NewstalkZB picks up the story, picking up on comments from Sue Bradford, the Green MP who introduced the Anti-Smacking bill. "The opponents of the "anti-smacking" law are being told to move on, as their petition calling for the repeal of the legislation change does not have enough valid signatures to force a referendum."
Stuff.co.nz presents a confused story, claiming that the petition organisers have been dealt a "major blow".
David Farrar at Kiwiblog tells it like it is.
"They needed 285,027 signatures valid signatures. They got 324,216 but a sample found around 11% were not able to be found on the electoral roll plus 1% illegible and 0.5% duplicates. This is about normal off mory.Meanwhile, Bob McCoskrie doesn't have any time for the media hype, and gets to the main point, which is:
So their valid signatures were calculated as 269,500 so they need 16,000 more valid signatures which is probably 20,000 more total signatures to be safe.
I suspect the Government is nervous about having every voter reminded of the law they are primarily identified with, at the very point at which they are voting."
"the success of the petition demanding a public referendum on the highly unpopular and extremist anti-smacking law shows that politicians should respond now, not after the election, to the wishes of NZ parents."
The Clerk of the House has disqualified 16,294 signatures - this comes as no surprise, despite the wild exaggerations from the mainstream media. In fact, this is a relatively low number of signatures to be crossed out, as we see in an excerpt from this article (23 Feb 08) from the Section 59 blog:
"In the last petition demanding a referendum (Norm Wither's 1999 law and order referendum), almost 60,000 signatures were disallowed by the Clerks who check the validity of the signatures."
"We have already collected an additional 20,000 signatures" says Larry Baldock in his Press Release, 29 April 2008, “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."
Click here to download the petition form. If you haven't already, sign it, get your friends and family to sign it, and then send it to the address on the bottom of the form.