Smacking Referendum petitions falls short – but only just

April 29th, 2008 at 1:26 pm by David Farrar

NZPA reports that the petition to force a referendum on the anti-smacking law has not made its target of 10% of voters, as too many were found to be invalid.

However the law provides for them to have another two months to bring it back over the level required, and they should manage this easily.

They needed 285,027 signatures valid signatures. They got 324,216 but a sample found around 11% were not able to be found on the electoral roll plus 1% illegible and 0.5% duplicates.  This is about normal off mory.

So their valid signatures were calculated as 269,500 so they need 16,000 more valid signatures which is probably 20,000 more total signatures to be safe.

I suspect the Government is nervous about having every voter reminded of the law they are primarily identified with, at the very point at which they are voting.

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83 Responses to “Smacking Referendum petitions falls short – but only just”

  1. Simeon (108 comments) says:

    The article on stuff says that only 280,275 signatures were needed. So what is the correct figuire?

    http://nzdebate.blogspot.com/2008/04/petition-calling-for-referendum-on-anti_29.html

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  2. big bruv (14,217 comments) says:

    I suspect that the Labour govt has ensured that this petition would not have the correct number, I smell another case of Labour lies and corruption.

    I was never asked to sign this petition but this time I will look for it and make sure I sign it, I want this to be an issue at the next election, I want the people to be reminded that this corrupt govt and their pals pushed this trough against the wishes of the vast majority.

    However I do not trust Labour, the lying cheating corrupt bastards will find a way (legal or illegal) of making sure this never comes to a referendum.

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  3. James W (180 comments) says:

    “I suspect the Government is nervous about having every voter reminded of the law they are primarily identified with, at the very point at which they are voting.”

    Hang on DPF, didn’t every one of National’s MPs vote IN FAVOUR of this legislation also?

    The only party that did not (if I recall correctly) was Act.

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  4. gd (1,780 comments) says:

    Luvely jubbly yet another issue to beat the politican classes around the ears with.

    Although I agree that you can be sure the Socialists will do all things legal and illegal to deny the citizens their rights.

    No doubt instructions(verbal of course not written ) are being despatched to make sure enough petitions are (cough) lost in transit to ensure the necessary shortfall.

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  5. GPT1 (2,021 comments) says:

    Where is the petition to be found? Several people I know want to sign it.

    James W – National compromised to make the best of a bad job and make it less likely that good parents would be punished by a bad law. It doesn’t make the issue any less the government’s problem or relevant to the population.

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  6. pkiwi (78 comments) says:

    Actually I think it would be bad for Nats to have this at the next election. I know of a number of long term labour voters who are fed up with Cullen on tax & economy, and the dearth of competence in gummint. They are why the nats are riding over 50% in the polls. If the anti-smacking ref is on the election they will link it to the anti-liberal visceral redneck underbelly they don’t want to associate with and head back to labour.

    And petition’s are notoriously difficult to get over 10% guys – if you keep seeing consipiracy you’ll turn into Ian W.

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  7. Lee C (2,720 comments) says:

    “Actually I think it would be bad for Nats to have this at the next election. I know of a number of long term labour voters who are fed up with Cullen on tax & economy, and the dearth of competence in gummint. They are why the nats are riding over 50% in the polls. If the anti-smacking ref is on the election they will link it to the anti-liberal visceral redneck underbelly they don’t want to associate with and head back to labour.”

    Interesting idea pkiwi and I agree. HOwever, the referendum would also serve to remind many more people of how disenfranchised they have become by government practices between the elections – so – it’s a balancing act.

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  8. stephen (3,981 comments) says:

    National/Key has shown no interest in repealing or even altering the legislation ‘unless it gets out of hand’, which according to Key, it hasn’t…So what chance a non-binding referendum?

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  9. Ross Nixon (517 comments) says:

    Note that signing this petition is NOT a vote for smacking.
    It is a vote for a referendum. Do you believe in democracy?
    http://unityforliberty.net.nz/petition.html

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  10. Fletch (6,528 comments) says:

    GPT1 – you can download it from familyfirst.org.nz (or from Ross Nixon’s link above); it has to be a paper version, not online. Get friends and family to sign it (is what I did) and post it back. James W – National did originally vote against the bill, but when Key saw that he didn’t have the numbers to stop it going through he proposed a change to make the bill at least a bit more palatable than it was. It wasn’t a case of both parties agreeing the bill was a good idea.

