Almost 90 percent of people who participated in a referendum asking New Zealanders whether smacking should be illegal have voted no, preliminary results show. A total of 1,622,150 votes were cast with 87.6 percent in favour of repealing the controversial new law. The preliminary results from the $9 million citizens-initiated referendum which asked: “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?” have just been released. The Chief Electoral Office said it would now complete checks and count voting papers still to be received, before releasing the final result. Based on the preliminary results there was a 54 percent voter turnout. Prime Minister John Key said he had listened to the result of the referendum and plans to take some proposals to Cabinet on Monday.