that get beaten to a pulp and will give an already overworked police force an even heavier load. If it gets passed next election I shall be voting for the party that promises to overturn the bill.
Please overlook this poll-driven hysteria, reiterate the points the Prime Minister is trying to convey concerning the intentions of the Bill and deliver governance based on sound advice and judgment.
Vote against the bill or loose my vote come next election.
The Bill provides children only with the same protection that law already gives to adults and animals and will not result in parents being criminalised for trivial offences. It is human rights issue.
This bill is yet another indication (remember the "Fart Tax") that its proponents have neither the intellect nor the inclination to govern competently - focus on the real issues of government and stop this ridiculous attempt to camouflage your incompetence.
Listen to the majority because it is right. Will the first time discipline happens will be when they send our children to prison. Is prison right? Where will this end - tree hugging?
At present I am a law abiding member of society. If this law passes, I will be deemed a criminal. I will lose my job, my family and my place in society. Labour will lose my vote!
Reject this bill and listen to public opinion for a change.
You have been elected representatives of the people - please listen to us and represent us.
Removing corporal punishment from schools has made perfect little angels out of our school pupils - without the threat of violence they are now free to assault the poor old teachers instead. Sue Bradford's bill will be just as effective.
NO NO NO to the law changes in the smacking bill Bradford must be out of her brain , there is a big difference in treating children with VIOLENCE and giving them a loving smack when they are really naughty.
Danna, from what you have said, your mother abused you - this is obviously not ok, - a smack applied to a child's hand or bottom by a loving parent however, is a different thing - and acceptable - www.politik.co.nz has march information plus more.
More than 80 per cent of the country don't want it so as our elected representatives you should be doing what the people want ... not what you want!
I will smack my child when it needs it, law or no law! You will not tell me how to run my family!
This bill attempts to combine discipline into the same category as physical abuse, it would not have saved the life of the Kahui twins, the Greens will never get my party vote again should this bill pass.
Do not allow the anti smacking bill to go through PLEASE, let wisdom and common sense prevail and let us continue doing what we've been doing for a long time right under Sue Bradford's nose - bringing up our children to be good citizens of New Zealand! From a sensible mother of three.
The government should focus on being a government (including growing the economy)..and not trying to be a 'Mother Government'. Don't try to be the parent, and let parents get on with managing their children as how they see fit.
Who knows my kids better?? You or Me?
The consequences of allowing children to get away with doing bad things unpunished are far worse than a little smack on the bottom. There is an obvious difference between a smacked bottom and child abuse. The latter is clearly not acceptable, but many politicians have gone overboard, believing the lightest disciplinary tap constitutes abuse.
Rather than dealing with the real issues in this country the Labour party has decided to threaten law abiding citizens. They won't have my vote come the next election.
This is one of the most ridiculous insults to the general public that the touchy feely brigade have ever tried to initiate. Get rid of it & Bradford at the same time. Ignore public opinion at your peril.
The smacking bill targets the wrong people - it will not stop child abuse and murder. Its about time Parliament listened to its voting, and protesting, public!
The Bill must be passed; New Zealand children deserve to be protected for all violence and to be safe in their homes.
Sue Bradfords bill has no place in our legislation. Too many voters in this country disagree with their employee.
This bill will not help parents or the children. Do not pass this absurd bill..
This will make a great Tui billboard.
At 26 and intending to have a family in the near future, I am disgusted that the government is trying to tell me how I should discipline my children. This is the type of government decision that causes New Zealand's youth to move overseas.
Be brave, lead, dont follow. Send a strong message that hitting children is not acceptable.
It horrifies me to see such an important issue, which will affect all families in this country, being voted on as a party vote by Labour, supposedly in order to keep the Greens support on some future piece of legislation.
As it stands, the coming generation stands naked to being exposed to wild mentality, and this Bill just makes it easier to breed "animal mentality". Why not ask the middle-aged who grew up with smacking, what good came out of it?