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  11. roger nome (2,088 comments) says:

    Your clients at Family First won’t be happy about this DPF. Surely you could have done more to aid their cause?

    [DPF: 20 demerits. Smearing my integrity is again the quickest way to get banned. I have publicly disagreed with Family First on dozens of issues]

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  12. side show bob (3,410 comments) says:

    I think you will find James W that many National voters were very pissed off with National for their stand. I hope this petition gets the numbers it needs as it will send a warning to “ALL” politicians that they represented the people, sadly this is something the bastards have long since forgotten.

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  13. slightlyrighty (2,097 comments) says:

    The atmosphere of zealotry in which the anti-smacking bill was passed was full of unintended consequences and has good law abiding parents in fear of the authorities.

    As a personal example, 3 days ago I was putting my 3 year old boy in the car in his standards approved child restraint, and after putting the belt on, I gave him 2 playful pats on his tummy. He turned to his mother and said, “Daddy hit me, I have an owie”

    What would happen if he said that to his kindy teacher? I don’t want cops and CYPFS turning up at my door, or worse, going to my sons kindy and telling me I can’t have access to my son. This legislation has gone too far and has given too much power to those who have already shown a willingness to abuse it.

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  14. Rex Widerstrom (5,013 comments) says:

    Fletch says:

    GPT1 – you can download it from familyfirst.org.nz (or from Ross Nixon’s link above); it has to be a paper version, not online. Get friends and family to sign it (is what I did) and post it back.

    And this is the 21st century, right? And the internet has been around as a widely accessible and useful tool for at least a decade? Contracts have been found to be legally binding on the basis of faxes and even emails? Yep.

    Yet to exercise our right to control our own destiny as a nation we have to go through this ridiculous, convoluted and prone-to-error process.

    Secure internet-based referenda are easily possible. Because they’re inexpensive, the justification for a 10% trigger level would no longer stand up to scrutiny and could be significantly reduced. Yet no political party has a commitment to investigating the harnessing of technology to provide us with a real democracy on their agenda.

    There’s the real conspiracy – preservation of the status quo by those who wield power and are determined not to divest to those over whom they rule.

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  15. ghostwhowalks3 (368 comments) says:

    The poor old firemen did better at getting the petition numbers when national was trying to cut the manned fire stations to save money for their insurance industry mates .

    Im reminded by the British Crowns response to parliaments acts when they could have the power to refuse them/

    “Let it be done” was the response for Acts they approved of.

    “It will be considered” was the response for Acts they blocked from the Royal assent

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  16. gd (1,780 comments) says:

    as Ross points out the petition calls for a referendum

    And given the totally bad governance we have suffered under binding referenda are the only way the citizens can ensure their will is carried out by those who should be governing.

    the past 9 years has been a succession of broken contracts. hell if this government was a private entity it woulsd have spent most of its time in the High Court defending breach of contract claims.

    take the AIA case. No private organisation would have been allowed to get away with that.

    I hope someone ( Shareholders Assn? ) starts up a class action against Cullen for the $1.7 Billion loss. That would wipe the smirke off both his face and the Socialist supporters.

    The High Court would have no trouble finding for the shareholders as Cullen is guilty of bad faith and bgoing against the reasonable advice of his advisers with no substantive rebuttal.

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  17. Lee C (2,720 comments) says:

    Steve – It sounds from your comments tht you and I are both in favour of a proper debate in the public arena about this issue. That is why I will be signing up in favour of a referendum. What about you? Or would you, like Sue Bradford, like us all to ‘move on’?

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  18. stephen (3,981 comments) says:

    How would the ‘proper debate’ following a positive referendum be any different from the one that preceded the Bill and the Act?

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  19. slightlyrighty (2,097 comments) says:

    Steve, I agree that CYPFS has a responsibilty to investigate child abuse. It is just that with the passing of the law, the threshold for initiating such an investigation is now much lower. If a childs innocent comment can be the catalyst for an investigation into something that did not occur, could the pendulum have swung too far?

