When Sue Bradford, John Key and Helen Clark introduced the Nationalisation of NZ Children (Anti-Smacking) Act last year, we were told that "minor, trivial or inconsequential" incidents would not be covered by the law. Parents should have "confidence that they will not be criminalised for lightly smacking their children," said Key. "Police will use their discretion," said Clark. Police will not be enforcing charges against minor force such as smacking, said Bradford.
In the first court case taken under the Bradford/Key/Clark Anti-Smacking Act, a Glen Innes man was kept from his children for months, held in prison, and harassed by police for the alleged crime of disciplining his children, only to get to court yesterday to find the police had no evidence against him. That's right, no evidence at all. The judge dismissed the case because the police had exercised their "discretion" under the law, harassed the father by means of the law, and when it came time to front up declared they had no evidence even of the minor discipline of his own children the man was alleged to have exercised.
The man's lawyer Tony Bouchier points out:
"When the whole issue was being discussed in Parliament and in public, they said that minor matters would not end up in court, it would only be the serious ones," he said. "I am not condemning the police for protecting children, but the public were given assurances that the police would consider this law carefully, and in this case they have not."
It should be immediately obvious how much the assurances of a politician are worth. Bouchier says his client had pushed one of the girls to get her to hurry for school and threw the jeans at the other to get her attention.
Mr Bouchier said that the man was a good and loving father... it was not the mother of the children who complained, but her sister. He said there seemed to be some animosity between the father of the children and the sister who had interfered.
Remember when the nationalisers of children were told how their law would be used as a weapon by disgruntled family members against each other? Remember how those claims were peremptorily dismissed?
We were fed bullshit by bullshitters, and New Zealand parents and families are suffering because of it -- and most of you reading this will go right out in November and vote for one of those three parties that introduced it. That makes you exactly as bad as those busybodying bastards you're voting for