Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Planning underway for postal referendum

Planning underway for postal referendum

Justice Minister Annette King has confirmed that planning has begun to hold a postal referendum related to Section 59 of the Crimes Amendment Act.

The office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives confirmed today that a petition on the question --- "Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?" --- had been signed by sufficient registered electors to proceed to a referendum.

Ms King says that the decision on numbers had certainly "not been unexpected, and the electoral system has been gearing up to handle this. The advice to me has been that it should be a postal referendum, and my latest advice is that it will take until about mid next year to organise such a referendum properly. I will be taking a paper to Cabinet for a decision soon now that it has been confirmed that the petition has been successful in attracting enough signatures."

Ms King said she was, of course, aware that the National Party supports holding a referendum simultaneously with the general election.

"No one should be surprised by National's double position --- it voted, with Labour, in support of the so-called anti-smacking amendment, but it wants a referendum on it as well. The last thing National wants is voter clarity.

"A poll this week showed that most voters, including many National voters, do not believe National can be trusted heading into the election. The more New Zealanders are confused, the better it will be for National. As far as National is concerned, confusion is good."

Ms King says the Chief Electoral Officer had provided very clear advice to her recommending a postal ballot be held.

"The referenda held at the same time as the 1999 General Election caused confusion, congestion in polling places, and significantly delayed the preliminary results, and the Chief Electoral Officer has advised me the same problems would occur this year if the referendum was held at the same time as the General Election," she said.

"The Justice and Electoral Select Committee Report into the 1999 General Election also recommended that serious consideration be given to holding stand alone referenda by postal vote, instead of holding referenda at general elections. In addition, the Referenda (Postal Voting) Act was passed to provide a simple and cost-effective means of conducting referenda. The National Party also voted for this, but it seems they have forgotten they did so.

"None of this matters to National. It is more than happy to use children as

pawns in its political game. The less attention there is on National's

policies, record and trustworthiness, the better as far as John Key is

concerned."

Attached:

  • Briefing note to the Minister dated 17 March 2008.

  • ENDS

    © Scoop Media

     
     
     
     
     
    Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

    Not Easy: Gordon Campbell On The Greens’ Ongoing Problems

    Hard to treat the Greens’ belated decision to stand a candidate in Ohariu as being anything other than a desperation move, by a party whose own leadership is evidently concerned about its chances of survival...

    A few months ago, the Greens felt able to forego that role in Ohariu in order to help a beleaguered Labour Party get its candidate Greg O’Connor across the line, and knock Peter Dunne out of the parliamentary frame. More>>

     

    Closing The Gap: Ardern Rules Out Income Tax Rise

    After earlier commitments by Jacinda Ardern to do something about inequality and poverty, this new position on income tax seems an about face. To do something significant about inequality requires increases in income for those at the bottom and decreases for those at the top... More>>

    ALSO:

    Gordon Campbell: On DHB Deficits And Free Trade

    Currently the world is looking on aghast at the Trump administration’s plans to slash Obamacare, mainly in order to finance massive tax changes that will deliver most of their gains to the wealthy. Lives will be lost in the trade-off. Millions of Americans stand to lose access to the healthcare they need... More>>

    Greens' Response: Slum-Like Rentals Exposed In Renting Review

    “...The grim findings of the review are a wakeup call about the true state of rentals in this country. Too many renters are festering in slum-like conditions under the thumb of landlords who have largely unchecked powers and ignore tenants’ complaints when it suits them.” More>>

    ALSO:

    Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

    The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>

    ALSO:

    Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

    One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

    ALSO:

    Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

    Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

    ALSO:

     
     
     
     
     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

    • PARLIAMENT
    • POLITICS
    • REGIONAL
     
     

    Featured InfoPages

    Opening the Election