15 MAY 2007
Pro-family Groups Seek Public Support for Referendum on Smacking Bill
Family First NZ and For the Sake of Our Children Trust are publishing full page advertisements in the four major daily newspapers tomorrow in an attempt to get the extra 120,000 signatures necessary to force a Referendum on the issues of child abuse and parental correction.
"The message we are getting from the public is that the anti-smacking bill, and all its amendments, is still going to result in good parents being treated as law breakers," says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. "The bill is misguided, confusing, and runs counter to scientific evidence and international experience."
"NZ'ers are frustrated and annoyed that politicians are wasting valuable time criminalising good parents for correcting their children, while at the same time refusing to deal with the far greater issues affecting the safety of our children such as gang violence, drug and alcohol abuse, increasing levels of violence in schools, and family breakdown," says Mr McCoskrie.
The organisers of the Referendum already have 180,000 signatures in only 3 months, and have another 9 months to get the remaining 120,000 signatures required.
Mr McCoskrie says it is ironic that a petition for more daylight saving gained 42,000 signatures and the government almost tripped over itself in its rush to extend daylight saving. Yet here is a petition signed by more than four times that amount of people, and the politicians have suddenly gone deaf.
"The politicians are relying on the apathy of NZ'ers to make this issue go away by the time of the next election. But NZ'ers are sick of 'feel good' policies and reviews which achieve nothing. This Referendum will mean that all politicians will be held accountable by the voters at the next General election, and will place the issues of family breakdown, family violence and child abuse right at the centre of the election agenda."
The advertisement can be viewed at: http://www.familyfirst.org.nz/files/Parents%20Don%27t%20Accept%20Bill%20Herald.pdf