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Saturday, August 22

Massive NO to Anti-Smacking Law Politicians Must Listen

Family First NZ is welcoming the result of the anti-smacking Referendum and says that it is now time for the politicians to respect the people they represent and amend the anti-smacking law.

“87.6% of voters have called for a law change by voting NO in the referendum. The National government should move immediately to amend the law,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“John Key cannot ignore this result. To put 87.6% in perspective, at the general election last year 45% voted for National, 34% voted for Labour and 6.7% voted for the Greens. 87.6% is more than these three combined.”

“The attempt by politicians to dismiss the Referendum as ‘ambiguous’ and irrelevant has also been rebuked by the voters. A 54% response rate in the Referendum is still significant especially when compared to just 47% voting in the recent Mt Albert by-election, an average of just over 40% voting in the recent local body elections for their mayors and city councils, and a 55% response rate which changed our whole voting system to MMP.”

“The attack on the referendum seems to have rarked up voters because they feel like it was more of the previous ‘we the politicians know better than you and we’re not listening’ attitude. NZ’ers hoped that we had moved on from that approach.”

Family First is calling on the government to immediately amend the anti-smacking law under urgency so that good parents are not treated as breaking the law for light smacking, and then to establish a Royal Commission of Enquiry into Child Abuse which will identify and target the real causes.

“The 87.6% who voted NO are not people who are demanding the right to ‘assault’ and ‘beat’ children. They are simply kiwis who want to tackle the tougher issues of family breakdown, drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, violence in our media, poverty and stress, and weak family ties.”

“The anti-smacking bill has been a spectacular failure because it has failed to identify and target the real issues and has had no effect on our child abuse rates. It was simply about a political agenda rather than practical solutions,” says Mr McCoskrie.

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