INDEPENDENT NEWS

Well-known NZers put up hands to protect children

Published: Wed 28 Mar 2007 04:19 PM
Well-known New Zealanders put up their hands for the protection of children


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From left: Auckland City Councillor Penny Sefuiva, Leila Boyle, Richard Northey, Neil Abel and Cathy Casey pledge for their support the bill with hand prints.


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From right: Judy Bailey pledges her support with a hand print, while Every Child Counts Project Manager Deborah Morris-Travers, looks on.


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From left: Media celebrities Deborah Coddington, Hilary Timmins, Jude Dobson and Mark Leishman pledge their support with hand prints.


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From right: the Assistant Anglican Bishop of Auckland, Richard Randerson, pledges his support with a hand print, while Every Child Counts Project Manager Deborah Morris-Travers, looks on.
28 March 2007
Media release:
Well-known New Zealanders put up their hands for the protection of children
At a special event in Auckland today, a group of well-known Kiwis put their hands up to call for removal of the legal defence provided by section 59 of the Crimes Act.
Judy Bailey, Deborah Coddington, Jude Dobson, Brian Edwards, Mark Leishman, Hilary Timmins, the Assistant Anglican Bishop of Auckland Richard Randerson, and Auckland City Councillors Penny Sefuiva, Leila Boyle, Richard Northey, Neil Abel and Cathy Casey, called for all New Zealanders to better protect and treasure children, in the law and in every encounter with children. They placed their signatures and hand prints on a banner which was presented to Members of Parliament in Wellington later that day.
The initiative, organised by Every Child Counts Project Manager, Deborah Morris-Travers, was designed to highlight community support for repeal of Section 59 and address the fear and misinformation surrounding the issue.
“Very simply, the Bill will remove a statutory defence available to parents who are charged with assaulting their children. That defence has been used in some high profile cases of child abuse, suggesting that violence against children in the form of physical punishment is an expected and acceptable part of parenting.
“All of the evidence points to the fact that a reliance on physical punishment, and attitudes that condone the use of it, increase the risk of child abuse. In other countries, experience has shown that law change is an important part of changing people’s attitudes so that violence against children is less acceptable.
“Combined with clear public education about the law change, and continued investment in positive parenting, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Bill will create safer homes and communities for children and for all of us.
ENDS

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