Story: Human rights

Amending the Crimes Act, 2007

Amending the Crimes Act, 2007

Members of Parliament, including Green MP Sue Bradford (fourth from right), display a banner in support of Bradford's bill to remove the statutory defence allowing parents to use 'reasonable force' to discipline their children. The private member's bill, passed in 2007, amended section 59 of the Crimes Act. The change was highly controversial. Some saw it as extending the rights of the child to protect them from assault, while others viewed it as state interference in the rights of the parent and dubbed it the 'anti-smacking' bill. The bill was passed by 113 votes to seven, but the new law remained subject to considerable public opposition.

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How to cite this page:

Paul Rishworth, 'Human rights - Human rights: the background', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 May 2022)

Story by Paul Rishworth, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 28 Jun 2016