Bradford and Kiro disagree on smacking
Green MP Sue Bradford and Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro are in sharp disagreement over Bradfords bill which aims to remove reasonable force as a defence for child discipline from the Crimes Act. Such is the disagreement that Kiro refuses to comment on it and Bradford refuses to clarify her position.
It revolves around the term "violence".
Both consider physical discipline and child abuse as domestic violence. Both want to get rid of child abuse, but both do not consider physical discipline as abuse. Bradford differs in that she considers some forms of physical discipline should not be a criminal offence. Kiro certainly considers all physical discipline is abusive and often points to the Domestic Violence Act 1995.
Violence means "physical abuse" in the Domestic Violence Act, and that can be seen to refer to domestic physical discipline of children. The problem for Kiro is that the intention of Parliament when the Domestic Violence Act was passed in 1995 was that the term "violence" did not extend to light physical discipline. The Office of the Childrens Commissioner tried- and failed - to amend the Act so that physical discipline could legally be described as violence to set the Office up for a bill to repeal Section 59 of the Crimes Act.
Case law has subsequently backed up Parliaments intent. If Section 59 goes, all physical discipline will be classed as violence, ie: physical abuse as it will alter the intent of parliament with regards to the Domestic Violence Act.
This is currently creating difficulties for Bradford as she doesn't think all physical discipline is abuse.
Currently, as all physical discipline is not legally abuse, it therefore cannot legally be classed as violence. Consequently, when Kiro says she wants to get rid of violence, she conflates that term with physical abuse, but fails to say why she refuses to define what she means by violence.
When I rang Kiro to discuss this with her she rudely stated she wasn't going to comment, and hung up in my ear.