National Party MP
20 February 2007
Section 59 amendments explained
“I am seeking a sensible compromise with the amendments I intend to make to Sue Bradford’s Member’s Bill,” says National
MP Chester Borrows.
“The full National Party caucus supports my amendments, should the bill get to the committee stages.
“I regard my amendments as a commonsense compromise and hope that other MPs in Parliament see the sense in what I am
“Essentially, my bill alters what constitutes ‘reasonable force’.
“I do not want to see parents and guardians using the law to get away with committing serious assaults on children, so
some amendment to the Crimes Act is desirable.
“But I believe that simply repealing section 59 is problematic in that it would leave the decision about whether to
prosecute in the hands of the police.
“Parliamentarians make the laws of this land and they should spell out clearly what the law is. Leaving interpretation
over to the police is unfair on both the public and the police.
“Parents should have some limited protections in law, rather than leaving it to the authorities to interpret. So my
amendments would seek to limit rather than abolish the use of reasonable force in disciplining children so, for example,
the use of implements would be outlawed.”