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Family Party pounds the pavement in Mangere

5 Jan 08

Family Party pounds the pavement in Mangere

The Family Party has hit the ground running in 2008, spending the first Saturday visiting Mangere households to talk about the pending election.

Richard Lewis says the party has received consistent feedback on the ground from locals who are disillusioned with Labour and want change.

"We're aware of serious concerns within the electorate over Labour's poor performance and particularly, its lack of genuine representation. The reality is that Mangere is characterised by high levels of deprivation, crime, youth gangs and poverty. These things reflect directly on Labour's failure to deliver anything positive in the electorate over nearly a decade of representation," says Mr Lewis.

He says another major concern coming out of the electorate is the anti-smacking law, which was opposed by many locals but forced through by Labour.

"One of the major concerns being raised, particularly from Pacific families, is genuine fear and uncertainty amongst parents who have used traditional methods of corrective discipline such as smacking. Based on what I've seen, these are decent, law-abiding parents who know the difference between a smack and abuse. Nevertheless, there is a sense of disempowerment because parents fear being criminalised if they hold on to their traditional values and methods of discipline. So it's not surprising that the vast majority of parents we have visited have signed the anti-smacking petition that we're advocating," he added.

The Family Party supports the anti-smacking petition put forward by Sheryl Savill and is actively collecting signatures to initiate a referendum on the issue.

"The anti-smacking issue is one of a number of issues that reflect Labour's significant shift away from New Zealand's traditional values base. The Family Party aims to restore traditional family values in parliament and give power back to parents, which is something I believe Mangere and the wider South Auckland community are looking for. Certainly, based on our feedback to date we're on the right track," he added.

Having completed its registration with the Electoral Commission just before Christmas, The Family Party is mounting an intensive campaign in Mangere to wrestle the seat off Labour and believes its pro-family, traditional values message will strike a chord with the local electorate and voters nationwide.


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