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Smacking Children - The Law

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There has been much discussion over the last two years about the outlawing of smacking children but now a private member’s bill on this difficult subject has drawn the ballot for early consideration by Parliament.


Let us bring you up to date.


The debate rages from the age-old adage “spare the rod and spoil the child” to the modern concept that no physical force against kids is justifiable in any circumstances. 

The OLD LAW was

59. Domestic discipline -

(1) Every parent of a child and, subject to subsection (3) of this section, every person in the place of the parent of a child is justified in using force by way of correction towards the child, if the force used is reasonable in the circumstances.

(2) The reasonableness of the force used is a question of fact.

(3) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section justifies the use of force towards a child in contravention of section 139A of the Education Act 1989.

This OLD section deals with rights to smack a child. The force used had to be reasonable. It provided a defence against a charge of assault. The Government is currently thinking of changing the law and repealing this section.   NOW ALL GONE.

The NEW LAW is -

59 – Parental Control


(1)      Every parent of a c

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"Bullshit new law but I see you have the new and the old law set out. I will smack my kids if I have to but I will not bash them. Let bloody Helen Clark come and look after them if she thinks she can do a better job than me. I really came on to Netlaw for the limited licence help. Good. Gray. - Palmerston North"
Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Access/Custody/Guardianship
"dear Netlaw,

My partner and I found all your family sites really good. We are fighting a maintenance and custody dispute with his ex and we cannot get legal aid so we are trying to go it alone and your site really helps. The judge actually commented on our documents saying that they were good. Thanks again . . . . Tuia"

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"I find this topic really helpful as well as all the topics under the "Weekend Arrest" topic. This is the sort of basic informatin which needs to be taught in schools. Don't you agree?"
Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Access/Custody/Guardianship
"Well worth reading. I don't think I will have any more kids!! Louise J Auckland March 2007"
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"I liked the coverage and all the related documentation through the links. I liked being up to draw up my own simple Agreement. I wonder if you could put some real life case on Netlaw. It may be really interesting. Jenny M. May 2007"
"Dear Clients,

On most of our Family Law topics we have direct links to the latest Family Court cases on the topic. These were finally loaded in the first week of June 2007 . . . . . Netlaw"

Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Access/Custody/Guardianship
"I was roughly treated at a Police interview. One cop did hit me. It was not that hard but he banged me on the top of the head and yelled that he wanted the truth. It does happen . . not as bad as you see on TV but it does happen. Kevin - North Shore"
Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Access/Custody/Guardianship
"I did my own documents and got before a Judge and got my own order for protection. I reckon I did it faster then my lawyer last time I need such an order two years ago.
Thank you . . . . Sandie (not my real name)"

"Don't forget, you can do it yourself but if you are ona benefit your lawyer gets paid by legal aid. Annie Y - Auckland"
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