Police has published its sixth review of activity following enactment of the Crimes (Substituted s59) Amendment Act 2007.
This review covers the period 24th June 2009 to 22 December 2009.
367 child assault events attended by police during this period were considered for the 6th review. 11 of these events involved 'smacking' and 39 involved 'minor acts of physical discipline'. (see note 2 below)
Of the 11 'smacking' events, one resulted in prosecution, eight resulted in a warning and two resulted in no further action being taken. Of the 39 'minor acts of physical discipline' events, one resulted in prosecution, 37 resulted in warnings and one resulted in no further action being taken.
The "smacking" event prosecution involved a charge of Assault Child (Manually) and was resolved by way of Diversion.
There have now been two prosecutions for a "smacking" event since enactment of the Amendment in June 2007.
In December 2009 the Prime Minister invited Police to continue reporting on the impact of the Amendment for a further three years following the review into policies and procedures used by the New Zealand Police and Child, Youth and Family.
"The findings of this review are consistent with our previous monitoring" says Deputy Commissioner (Operations) Rob Pope.
"It shows Police continue to apply their discretion in these cases"
"There have been just two prosecutions for smacking events since the Amendment was enacted in June 2007. This suggests the practice guidelines on this matter issued by the Commissioner continue to work well"
Media contact: Grant Ogilvie, Police National Headquarters: 04 474 9476
(1) Further details of the 6th review can be found on the NZ Police website:
(2) The number of child assault events identified in each review period does not reflect the total number of child assault events attended by police during this time. The events are those most likely to identify incidents which might involve 'smacking', as 'smacking' in itself is not an offence.
Nine different offence codes were examined to identify such incidents.
The rationale used to allocate each event to a category of 'smacking', 'minor act of physical discipline', 'other child assault' involved consideration of the:
• Actual physical action used in the child assault; and
• The context and the surrounding circumstances, as outlined in the practice guidelines (Commissioners Circular).
(3) Following the December 2009 review Police agreed to continue monitoring the impact of the Amendment on a six monthly basis until June 2012. Further details of the review can be found at:
(4) The practice guide (Commissioner's Circular) released in June 2007 can be found on the police website: