Graphic sexual content in winning children’s book defended by chief judge

Detailed descriptions of sex acts, coarse language and scenes of drug-taking are at the heart of why a novel was voted the best children’s book of the year, the award’s head judge says.

Ted Dawe’s Into the River won the top honour at the annual New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.

However, its racy content has led one bookstore to refuse to stock it, and award organisers are sending “explicit content” stickers to all booksellers to warn potential buyers.

The book uses expletives including the c-word and depicts drug use and sex scenes, including one where a baby mimics the sounds of intercourse.

The chief judge of the awards, author Bernard Beckett, said Into the River was in the young adult category, for ages 14 to 18, and was aimed at those aged 15 and older.

The content that had offended some needed to be taken in context, he said….

Bob McCoskrie, of lobby group Family First, claimed the author and judges were out to “pollute the moral innocence of kids”.

“I think every New Zealand parent would be saying, ‘What were the judges thinking?’ This is an adult book that even adults would find offensive.”

For full story see:

Otago Daily Times

Graphic content in winning children’s book defended

Gay marriage would see ‘mother’ and father’ disappear – Family First NZ

Terms such as mother, father, husband and wife could disappear from the law if gay marriage is legalised, MPs have been told.

Family First director Bob McCoskrie told the select committee considering Louisa Wall’s gay marriage bill that Spanish law had recently replaced the terms mother and father with Progenitor A and Progenitor B.

“The US State of Washington is to remove the terms husband and wife from divorce courts,” he said.

“In France the words mother and father will be stripped from official documents, McCoskrie tabled 24,000 extra signatures to petition against the bill on top of 48,000 already presented at parliament.

“I see marriage as similar to the Treaty of Waitangi. It is historical. It is the foundation of our culture,” he said.

“It certainly shouldn’t be altered.”

New Zealand Aids Foundation told the committee that countries with less discrimination against gay people have lower rates of HIV.

“The internalisation of homophobia leads to a devaluation of self and a reduction in the ability of gay, lesbian and transgender people to make positive decisions,” said doctor Jason Myers of the Foundation.


Gay marriage would see ‘mother’ and father’ disappear – McCoskrie

APNZ. Buy Simon Collins

Note: Family First New Zealand is a registered charity (Charity No. CC10094)  and was registered with the Charities Commission on 21 March 2007.


Call from registered charity Family First NZ to politicians to change Anti-Smacking Law

Family First NZ, a registered charity with the Charities Commission, has yet again called on politicians “to adopt the ‘Borrows’ amendment which did not ban smacking but which clearly stated what was abusive and what was not.” It has highlighted cases it claims “Reveal CYF Ignoring Intent of Ant-Smacking Law”.

Family First protest

NZPA Images
Reference: 25524
Photograph by Tim Hales


Cases Reveal CYF Ignoring Intent of Ant-Smacking Law

Media Release dated 18 June 2012

Family First NZ has released further cases highlighting how the anti-smacking law is being used to criminalise and persecute good parents.

“These cases add to the extensive list of cases already listed on the website and our documentary “My Mummy’s A Criminal” highlighting five families and the inaccuracies of the Prime Ministerial review led by Psychologist Nigel Latta,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“These latest cases show a disturbing trend. Not only are police resources being wasted on investigating ‘smacking’ allegations, but Child Youth and Family (CYF) are ignoring the intent of the law and are removing children from good homes where the parents may use a smack, are failing to adequately investigate the background of families before uplifting children and traumatising families, and are refusing to place children with extended family who may use a smack even when CYF acknowledge the expertise and safety of the parents. They are also ignoring the fact that in many cases, the police are seeing no reason to prosecute.”

At the time of the law being passed, Prime Minister John Key said “Good parents want to have confidence that they will not be criminalised by this legislation if they give their children a light smack. It sends a strong signal that the level of violence against children in our society is unacceptable, but at the same time gives parents confidence that they will not be criminalised for carrying out their normal parenting duties.”

