Many Kiwi parents smack their children - study

  • 06/07/2017
Smacking kids is still common in NZ
Smacking kids is still common in NZ (Getty)

Smacking is still commonly used by New Zealand parents to discipline their children, according to a new report.

In part four of the University of Auckland's study, Growing Up in New Zealand, only two-thirds of mothers reported they never use physical punishment.

One in 10 parents reported they use smacking to discipline their children; one-third of parents use a form of physical punishment and one in 12 mothers reported frequently "exploding with anger" at their children.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has called for another referendum on smacking, and has promised to repeal the so called "anti-smacking law". 

In 2009, 87 percent of Kiwis voted "no" to the referendum question: "Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?" But the Government ignored the referendum result and amendments that were made to the law in 2007 remained in place.  

Prime Minister Bill English doesn't think another referendum would be a good idea.

"We've got a pretty focused programme on reducing child violence and family violence, and I don't think a referendum that might lead to allowing more smacking is the answer to too much violence."

"It's helped massively to change the idea that actually parents and other adults responsible for children are legally entitled to use physical punishment on their kids. That sometimes led to quite serious assaults," says former Green MP Sue Bradford, who put forward the anti-smacking law.