Call for Majority of Parliament To Demand Election Day Referendum

Family First NZ has written to the leaders of National, Act, NZ First, United Future and the two independent MP’s asking that they form a majority and require the anti-smacking Referendum to be held on Election Day.

Under section 22AA (5) of the Citizens Initiated Referenda Act 1993, a Referendum can be scheduled for polling day if the “House of Representatives passes a resolution requiring the indicative referendum to be held on the polling day for the general election.”

“That is an ordinary 50% majority vote,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “We are therefore calling on National, Act, NZ First, United Future and the two independent MP’s to acknowledge the voice of over 350,000 people and require that the Referendum be held at the most obvious and cost-efficient time of the upcoming election.”

“Any party that votes against this proposal should have the $10 million that it will cost to do a postal ballot charged against their election expenses,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“If Sir Robert Muldoon could call a 1984 snap election just four weeks before polling day, and the-then National Government in 1999 take only a week to determine Norm Withers’ petition for a referendum on violent crime would be held on election day, it proves that the Prime Minister’s claim that there is not enough time is a cynical and desparate attempt to sweep the issue under the carpet and undermine democracy.”

If the Prime Minister goes ahead and forces the Governor-General to declare that it be held by postal voting, then the majority of Parliament can still require the voting period to close on the day of the general election – s22AB(6)(b)

“This is second best as it is a completely unnecessary waste of taxpayer money,” says Mr McCoskrie.

View the Act: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0101/latest/DLM318489.html
ENDS

For More Information and Media Interviews, contact Family First:

Bob McCoskrie JP – National Director
Tel. 09 261 2426 | Mob. 027 55 555 42

LETTER

We are writing to the leaders of National, Act, NZ First, United Future and the two independent MP’s asking that you form a majority in the House and require the anti-smacking Referendum to be held on Election Day.

Under section 22AA (5) of the Citizens Initiated Referenda Act 1993, a Referendum can be scheduled for polling day if the “House of Representatives passes a resolution requiring the indicative referendum to be held on the polling day for the general election.”

That is a simple 50% majority vote.

We are asking you and your party to acknowledge the voice of over 350,000 people who have signed the petitions and require that the Referendum be held at the most obvious and cost-efficient time of the upcoming election.

If the Prime Minister goes ahead and forces the Governor-General to declare that it be held by postal voting, then the majority of Parliament can still require the voting period to close on the day of the general election – s22AB(6)(b). This is second best as it is a completely unnecessary waste of taxpayer money.

If Sir Robert Muldoon could call a 1984 snap election just four weeks before polling day, and the Government in 1999 could take only a week to determine Norm Withers’ petition for a referendum on violent crime would be held on election day, it proves that the Prime Minister’s claim that there is not enough time is an attempt to sweep the issue under the carpet and undermine democracy.

The ability to get this number of signatures on a petition is a major feat in itself. Please help us uphold democracy in New Zealand.

Yours sincerely

Bob McCoskrie
National Director – Family First NZ