NZ Herald June 23, 2008
Family First presented 60,000 new signatures to Parliament today in an attempt to force a referendum on the anti-smacking law. The group’s petition failed in April as it needed 280,275 signatures to force a referendum but fell short after about 18,000 were excluded because they were either illegible, the signatory’s date of birth could not be confirmed, or involved people signing multiple times. Today’s petition comes just over a year since Sue Bradford’s controversial legislation was passed.
National director of Family First Bob McCoskrie said the extra “stack’ of signatures on the petition opposing the anti-smacking law had confirmed politicians failed to listen to the voice of the people. “If the purpose of the law was not to ban smacking, as promised by the Prime Minister before the last election then the law should explicitly state this,” he said. “It should not be left open to potential persecution of parents through complaints by schools, members of public and children, and investigations by police and CYFS.” Green MP Sue Bradford called on political parties and the voting public to reject calls to turn back the clock.