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CIR question approved by the Clerk

CIR question approved by the Clerk
The Kiwi Party
Press Release
17 December, 2009

Kiwi Party leader, Larry Baldock, welcomed the announcement today that the latest Citizens Initiated Referendum (CIR) petition has been officially approved by the Clerk of the House of Representatives - “Should Parliament be required to pass legislation that implements the majority result of a citizens initiated referendum where that result supports a law change?”

Thirteen submissions had been received on an originally proposed question, “should citizens initiated referenda seeking to repeal or amend a law be binding?” In addition the Clerk of the House of Representatives received advice from the Legislative Advisory Committee. After meeting together and exchanging several emails and letters the final wording was agreed on.

"While the question does not contain the original word that would make CIRs binding, I believe the ultimate effect will be the same. I am very pleased that the object of the Question is Parliament and not the Government," said Mr Baldock.

"That is because it was Parliament and not the Government that passed the Anti-smacking law, as it was a member’s bill. It was Parliament that ignored the opposition to that Bill and it is now the overwhelming majority of the Members of Parliament that are ignoring the will of the people clearly spoken in the recent referendum, just as they have in other Citizens Initiated Referenda conducted under the CIR Act 1993.

"While we can be justifiably angry that the Prime Minister and his Government are ignoring the referendum, the fault does not rest with him alone. Each and every elected representative has the responsibility to be ‘true’ representatives of those that elected them.

"The question has become longer than I had hoped, but most will understand that any person holding the office of Clerk of the House from now on, will be very concerned that when a petition has been successful in achieving a referendum, there can be many scurrilous and unfounded attacks upon the question by its opponents.

"I personally believe the Prime Minister, leader of the Opposition and other long serving MPs acted disgracefully when they claimed the former Clerk approved a faulty question.

"I know I have the full support of the leadership of the Kiwi Party to now commence the task of collecting sufficient signatures to force a referendum. I am keen to build a strong coalition of political parties, charities, community organisations, businesses and individuals under the banner of the Campaign4Democracy.

"Prior to launching the Campaign4Democracy, we commissioned a survey to gauge the public’s response to another petition. 15% of those involved indicated they would be prepared to help collect signatures, while 60% said they would be prepared to sign.

"That amounts to a potential 450,000 collectors seeking the signatures of 1.8 million willing citizens. More than enough to achieve the 350,000 we will need to meet the required number to force a referendum.

"And this time it should be held at the General Election in 2011 and therefore not cost the taxpayer any more than the lowest amount to pay for this necessary action to preserve our precious democracy.

"A referendum on this question being held then would give the people a chance to have their say on the lack of true representation by our Parliament, and the worrying increase in the abuse of executive power by the current and recent Prime Ministers and Cabinet."


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