Conservatives would seek repeal of anti-smacking law, says Craig

NZ Herald 13 December 2013
Colin Craig says the Conservative Party won’t be pushing for the repeal of the gay marriage law or legalised prostitution after next year’s election, but would try to get the anti-smacking law overturned.

The party’s position is that such issues should be decided by referendum. The smacking issue had been put to a referendum but the gay marriage issue and legalising prostitution had not.

“Until we have had referendums on those other two, I can’t see how we can overrule the conscience vote in Parliament.

“The real mandate to change those things has to come from the people,” Mr Craig told the Herald.

The 2009 referendum asking should a smack “as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand” resulted in a 56.09 per cent turnout with 87.4 per cent saying no.

It was a response to a 2007 act which abolished the use of reasonable force by parents as justification for disciplining children, although police have the discretion not to prosecute in the use of force against a child when it is considered to be so inconsequential that there is no public interest in prosecuting.