    Do innocent families deserve to have a note placed on file that the authorities think you may be abusing your child? Yes we are all aware of mistakes that have resulted in the loss of a child’s life, but does the state sanctioned interference in family life as a result of trivialities, whatever the consequences or resulting damage do more harm than good?

    If you want to see the consequences of a childs comment made to the wrong ears and reported to over-zealous authorites, I suggest you look to the Christchurch Civic Creche case.

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  20. big bruv (14,217 comments) says:

    I would not be so smug if I were you Ghost, section 59 will prove to be a major issue at the election (unless your corrupt party manage to toss out more genuine signatories)

    This piece of legislation makes life extra tough for good parents, we all know it was sop to the feminist / lesbian element inside the Labour party, we also know this was never Sue Bradford’s bill either, Clark put this up but was smart/deceitful enough to recognise that a barren woman telling parents how to raise their kids would never work.

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  21. baxter (753 comments) says:

    Like GPT1 I would like to sign the referendum and would have done so already if I had known where to find one. I don’t wanta form to take around friends and neighbours I would just like to know where I can go sign the form and carry on with my own business. Does anyone know.?

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  22. Lee C (2,720 comments) says:

    well stephen the public were shut out of that particular debate – that is why there was so much strength of outrage that a referendum was proposed.

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  23. James W (180 comments) says:

    So, to those who cite Key’s “amendment” to the law, can you tell me, is it illegal for me to smack my child?

    The answer is yes, it is. And every National MP voted for that to be the case.

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  24. stephen (3,981 comments) says:

    Lee C, how were they shut out? There was debate all over the place! I suspect you mean that polls indicated people were against the original Bill, but these polls were not acted upon or taken notice of?

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  25. labrator (1,851 comments) says:

    Parents have not been turned into criminals for smacking their kids.

    Whilst I don’t necessarily disagree with you, just because they haven’t yet, doesn’t mean they couldn’t be. This is the major problem with the law. Section 59 had case law set that was letting parents get away with beating their children with weapons (belts, cords, sticks, bats etc). This is not part of loving parenting but in getting rid of that escape clause (which was a good idea to do) the new law was badly constructed and in one fell swoop removed all abilities of a parent to physically reprimand a child. This is my objection to it. Children are not mini-adults, as much as Sue Bradford would have you believe and sometimes being physically reprimanded is necessary. I will be signing the petition to show two things:
    1) The government is there to represent the people and with significant polling against it it still went through against the peoples wishes.
    2) Physical reprimanding of children is a necessary part of parenting in a loving household.
    I think it has been devious of the government and those pro the law change to lump all people against the act as being for child-abuse when this is obviously not the case.

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  26. Lee C (2,720 comments) says:

    stephen – yes.

    Let us pretend this issue is about – say paedophilia. We all are revulsed by that idea. But what is… what if we existed in a mythical society in which the majority of people enjoyed and practiced paedophilia, but some enlightened person said ‘No this must stop!” and they used the same process as they did here in NZ. It would not stop people from following their customary practice, no matter how repulsive the idea is to us. However, the issue is not about whether people should have the right to practice paedophilia, it is about how the population feel about the law and how it was passed. You might argue the same for imposing a law to make giving alms to the homeless. It is not about how yo feel about the action it is about how we are represented and how our will is exercised in parliament. This issue is a symptom of a wider malaise – one in which the representatives feel that they are mandated to protect us from the ‘Tyranny of the majority’ or in other words they feel thier job is to instruct us, and not to do as we tell them. The problenm as I saee it is that peoiple are confusing (as they did with the EFA) the rights of some poeple to act as they feel is correct, with their rights to impose their own views and laws, regardless. The debate should come first, then the law should follow. Not, (as also with the EFA) the Law fiorst, then the debate. That is not democracy/tyranny of the majority – it is democracy/tyranny by the minority. I am not in favour of this approach and neither should you be, Especially if you want your kids to grow up in a society which values the freedom to air and debate ideas as equals.

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  27. roger nome (2,088 comments) says:

    Your clients at Family First won’t be happy about this DPF. Surely you could have done more to aid their cause?

    “DPF: 20 demerits. Smearing my integrity is again the quickest way to get banned. I have publicly disagreed with Family First on dozens of issues”

    But that was never under contention. Are you saying that you’re ashamed to have family first as a client DPF? Hard to see how you can consider what I said to be a smear otherwise.

