Hard News by Russell Brown


Smack to the Future

Is it a mandate? For what? A strong vote on a low turnout answered “no” a leading question as to whether a “smack as part of good parental correction” should be a criminal offence; placing half the voting public on the other side of the argument from child welfare agencies, newspaper editorial columns and Parliament itself.

So what next? The referendum question, steeped in its authors’ desire for vindication, doesn’t say. John Key says he’ll entertain options short of a law change. Where might that leave us? And what has been the impact of the entire debate on our attitude towards physical punishment, family violence and what happens in the home?

Discuss …

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