Rodney Hide & Heather Roy
Saturday 2 February 2008
Crime & Justice
ACT New Zealand Leader Rodney Hide and Deputy Leader Heather Roy have taken out a half page advertisement in tomorrow's 'Sunday Star Times', urging New Zealanders to sign a petition calling for a Citizen's Initiated referendum on the anti-smacking law passed by both National and Labour last year.
"We believe that New Zealanders should have their say on this controversial law, not just politicians," Mr Hide and Mrs Roy said.
"A Citizen's Initiated Referendum will enable New Zealanders to tell politicians what they think. The organisers of the petition have done a great job getting signatures, and people are keen to sign - 280,000 signatures have been collected so far, but the organisers need 300,000 by the end of February to ensure a referendum.
"That's why we have pitched in; it's vital that New Zealanders get to have a say. ACT was the only Party that voted against the anti-smacking law - which equates good parents who smack their children with child abusers and criminalises them.
"That's wrong; ACT believes that parents should be able to choose the best method of raising their children and teaching them right from wrong.
"National and Labour passed the anti-smacking Bill against the wishes of 80 percent of New Zealanders. We believe it should be up to New Zealanders to choose whether they want to make smacking a criminal offence. It's time they had a say.
"We urge New Zealanders to sign the petition, which calls for a referendum on this law. Copy the petition and get your friends and colleagues to sign it too - that way we can ensure that the voices of the people of New Zealand can be heard," Mr Hide and Mrs Roy said.