Otago Daily Times 25 Aug 2009
Prime Minister John Key has made “a huge mistake” by refusing to change the law that bans smacking and National will suffer for it at the next election, the ACT Party says. “He is making exactly the same mistake as Helen Clark made – he is putting himself above the overwhelming wish of the majority of New Zealanders,” MP John Boscawen told NZPA. “I think he’s making a very stupid mistake.” Mr Key yesterday said he was going to ensure parents were not prosecuted for an inconsequential smack, but he wasn’t going to change the law in response to the referendum result.
..Mr Boscawen said the referendum result was a clear, emphatic vote for the law to be changed. “I think he’s taking a very grave risk in ignoring such a massive mandate for a change to the law,” he said. “I think he’s being very foolish, his response is totally inadequate and he’s making a huge mistake.” Mr Boscawen said National’s poll ratings would drop and the impact would carry through to the next election. Family First, one of the referendum’s main promoters, said MPs and ministers were receiving floods of emails demanding a law change. “The referendum wasn’t about recommendations, guidelines or comfort – it was about a law change,” said Family First director Bob McCoskrie.