SPANKING - Questions and answers about disciplinary violence
While Oceania may seem like paradise to tourists, it hardly seems that way to its children. Corporal punishment is practiced by families everywhere and banned nowhere.
In Vanuatu, but in the other nations as well, "traditional societal attitudes continue to encourage the use of such punishment within the family, in schools, care and juvenile justice systems and generally in society."
On the Fiji islands, "corporal punishment had always been a common practice in schools."
In New Caledonia, the traditional instrument for hitting children is a dried stingray's tail.
In Australia, corporal punishment is authorized in the home, at schools, and in institutions. There have been some efforts to ban it (five over ten years), but for the time being, the best hope seems to be for banning implements such as canes, belts, or other objects, with bare-hands punishment still allowed.
In New Zealand, parents can resort to "reasonable force." The Labour government in 1990 tried to make corporal punishment illegal. But they failed, and the current government has yet to reach a consensus. They have settled for establishing "Smack Free Week." In December 1999, the Children's Commissioner called for a total ban on corporal punishment in the home as well as in school. The Christian party saw this as an attack on discipline. But adults aged 18-30 are becoming receptive to the idea.