There is a huge difference between a parent lightly smacking a child to a parent who beats a child.
Sue Bradfords Bill will achieve nothing except to criminalise parents for years to come. It will be used as a weapon by disaffected teenagers who fall out with their parents years after needful corrective discipline was administered.
What we need is a law enabling the "smacking"of politicians who introduce daft legislation!
Parents - who use the odd light smack - are not the ones beating up or physically harming their kids.
This should be conscience vote to make a decision that will affect ALL New Zealanders. A parent has a right to discipline their child (smack on the bum)not be told how to discipline by the state.
Does this foolish government and Ms Bradford really believe this bill will stop kids being abused, what do they hope to achieve? It is already law not to abuse kids. Stay out of my home!
I am a father of 3 kids under 5. I love them so I smacked them lightly when they did something wrong. They love me too and know I love them even though after I smack them.
Let New Zealanders decide if this bill goes through.
For too long now, this Government has penalised those who do no wrong in favour of those who do! It is time to put public intelligence into perspective and allow parents their parental right to govern their own family!
Rev Barry Tetley
As I Christian minister I will make sure my congregation remembers at the next election the identify of the parties and politicians who ignore the majority of the population who they are supposed to represent, intrude into the homes of the people to the detriment of family life…
Peter W Birch
They are voted by the public and therefore should listen to public opinion.
Its a sad indictment on the MMP system when a crackpot from a minority party can convert her ridiculous views into laws that affect the rest of us.
Please leave parenting to parents as they know too well what is good for their kids. Good values and discipline taught at tender age help them to become a good human being.
MPs consciences have been shown to be defective (refer the 18 year old alcohol drinking age) so its well overdue for them to listen to the electorate and vote accordingly.
If you truly believe in democracy, like it or not you have no choice but to vote against this bill as it is drafted, period.
You are a pack of idiots committing political suicide. I have been a labour supporter for years, but now you are trying to run our lives in too much detail.
If the Government has any regard for democracy then it should be listening to the polls which show overwhelming support to scrap this ludicrous bill.
MPs votes should be reflective of the public opinion.
Sue Bradfords bill will not stop abuse, but only make good parents law breakers. This bill is wrong!
Dont go contrary to public opinion - put it to a public referendum - or at least allow all Labour MPs vote on a conscience basis.
What a sad state New Zealand is in when the government make it illegal to be a parent! There are already laws in place to protect children from abuse!
Smacking is something needed to discipline a child in certain cases and it doesnt involve cruelty or physical abuse, things totally different that damage our precious ones.
Dont interfere with responsible parents rights but support the family unit with good parenting education otherwise this Govt will be punished with "time out".
Not only will it turn innocent parents into criminals, but also New Zealand is already seriously under-resourced at the moment when it comes to policing the new law. We cannot cope as it is with the current criminal activity, and wasting taxpayers money along with time/resources the police dont have, is going to create further havoc.
This bill will close the legal loophole allowing parents to indiscriminately beat their kids and call it "reasonable force". Thats not the same as "smacking" so stop twisting words.
The proposed bill is nonsense and a smokescreen for the real child abuse in our society. Not one of the children seriously abused recently would have been protected by this law.
It all seems like a "cheap attempt" to curb the real problem, domestic violence. Bottom line, NZ needs more police (that are empowered) to combat the problem. What are we going to get next in NZ, children divorcing their parents like they do in America?
Do not passed the bill. Sometimes, children need smacking to be disciplined.
Is there not a difference between being abusive and discipline? This bill tries to put an end to both. A generation from now you will have kids who will be smacking their parents and teachers.
Please listen to public opinion.
All the guys in parliament are too old to care and dont have young children in the house . They dont have the right to decide on this.
I love my kids - please dont criminalise me for giving them a tap on the bum in those situations where, like it or not, it is an appropriate form of parenting.
Listen to the public, thats their job after all.
We are supposed to live in a democracy, so listen to us!
