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Time to overhaul the CIR Act

Time to overhaul the CIR Act says Kiwi Party Leader. The Kiwi Party
Press Release
April 29, 2008
Embargoed till 3pm

"It is no wonder that only 3 out of 42 official attempts to call for a Referendum over the last 15 years have succeeded," said Mr Baldock.

Kiwi Party Leader and CIR petition organiser Larry Baldock announced today that the Petition to force a referendum on the question, “should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?” had not been certified by the Government’s statistician as having sufficient signatures.

“We were always concerned about the hurdles to be crossed in the audit process, said Mr Baldock, and for that reason we continued collecting signatures after we handed in the 324,511 signatures on Feb 29th.

What has taken us by surprise is the bizarre formula used by the Government’s Statistician to evaluate the results of the sample taken by the clerk’s office.

The Government’s Statistician asked for a sample size of 1/11th to be carefully checked. That turned out to be 29,501 signatures out of the total count of 324,511. Of those signatures the Electoral Enrolment Centre ascertained that 25,754 where valid.

Accordingly, assuming that the sample was representative of the whole, the number of valid signatures should have been; 25,754 x 11 which equals 283,294. The number required is 285,027 so this indicates a shortfall of just 1,733 signatures!

However the Government’s Statistician has said that his best estimate is just 267,000 or a shortfall of 18,027; 16,294 greater than the 1/11th sample would indicate.
I think the 283,294 people who, based on the sample, validly signed the petition, deserve an explanation from the Government’s Statistician of that discrepancy. Why has he decided that the signatures of 16,294 people who are validly enrolled on the electoral roll are to be set aside?

It seems to me to be similar to the IRD"s recent $600million error which goes to prove that government departments can make mistakes!

I think we should call for an independent review by the Auditor General. How else can those 283,294 be assured that their signatures have been taken into account?

The Kiwi Party is making the review of the CIR Act 1993 an important priority to give New Zealanders a better chance of having their voices heard through the referenda process.

We have already collected an additional 20,000 signatures, but we now feel we need to collect at least another 20,000 before we resubmit the petition within the two months allocated under the Act," said Mr Baldock.

ENDS

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