Anti-smacking petition close to forcing citizen’s referendum Mon, 28 Jan 2008 04:58p.m.

Green Party MP Sue Bradford Green Party MP Sue Bradford



A petition to hold a citizen’s referendum about parents having the right to smack children is gaining momentum along with thousands of signatures.

The government is not worried, but there are signs it could cause friction between political parties as the issue reignites in election year.

The petition now has 280,000 signatures – another 20,000 will mean a citizen’s referendum.

Bob McCoskrie of Family First is confident it will happen, saying: “I’m confident because most sensible New Zealanders know that a smack is not child abuse.”

Prime Minister Helen Clark does not believe the petition will reach the required 300,000 signatures saying: “It’s really a question for Kiwis – do we keep trying to make our homes a safer place for children or do we abandon the effort? I’m not for abandoning the effort.”

Green Party MP Sue Bradford says many people have signed the referendum in a climate of hysteria, whipped up by an out of touch lobby group.

“Family First is increasingly out of step with public opinion and in fact some of the people who signed this petition for the referendum back before my bill went through may have even changed their minds in the intervening period,” says Bradford.

Bradford’s law outlawing smacking passed by a majority of 113 to 8 votes last May and she is now wary of political parties changing sides in the face of popular opinion.

The National Party’s John Key, who brokered a compromise on the bill with Labour appears to be positioning himself to change his tune if necessary. He says: “If the law ends up being in a position where good parents end up being criminalised for lightly smacking their children, we think that is wrong and we would change the law. But I’m still quite confident the law as it was drafted will actually work.”

If the petition succeeds and a referendum is to be held, it would not be binding. The government would still have the final say.

The government would also pick when the referendum would take place and it is unlikely to choose any time before election day as it is a reminder of Labour pushing through an unpopular law.

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8 responses to “Anti-smacking petition close to forcing citizen’s referendum”

  1. hi my partner and i up to now have not seen your appeal for an anti smacking referendum please can youtell where i can locate it so both of us can sign thank you

  2. You can find the petition here:

  3. I believe this should nave a referendum and let the people have their say – you should have the right to chastize your children

  4. have a referendum

  5. Boris Moiseiwitsch Avatar
    Boris Moiseiwitsch

    Where can I sign the petition for the anti-smacking referendum?

  6. Boris go to this website:

    or look for it on Family Integrity’s website under

    CIR Petition

  7. Boris here is the page on Family Integrity’s website:

  8. Simon Gunson Avatar
    Simon Gunson

    In 2007 I asked Sue Bradford to intervene because Police and CYFS would not investigate a black eye to my 17 month old son. I later witnessed him assaulted by his mother and later found out that she admitted these assaults to CYFS.

    Sue Bradford in my opinion is a fraud and cares nothing for children.

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