Smacking petition hits parliament petition hits parliament

Fri, 29 Feb 2008 05:02p.m.

The petition reaches parliament The petition reaches parliament



Opponents of the ‘anti-smacking’ law took the issue back to parliament today, determined to force a citizens’ initiated referendum.

They say the have gathered the required number of signatures on a petition for the vote to go ahead.

It took former MP Larry Baldock and 25 others to carry the boxes that were filled with over 600,000 signatures

Baldock claims one of the two petitions was the largest gathered in 20 years.

It asks if a smack as part of good parental correction should be a criminal offence in New Zealand. The other asks whether more emphasis should be placed on child abuse.

Signatures from 10 percent of eligible voters are needed to force a referendum. The signatures on the anti-anti-smacking petition will be checked randomly for legitimacy.

Baldock says there is still a feeling of concern about the law, which passed last year.

“We’ve had policemen signing this petition in uniform,” says Baldock. “They are worried in time they are going to have to come back and start arresting the people and prosecuting because at the moment they give a warning, if you continue to do it then you’re going to end up with a prosecution because the law is very clear.”

The petition organisers want the referendum to be held on Election Day this year, but that is unlikely to happen. The government decides when the referendum would be held and while Election Day is probably the most suitable and cost-effective day, Labour would not want to remind the public of its support for the controversial law.

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3 responses to “Smacking petition hits parliament”

  1. I think that the question used for this petition was wrong as it already implies that a smack is part of good parental correction (regardless of whether it is a criminal offense of not). Instead the question for the petition should have asked: Is a smack part of good parental correction? Fullstop. I think that smacking is the result of stress and anger on the part of the parent, regardless of the behaviour of the child. I think it is the parent who needs the control.

  2. Desiree Firmin Avatar
    Desiree Firmin

    Where do I go to sign against the anti smacking bill

  3. Desiree

    You can download the forms here:
    or here:

    Then get others to sign the two petitions as well. We have until early May to collect signatures for the second petition and two months from today 29 April 2008 to collect signatures for the first petition. That means we have until 29 June 2008 to collect signatures for the first petition.

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