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School CP - November 2004

Corpun file 14428

New Zealand Press Association via, 21 November 2004

Call for return of corporal punishment in schools

New Zealand First members want to bring corporal punishment back into schools, but the party is unlikely to adopt it as a policy.

NZ First's conference in Taupo yesterday saw delegates back a call for a return to corporal punishment for "serious and repeated misconduct" in schools.

During the debate on the policy remit, the party's education spokesman Brian Donnelly spoke against the proposal.

The former headmaster said he had taught in schools using the cane and the strap and had learnt better ways of disciplining students.

Those children pin-pointed for caning would most likely be receiving beatings or abuse at home, Mr Donnelly said.

Those speaking in favour said there was a need for more discipline in schools.

Despite Mr Donnelly's argument a majority of delegates approved of a return to corporal punishment on a voice vote.

New Zealand First MPs, like other parties, are not bound by conference policy remits.

All policy suggestions from conference are sent to New Zealand First's policy committee for consideration.

Before the conference, party president Doug Woolerton said the call for a return to corporal punishment was unlikely to become party policy.

"There is no way we are going to go down that road, but it is a fair debate to have even if you get extreme views expressed," Mr Woolerton said.

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