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Large Stack of Signatures Confirms Referendum

MEDIA RELEASE

23 June 2008

Embargoed until Monday 23 June 12.30pm
(petition to be presented on steps of Parliament at 12.30pm)

Large Stack of Signatures Confirms Referendum at Election

Family First NZ says that the extra ‘stack’ of signatures on the petition opposing the anti-smacking law and being presented at Parliament today confirms that the politicians failed to listen to the voice of the people when passing this unpopular and ineffective law.

“The law would never have passed if the two major political parties had not ‘whipped’ their MP’s to vote for the anti-smacking law, which is highly ironic in itself,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“But the massive response to the petition, combined with recent polls showing 85% support for changing the law, demonstrates just how unpopular the law is. The petition is a simple plea from NZ’ers –don’t criminalise the actions of good parents who are trying to raise law-abiding and productive citizens of the future.”

“When the author of the law change Sue Bradford tells us that the law change was never intended to deal with the epidemic of child abuse and child violence, it is quite obvious that this law change was not about solving a problem – it was about telling parents how to raise their children. And parents who are already doing a great job have responded by saying “we’re doing fine thanks.”

“If the purpose of the law was not to ban smacking, as promised by the Prime Minister before the last election, the law should explicitly state this. It should not be left open to potential persecution of parents through complaints by schools, members of the public and children, and investigations by police and CYFS,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“We are now also seeing clear evidence of good parents being prosecuted in courts for correcting their children in ways that were promised would not be caught under the new law.”

Family First is calling on the politicians to amend the law so that good parents are not criminalised for reasonable and appropriate correction of children.

“There is good reason that only 23 of the almost 200 countries have adopted this law. NZ can lead the world by being the first country to reverse this flawed law before its effects are fully felt by families and the community,”

ENDS

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