Well-known television host, author and clinical psychologist Nigel Latta, who openly voted against the law in a recent referendum on smacking, will help review policies around the issue.
The law as it stands bans smacking for the purposes of correction but the police have the discretion not to prosecute for inconsequential smacks.
In a referendum last month , 87% of those who voted said no to the question: "Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?"
Prime Minister John Key on Monday released the Terms of Reference for a review of policies and procedures used by Child, Youth and Family and the police when investigating smacking.
Latta, Social Development Ministry chief executive Peter Hughes and Police Commissioner Howard Broad will conduct the review.
The review will look at procedures, including the referral process and identify any changes that are necessary or desirable.
It will also "consider any other matters which, in the reviewers' opinion, will assist in ensuring that parents are treated as parliament intended".
Key says he phoned Latta and asked him to take part in the review.
His "direct and honest approach" is well-known and he will be a "clear advocate for parents", Key says.
The inclusion of Latta on the review team shows the government is "not there to sweep the issue under the carpet", Key says.
In such a "polarising debate" as the smacking one it is "almost impossible to get someone neutral", he says.
Key has repeated his belief that the law is working as intended and says the review is to assure parents the government will monitor its implementation.
Latta hosts the TV ONE programme The Politically Incorrect Parenting Show.
"I have agreed to participate in this review on the basis that it was understood that my role was independent and that I was able to speak freely about both the process of the review, and my opinions regarding its findings," Latta says.
He says he did not agree with the original law change and also voted "no" in the referendum.
"I do not believe that a parent smacking their child, in the 'common sense' understanding of what that means, should be subject to criminal prosecution or investigation."
He says he sees his role to look at the evidence and to ensure that the law does not result in good parents either being criminalised, or being needlessly subjected to investigations that are intrusive and/or traumatic.
The review team will report back by December 1.
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