The Politicians Ignore The Parents
Family First NZ is furious that the Prime Minister has effectively killed a Private Members Bill which would have reflected the wishes of the 88% who voted NO in the recent Referendum.
“John Key is acting like a dictator who has no regard for the voice of voters,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “The voters clearly asked for the decriminalisation of light smacking – not ‘comfort’.”
“John Boscawen’s amendment was virtually identical to the Chester Borrows amendment – an amendment which the Prime Minister said only two years ago “the way you send a message is to make the law clear and precise and then to police it strongly and vigilantly. My colleague, Whanganui MP Chester Borrows, has put forward an amendment to Sue Bradford’s Bill that would do this. In my view, this is the correct response, and the one Parliament should adopt.”1
“John Key was quick to accept democracy when he was elected Prime Minister but now he is prepared to trod over the same democracy exhibited through the Referendum,” says Mr McCoskrie.
While Leader of the Opposition he said:
“The Labour Government has shown utter contempt for New Zealanders and the democratic process with its plan to railroad the anti-smacking bill through Parliament, says National Party Leader John Key. ’The Labour-led Government knows the measure is deeply unpopular, so it plans to act against the wishes of the majority of Kiwis and ram the bill through under urgency. This is a deeply cynical abuse of power as Labour tries to clear the decks of this controversial issue. Helen Clark has refused to let her MPs vote the way they really think on this bill. To ram it through under the cover of urgency shows just how out of touch her government has become.’”2
Mr McCoskrie says the law is not working and Family First has published many examples of good families being prosecuted and investigated by police and/or CYF for smacking or minor acts of physical discipline. Only recently has the PM acknowledged the argument that there have been prosecutions under the new law. Previously he claimed there had been none.
“It is also hugely disappointing that the National caucus are not willing to challenge the PM on this issue when they know how their electorates feel. John Key should at the very least allow a conscience vote,” says Mr McCoskrie.
1. http://www.national.org.nz/files/_0_Key_Speech_17-04-07.pdf 2. http://johnkey.co.nz/index.php?/archives/60-Labour-shows-contempt-for-New-Zealanders.html