The Paua Palace

My royal blog, life, opinions and me, it’s all about ME.. Right?

did our Anti spanking law help this child?

Posted by pauaprincess on July 29, 2007

niaglassie 3 year old Nia Glassie lays in an induced coma at Auckland’s Starship Children’s Hospital with a prognosis of permanent brain damage.  She is suffering severe abdominal, burn and brain injuries as a result of 3 weeks of abuse at the hands of caregivers, including her mother’s boyfriend and his father.

According to neighbors, the abuse included; being tied to a clothes line and spun until she flew off, being put in a fireplace, left on the roof of the house, left outside and without clothing in freezing temperatures and as a model for adults to practice wrestling moves upon.

5 people have been charged in the week since her mother 34 yr old Kuka took her daughter to Rotorua hospital suffering convulsions, saying that the horrific injuries her daughter had sustained were a result of falling off Kuka’s 17 yr old partner Wiremu Curtis’ shoulders.  Her mother has not been charged as she was away from the home working when the abuse allegedly took place.

So here is our first horrific child abuse case, a mere two months after Anti Smacking Legislation was passed in NZ. 

Did the legislation protect this child? The answer has to be a resounding NO and here is why.

  • The animals who tortured this child, didn’t for a moment think about the consequences of their actions.
  • While it’s true they have been charged and will most likely be convicted, being as none of them were her parents, they would have been charged and convicted regardless.
  • Nothing in NZ’s pre existing law regarding assault would have prevented these offenders being charged, they did not have a statutory defense of reasonable force for purpose of correction.  Nothing about the torture inflicted upon this child was in any way, shape or form able to be deemed “reasonable”.

A point to ponder with regard to anti smacking legislation courtesy of Dr Robert E Lazulere:

One year after Sweden’s smacking ban, 3% of their parents admitted beating up their child – 2 to 5 times higher than the overly high American rate. Physical child abuse increased almost 6-fold during the next 15 years, according to Swedish criminal records. Criminal assaults by minors against minors increased over 6-fold during that same time period. The ability of parents to enforce appropriate discipline continued to erode until only 31% of 10- to 12-year-olds thought that parents had the right to use grounding in 2000. All these statistics come from Swedish anti-smacking authors.

Nobody has asked Sue Bradford to comment and she isn’t speaking up either.  I’m not surprised.  This case shows us that our anti smacking legislation is worthless with regards to protecting children.  It’s already failed to protect Nia, in fact the existing Crimes Act itself, failed to protect Nia.

People who use spanking/smacking as a tool of correction are not the same people who abuse, maim and kill children.  Smacking and beating are not the same thing and never have been.  Any judge/jury could previously discern what constituted reasonable force without the repeal of section 59.

Legislation does not protect us or our children, it can’t. 

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11 Responses to “did our Anti spanking law help this child?”

  1. lauren said

    From the editor, completely racist comment deleted, there is nothing wrong with Maori or Pacific Island people. The issue at hand is child abusers, one does not equal the other.

  2. panoramia said

    There’s nothing wrong with any people(s) as people (it boils down to the isolated actions of individuals, or small groups thereof).

    But perhaps the “racist comment” might be better understood in the context of NZ’s official statistics: out of a total population in New Zealand, what percentage of such cases are attributable to Maoris/Polynesians cf all other ‘peoples’?

    In “the issue at hand”, namely Child Abusers, the Maori is undeniably over represented (even more so when allowing for proportions of population).

    As stated, “one does not equal the other”; but from the figures, one might be used to predict the likelihood of the other—?

    While we’re treading this thin ice, are all Islamic peoples bloodthirsty terrorists, really? (I say not …)

  3. Oh no trust me, even in the context of statistics taking into account the disproportionate number of children killed at the hands of maori and pacific island parents, that was a racist comment. More along the lines of all persons of those particular ethnicities should be eliminated.

  4. panoramia said

    In a different (but related) thread thoughts were passed along the lines of Dover Samuels, & “the Maori taking responsibility for own actions”. It appeared that (previously) colonisation was used as an excuse, to divert blame.
    I intend to write a brief (moi? brief?) entry on that topic.
    But I see no harm in speaking from the heart and believe absolutely in Free Speech—the unhindered exchange of ideas is the only desirable battleground.
    Censorship of any kind is still censorship; ideas repressed according to the whims of fashion (any takers?).

  5. Race is a contentious topic as is censorship. I have no issues with on target discussion and this is the only comment (apart from spam) that I have ever edited out. If the author had brought up something that related to the topic with regard to disproportionate representation or even commented that according to the stats this was a Maori issue etc, I would have left it. However this was merely that all Maori and Pacific Island people should be eliminated, no more and no less. Quite apart from the fact that Pacific Islanders are more or less equally represented with Kiwi’s of european ancestry in child abuse stats, I subscribe to the belief that with freedom comes responsibility.

  6. panoramia said

    For myself I hold no truck with race as an issue; it’s a non starter. (Likewise creed, the only grief I have with religious belief of any kind is when it is pushed.)
    Race is simply a convenient label — but people aren’t their race, they are individuals. The comment you edited was obviously too offensive — but at the risk of being misunderstood (happens quite often) I might have left it in, myself, by way of illustration and to provoke a discussion.

  7. panoramia said

    Ye gods, I’m coming across as a pompous prat! Sorry!

    I’m against the innocent suffering, dammit; but things don’t just change, we have to change them. WE have to, our leaders won’t …

  8. barbara davies said

    what on earth is happening back home i cant believe these animals are doing these horrific things back there why are the elders of their ewi not doing any thing to stop this from happening i thought being a whanau was every thing back home it makes me sad and sick in side to hear that this kind of abuse is going on can nothing be done

  9. Emma Clarke said

    Actually I think banning smacking is extremely useful in that it helps those working with children and families by giving clear cut guidelines as to what is considered an acceptable level of punishment and what isn’t. Also, why should it be ok to smack a child when an adult has the right not to be hit? Where are the child’s rights? Finally, there are plenty of other effective non violent methods of punishment such as time out and the naughty step, so why teach a child that it’s ok to hit someone you love?

  10. PauaPrincess said

    The question was did our anti smacking law help this child, not should smacking children be legal. The fact is the repeal of section 59 has not prevented a single instance of child abuse and that is what it was intended to do.

    The rights of children are an altogether different subject. Children have the right to be fed, clothed and sheltered. These are the same basic human rights we all have. With the “rights” extended to adults come responsibility. Where are the “responsibilities” of children spelled out? Oh that’s right, parents are responsible for children.

    Our society has grown more violent in just the last 10 years, the rise in violence directly correlates to the diminishing role of parenthood. The answer is not to legislate, the answer is to make it economically possible for one parent to be a stay at home parent, to be able to carry out their parental responsibilities actively.

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