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Maori MP's must demand Referendum this Election


22 August 08

Maori MP's must demand Referendum this Election

Family Party leader Richard Lewis says in light of the successful petition that achieved 300,000 signatures, the Maori Party should change its position on the smacking issue and support his call for the Referendum to take place at the coming Election.

“Issues impacting on parents and children are of particular importance to Maori and this issue is central to the role and responsibility of parents in raising our children to fit and function well in society. Government’s part is in supporting parents in that role. But unfortunately, all of the Maori Party MP’s brought into the flawed idea that a responsible smack is abuse. Now they have an opportunity to review that position and take proper leadership on the issue,” says Mr Lewis.

He says the Maori Party should mount pressure on the Prime Minister to hold the Referendum at the coming Election so all Maori can have their say.

“Interestingly, in collecting signatures towards the petition, many of our strongest supporters were Maori - dads and mums who understand the difference between a responsible smack and abuse. The Maori Party stood up for their own right to participate in our political system. Now its time for them to ensure others are afforded the same,” he added.

Richard Lewis is standing in the Manukau Electorate and is of Ngati Awa and Ngati Kahungunu decent.


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