One one side are Barnardos, Plunket, Save the Children, Unicef, and Womens' Refuge.
On the other side are Family First, the Sensible Sentencing Trust, and a whole pile of Christian lobby groups you've probably never heard of. These guys are angry that the law's been changed, because to beat a child is their God-given right. If we look at their website it's immediate what their arguments are. They even have a series of helpful, not-at-all-emotive* posters about various incidents that prove the law's an ass. Here are the main points:
- Some parents have been inconvenienced by the new law. CYFS and police have investigated a number of situations where an allegation has been made that a parent has been violent against a child. This is clearly an outrage. How dare they investigate these minor incidents. Shouldn't they be off doing something useful, like investigating bad parents? You, know, like responding immediately when someone complains about child abuse. Oh wait, hang on...
- In more than one instance a member of the public witnessed an "assault" and called the police. The police investigated but took no action. But this shows the law is an ass. In future the police must never respond to a complaint by a member of the public that a child has been assaulted. You're on your own, kids.
- Meanwhile, children continue to be killed, and it is all Sue Bradford's fault. We all remember when she said "This law will end child abuse", don't we? What do you mean, she never said that?
- Finally, we all know white people don't hurt their kids**.
If the loving chastisement visited upon the children of devoted Christians is as weak as their various justifications for repealing the current law, we probably have little to worry about.*I'm being sarcastic.
** Okay, I invented that. But I wonder if that is the message these predominantly-white lobby groups are actually trying to spread: that child abuse is somehow a Maori or Polynesian problem, and that good white Christian folk just don't do that kind of thing.