facebook
twitter
search
search

New Zealanders reject spanking ban

Aug. 21, 2009 at 11:02 PM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- New Zealanders voted overwhelmingly in a non-binding referendum against making spanking children illegal.

Turnout was low, the New Zealand Herald reported. Only 54 percent of voters expressed their opinion on the question: "Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offense in New Zealand?"

Almost nine out of 10, 88.1 percent, said it should not be, while 11.9 percent said it should.

Prime Minister John Key, who was on an official visit in Australia, said the Cabinet would discuss the law on Monday and whether it needs to be changed. Under former Prime Minister Helen Clark, the government banned spanking while giving police the discretion to ignore "inconsequential" parental force.

"They don't want good parents to be criminalized for a light smack," Key said of the referendum.

Police have brought only one prosecution under the current law, and it was later dropped for lack of evidence.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Maine man dead after shooting firework off head, police say
Greeks vote overwhelmingly to reject creditors' bailout
Russian resupply spacecraft docks onto ISS to deliver needed provisions
Third disturbance in four days erupts at Arizona prison
Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa targeted heavily in airstrikes