Senior Labour MP Says Referendum Not Confusing


29 June 2009

Senior Labour MP Says Referendum Not Confusing

Family First NZ is welcoming comments by a senior Labour MP that the Referendum wording is not confusing.

Pete Hodgson was a Minister of Health, Minister for Economic Development, Minister of Research, Science and Technology and Minister for Tertiary Education under the previous Labour government.

A constituent recently wrote to the MP and said:

“Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offense in NZ” This is a most unambiguous question: given that the defense of reasonable force was repealed in the legislation passed last year as part of Sue Bradford’s bill and therefore parents who even lightly tapped their child could be prosecuted if the police elected to do so. It is misleading for anyone to say the above is an ambiguous question. It is patently clear what it is asking. The reason to argue for ambiguity is to try and confuse the issue in order to undermine the referendum. To refuse to vote on the basis of the ambiguity of the question is the ultimate act of fence sitting and self preservation. If one believes the question is wrong then one and the legislation is correct then one should vote accordingly!”

In response, Mr Hodgson simply wrote “agreed”.

“The smokescreen which has been created around the Referendum has simply been an attempt by some politicians to attempt to ridicule and dismiss an issue that they don’t want to resurface,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “It has been a direct attack on the process of democracy. And the cost can only be attributed to their deafness on this issue.”

Family First is calling on the government to amend the anti-smacking law so that a non-abusive smack for the purpose of correction is not a criminal offence.

“300,000 signatures, an 80%-average in all the polls, and now a senior Labour MP, shows the country is not confused as to what they want on this issue,” says Mr McCoskrie.


For More Information and Media Interviews, contact Family First:

Bob McCoskrieNational Director

Mob. 027 55 555 42


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