Here is a little update on New Zealand’s anti-smacking law. Although it has been illegal since June 2007 to smack a child for the purpose of correction, a new poll shows that people are smacking their kids anyway and three out of four want the law changed.

The poll, commissioned by Family First lobby group, surveyed 1000 people.

It found:

* Extensive support for a law change across all demographics, or four out of five people.

* Three out of four said the law was not at all likely to help reduce the rate of child abuse

* Only one third of respondents actually understood the law correctly

* Forty-five percent of mums of under 12s have smacked illegally in past 12 months

* One quarter of mothers were more likely to vote for political party that commits to changing law

A referendum last year showed only 21 per cent of those voting positively supported the law as it stood, but the government would rather let the police interpret it liberally than change the law.

Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet