Smacking debate won’t be going away in hurry

NZ Herald Sep 21, 2009

The Government’s hopes of putting the divisive smacking debate behind it in the next month have been dashed with a move by Act’s John Boscawen to delay his doomed private member’s bill and start a public campaign to support it. The bill would legalise smacking for the purposes of correction. But with the opposition of both National and Labour it was expected to be voted down when it reached its first hurdle in Parliament either on Wednesday this week or in a fortnight’s time.

Mr Boscawen confirmed last night that he would write to the Clerk of Parliament, Mary Harris, tomorrow asking for the bill to be delayed indefinitely. Instead he will hold meetings in different electorates every fortnight to seek public support for his bill to put pressure on National and Labour MPs to drop their opposition. Mr Boscawen believes the whole issue is damaging National and that the five-point slump in National’s support in Friday’s Roy Morgan poll could be down to its non-response to the citizens initiated referendum.