Absolutely ridiculous! There is no way possible that this nonsense should even have been considered serious?!
I oppose this Bill, I correct my son when necessary, but I do not abuse him.
If the bill is genuinely about removing the alleged protection for those who beat their children, please provide us with evidence of the alleged raft of cases in which section 59 has allowed such an abuse of justice for our children.
Do not vote for this bill.
As much as I appreciate the need to protect each and everyone of us, they are giving the most powerful tool they canto the disgruntled children against the parent. It will cause no end of work for the already stretched legal and police systems, they are implementing for the 2 per cent and punishing the other 98 per cent for those few.
The MPs should listen to public opinion, as it is our children who are being disciplined by us.
I strongly disagree with this unethical bill about to be passed in Parliament.
The definition of representative democracy is "the rule of the people through chosen representatives." As a 20 year old, this is my future you are dicing with. Grow up.
Bradford will cause Labours worse election defeat, unless MPs pay serious attention to what their 70 per cent - 80 per cent of constituents are saying.
Criminalize parents---get tossed out of office.
Ignore 80 per cent of the voters now, and they will likely ignore you come election time.
Why are we spending all this time and energy on a bill that will affect all for the benefit of so few? Spend your time and energy making an effort to help the unfortunate children who are truly being abused and neglected.
Once again PC is being rammed down our throats, Labour need not count on my vote at the next election.
The last time I checked, New Zealand was a democratic country. How is it possible that three quarters of the population are ignored? I wonder if we will be allowed to vote in the next elections.
The arrogance of the MPs supporting this knows no bounds. Deal with the real issue not making every good parent a criminal.
Listen to public opinion and stop interferring with peoples private lives.
The Labour MPs voting against their conscience "because Helen told them to" clearly had their backbones removed a long time ago.
Section 59 must be repealed for the future safety of New Zealands children.
Please listen to the majority of the people and do not use politics at our family expenses.
Knight Richard & Karen
My wife and I strongly oppose the anti smacking bill before parliament, and support a national referendum.
This bill is taking the interference of the state with the private affairs of its citizens beyond the limits acceptable in a free and democratic society.
Child abuse is already against the law. Passing another law will not stop it. All it will do is criminalize good loving parents!
The majority of NZs are opposed to this bill. For once listen to them!
Vote no on the smacking bill.
A 1-2-3 smack to bum does not equal being thrashed; from a child grown to manhood who knows the difference.
Next in line, salary review...OK people, conscience vote!
If a child doesnt respond to a telling off or time out can I refer them to CYPS or some other government agency thus passing on the responsibility of bringing them up to the government which is indirectly what they are legislating?
I believe there is no need for the anti-smacking law as parents will make the decision reasonably.
I do not personally think that Government should have jurisdiction over family life in such a prescriptive way. I also think that in a democratic system such as ours the first priority that MPs have is to represent the people they were elected to represent.
MPs should listen to the views of the electorate - at the very least , this bill should be put to a conscience vote.
MPs: Is your loyalty to your constituents, the citizens of this country or to backroom dirty politics?
This bill has always been a ridiculous idea & why is the Government that "we" voted in not listening to those that it represents? Do not put this rubbish through, parents have a tough enough time as it is trying to raise their children!
Dont take away the right to choose as a loving parent will always do what is best for their child.
Stop forcing politically-correct agendas - of course they should listen to public opinion.
Labour should ram this bill through as fast as possible. They will piss so many people off, that National, if they play their cards right, should win the next election.
I think it is time Ms Bradford admits she has mis-read the mood in the country, and back down.
Do not push this bill through. It will make criminals out of some of the better citizens of NZ. It will not stop the child bashing and murdering.
This current Labour Governments policies are the closest this country has ever come to Communisim, and this Bill designed to further control the people of New Zealand is just a further avenue to meet that agenda of destruction of the family unit and total State control.
I needed a light smack on the bum when I was a kid and it showed me consequences for my bad behavi