“The law was always sold to the public by pretending that non-abusive smacking would not result in a visit by the police or a social worker to remove the children. But the cases released today – and previously – show the exact opposite is happening,” says Mr McCoskrie. “Parenting has been put on trial in New Zealand, and they have every right to be concerned about a flawed, confusing, and badly applied law.”

“It is significant that the ‘discretion’ clause only applied to police and not CYF. At least with the police, parents get to have their day in court to defend themselves – even if it means going all the way to the Court of Appeal as one of our cases highlights. But with CYF, they are unaccountable to the families.”

Family First continues to call on politicians to adopt the ‘Borrows’ amendment which did not ban smacking but which clearly stated what was abusive and what was not. This has been successfully used in other jurisdictions such as the UK and Australia.


For case studies see:

Nudists Should Cover up For Sake of Families – says Family First NZ

Family First NZ, a registered charity with the Charities Commission, is calling on the Tauranga District Council to follow the lead of the Kapiti Coast District Council and pass a bylaw outlawing public nudity on the coastline.  It is also calling on the government to amend the Crimes Act and Summary Offences Act so that the precedent to allow public nudity, set in past cases by liberal judges on events such as the ‘Boobs on Bikes’, can be overturned. [Read more...]

Teens Conservative on Sex & Abortion Issues – Poll Results

  • Family First NZ, a registered charity with the Charities Commission headed by Chief Executive Trevor Garrett, has today released the results of a Curia Market Research poll it commissioned into moral issues involving a survey of 600 15-21 year olds nationwide. In its media release, based on an analysis of the poll results, it attacks the views promulgated by three registered charities - Family Planning Association, and the two “gay” lobby groups Rainbow Youth and the NZ Aids Foundation. It also makes another call to the government to effect a law change that gives an unborn child the same human rights as any other human being.

Family First NZ states:



A nationwide poll of 600 young people aged 15-21 poll has found that they hold conservative values on sex issues – which are significantly similar to the views of parents.


When asked “Do you think sex education in schools should teach values, abstinence and consequences such as pregnancy, or just teach safe sex?” only 19% supported just the ‘safe sex’ message currently being taught in schools, with one in three (34%) wanting ‘values, abstinence, and consequences such as pregnancy’ taught instead, and a further 42% asking for a combination of both – especially amongst older teens. The support for just the ‘safe sex’ message dropped even lower for the older teens.

 “This is a direct rebuke from young people to the ‘use a condom’ and ‘everyone’s doing it’ messages being pushed by groups like Family Planning, AIDS Foundation and Rainbow Youth,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

 “Many parents were rightly horrified last year when details of what was being taught in schools under the guise of ‘sex education’ surfaced. Judging by the results of the current approach – which is a good place to start – sex education has been an utter failure. New Zealand has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the OECD, our STD rates are out of control and the number of teenage girls having abortions continues to rise.”

 “For those youth who are sexually active, they are not being told the truth. Groups like the Family Planning Association and the AIDS Foundation are perpetuating the myth that as long as you use a condom, you can pretty well do what you like in terms of promiscuity, experimentation, and fringe behaviours – with little or no information on the physical or emotional ramifications or prevention of disease.”

In one example, a mixed class of boys and girls were asked by the AIDS Foundation if they had masturbated lately and were given condoms and strawberry-flavoured lubricant. They were also given a leaflet featuring graphic pictures, terms including “cock” and “wank”, and advice on the best condoms. Reports last year highlighted that children as young as 12 are being taught about oral sex and told it’s acceptable to play with a girl’s private parts as long as “she’s okay with it”. In other cases, 14-year-old girls are being taught how to put condoms on plastic penises, and one female teacher imitated the noises she made during orgasm to her class of 15-year-olds. One concerned father took his 12-year-old son out of a sex education class at his all-boy school after he came home upset about what had happened during one of the lessons. It included a question-and-answer session that focused on, “I have learned that my girlfriend has a thing called a clitoris. I really want to play with it. Is that okay?” The answer was: “Yes, if you ask her and she’s okay with it.”

 A poll of parents in 2010 found that three out of four parents of young children want the abstinence message taught in sex education – with 69% of kiwis overall supporting the ‘wait’ message. [Read more...]