Monday, March 26, 2007

Winston Peters warns MPs about consequences of supporting anti-smacking bill

this from
Posted at 8:33am on 26 Mar 2007

The head of the New Zealand First Party is warning two MPs that there will be consequences if they support an anti-smacking bill which would amend section 59 of the Crimes Act.

President Dail Jones says MPs, Doug Woolerton and Brian Donnelly, are acting irresponsibly by voting in support of the bill - disregarding a party remit that says the section 59 defence should stay.

Mr Woolerton says the president should not tell MPs what to do or think in a conscience vote.

But Mr Jones told Morning Report there is a party stance on the issue and MPs could be demoted if they choose to disregard it.

He says list MPs report to the New Zealand First board, which may decide not to reinstate an MP into Parliament if they vote against party policy.

The bill passed a Second Reading in Parliament by 70 votes to 51 on 21 February. Consideration of amendments began on 15 March when one clause was debated for almost two hours by 23 speakers. By the time the House rose for the day, only the name of the bill and its start date had been voted on.

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