Half of New Zealanders support the reintroduction of corporal punishment in schools, according to a national survey of 1000 people.

The poll, by Curia Market Research, asked: "Do you think a school should be able to choose to use corporal punishment, if the board, parents and principal wish to have this as an option for school discipline?"

Fifty per cent agreed, 44 per cent disagreed and 6 per cent were undecided.

Bob McCoskrie, the spokesman for lobby group Family First, claimed violent incidents in secondary schools this week were proof of a need for stricter punishments.

He claimed that the removal of corporal punishment had resulted in "more dangerous" schools that were tolerating an unacceptable level of violence and offensive behaviour.

This week, maths teacher Steve Hose, of Te Puke High School, was stabbed four times in the neck and shoulder by a 13-year-old boy in Year 9.

Mr Hose was rushed to Tauranga Hospital and the boy was put in the care of Child, Youth and Family.

On Thursday, Hamilton Girls' High School was locked down for about half an hour after a 15-year-old student walked into a classroom hunting for another pupil.

Police said the incident seemed to be in response to bullying.

Family First is calling the results of the survey, which was conducted in March, to be considered by the authorities. Anti-smacking laws forbid corporal punishment.

Mr McCoskrie said that violence, indecent assaults and serious and sexual assaults would only continue if more "effective" punishment was not carried out in schools.