Saturday, February 02, 2008

ACT Pushes Anti-Smacking Referendum

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.


Thursday, January 31, 2008

Print it, sign it, send it.

One month to go

93% of the signatures required already collected

Only 20,000 to go

It's that close!

Please help us 'cross the line' in style!

The organisers of the two petitions demanding a Referendum on both the anti-smacking law and the need to target the real causes of child abuse need to deliver 300,000 signatures on BOTH petitions to Parliament by Feb 29 (last day of Feb).

Family First wants to help them achieve that target, and to make this issue not only the political issue of 2007 but also of 2008!

Would you consider :

1. Printing off the petition form containing the 2 petitions

2. Getting as many signatures as you can on both petitions

3. Sending them in to the address at the bottom of the petition form as soon as possible - but at the latest by Feb 22. (Even forms only half filled should still be sent in as soon as)

We believe the politicians need to listen to the voice of the NZ public on this issue.

Families broken up to meet bureaucratic targets

The baby snatchers: Judge orders social workers to hand back newborn child taken from hospital at 4am

A newborn baby was illegally snatched from its mother by social workers in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Officials claimed the 18-year-old mother was unfit to care for the child because of mental health problems.

But hours later a High Court judge ordered the infant to be returned immediately, saying the social workers had acted beyond their powers.

Mr Justice Munby told the officials that they "should have known better".

The troubling case follows complaints from parents that social workers have taken their children for adoption without good reason, and suggestions that families are being broken up to meet bureaucratic targets.

Last night campaigners welcomed the ruling and praised the mother's lawyers for their prompt action to reunite the baby with its mother.

The child, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was born healthy at 2am yesterday.

Later Ian Wise, appearing for the mother, referred to as "G", told the High Court in London that the child was taken from her at about 4am without her consent.

The child was removed after staff at the hospital were shown a "birth plan" prepared by local authority social services.

The plan said the mother, who had a troubled childhood and suffers from mental health problems, was to be separated from the child, and no contact allowed without supervision by social workers...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Child Abuse is not funny

Letter sent to the Editor of the Press, 30 Jan 08

Dear Sir,

What a disgusting, misleading cartoon was published in the editorial on Tuesday, the 29th of January.
I was appalled that Mike Moreu could so terribly misrepresent the truth and that it could be accepted. Phrases like:

"Abuse has it's use" and, "Dad beat me but my shrink says I'm okay," not only distort what Family First stands for, but make fun of child abuse.
To put Bob Mc Croskrie in the same box as child abusers is ridiculous. He was the one who came up with a five-point action plan to get rid of child abuse.
Why is it that the minority's view on this issue should get published, but the majority's view is left out?
New Zealand: Toleration and Freedom of Speech. Why are we only hearing the minority?
Come on! Let's stand up for what we really believe.

Yours Sincerely, Lydia


Absolutely spot on.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Please vote in this poll

TV3 has a poll on the following question:

Should there be a referendum on the anti-smacking bill?

For the sake of democracy, please take 30 seconds to have your say in this poll.

Dad charged with assault for flicking son's ear

We said it would happen.  John Key, now is the time for a statement on the referendum.

from 29/01/2008 11:20:02

A Christchurch father has been charged with assault after admitting he flicked his son's ear for misbehaving.

Local musician Jimmy Mason says he flicked the three-year-old to reprimand him for riding his bike dangerously near a busy one-way road on the Bridge of Remembrance, in the central city.

Inspector Garry Knowles says after investigating the case, police have decided to charge the man with two counts of assault on a child. He will appear in court on February 12.

Mr Knowles believes the charges would have been laid even if last year's repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act, known as the anti-smacking law, had not gone through.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Here is the latest count on the petition calling for a referendum on the anti smacking law

signature counter
only 23000 away from target!!
This count does not include the signatures collected over the past weekend.
just click it, print it, sign it, send it !!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Smacking Law Referendum Likely

David Farrar at Kiwiblog reports...

The SST reports that it looks likely that opponents of the anti-smacking law will gain the 300,000 signatures they need to trigger a Citizens Initiated Referendum.

They have to do it by 1 March 2008. Now just because on paper they have over 10% of the eligible voters, doesn't mean they automatically succeed. A proportion of the signatures are always found to be invalid.

The Government will have a dilemma over the timing of any referendum. The Clerk of the House has two months, or until the end of April to determine the the petition has enough signatures. Then the Government sets a date within 12 months.

Now the most logical thing to do is include it with the general election, which will be only six months off.  But Labour may not want people voting on the anti-smacking law at the same time as they vote for a party. So they may try to hold the referendum earlier.

But this will cost significantly more money to have it as a separate election.  So Labour would be accused of wasting taxpayer money for its own electoral purposes.  The ballpark estimate is this increases the cost from around $1.5 million to $10 million.  Will the Govt has a convincing reasons for spending an extra $8.5 million rather than just have the referendum with the election?