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  28. gd (1,780 comments) says:

    Judges interepret the law and alas they sometimes get it wrong.

    In the very few cases that have come before the Court under the old legislation I and any person with common sense can see that some Judges have stuffed up and should have convicted and could of convicted under the then law but chose to not do so. Thats a Judge problem NOT a law problem

    But that was never an excuse to trash the good parents who raise their children in a loving and caring environment.

    And thats what the architects of this Law set out to do. Bradfords and Clarks agenda is to attack and keep attacking the good parents

    In Bradfords case its related to her own (cough) inadequate parenting and a subconscious need to atone for the outcomes.

    In Clark case its further proof of her pathological distaste for parents and parenting and a desire to punish them.

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  29. stephen (3,981 comments) says:

    You may have forgotten that Bradford said she was beaten (or hit a lot, not sure which) as a child.

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  30. mike12 (183 comments) says:

    This is great news, I hope Nationals second most influentual MP – Sue Bradford gets her man hating, soap-dodging mug on the tele a lot more between now and the election. My liberal wife detests that woman so much its fun to watch.

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  31. gd (1,780 comments) says:

    If you want proof about Clarks attitude towards parenting and parents read the quotes in Absolute Power.

    Like the other quotes an interesting view into her mindset and a pointer for the motives of her actions

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  32. JSF2008 (422 comments) says:

    BIG BRUV we think alike
    Steve Withers , our first grandchild is grissly . if she had a paddy in newworld ,i could be approched by mr plod (one not out on speed camera revenue gathering, (fucken rare) , as ITS THE LAW. crying kid ,BIG adults white scum tax paying middle class, prey, kid having a paddy (so much easier to charge than the pacifics out in south dorkland ,dumb law,fuckwits running the country stupid posters supporting a grandstander that bought this STUPID law in , as i have said , COMMUNIST CHINA WELCOME this is your new naval base , AS WE ARE RUN BY TRAITORS, and the educated(NEVER WORKED IN THEIR DAMN LIVES)left .LIARBOR (labour)

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  33. sonic (1,995 comments) says:

    I’d like to see this on the ballot. Linking the Nats to the “Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child” brigade hardly fits Key’s cuddly agenda.

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  34. Lee C (2,720 comments) says:

    Nice try sonic, but it’s about the quality of your comments, not the quantity. (2811)

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  35. Fletch (6,528 comments) says:

    Steve Withers, as far as your daughter’s project goes, I really think it’s too soon to tell. You really have to look at other countries where the law has been around a while; like Sweden, where violence of children against children, and children against adults has gone up despite the law.

    The best indicators of physical child abuse showed a
    489% increase in physical child abuse cases classfiied as criminal
    assaults in Sweden from 1981-1994. – Robert Larzelere, PhD

    Sweden and New Zealand have comparable rates of child abuse despite Sweden’s ban on smacking for the past 28 years.

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  36. Fletch (6,528 comments) says:

    Steve Withers, as far as your daughter’s project goes, I really think it’s too soon to tell. You really have to look at other countries where the law has been around a while; like Sweden, where violence of children against children, and children against adults has gone up despite the law.

    The best indicators of physical child abuse showed a
    489% increase in physical child abuse cases classfiied as criminal
    assaults in Sweden from 1981-1994. – Robert Larzelere, PhD

    I read somewhere else that Sweden and New Zealand have comparable rates of child abuse despite Sweden’s ban on smacking for the past 28 years.

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  37. stephen (3,981 comments) says:

    Murder rates go up and down too, despite the law against it.

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  38. freethinker (677 comments) says:

    Big Bruv

    Please remind me how many of Bradfords 70+ court cases involved violence by her – please remind me.

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  39. JSF2008 (422 comments) says:

    Is the german pope a jew,HA did you think it would pass, do you think BP will be the first petrol company to EVER lower petrol, prices EVER HA HA HA, hell down and out, the witch has ruled you watch, DEAD AND BURIED, the bitch has ruled

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  40. Paul Marsden (990 comments) says:

    Sue Bradford is now telling us to suck eggs, build a bridge and get over it. She also says that no party will have the balls to repeal it.

    This disturbed indvidual has no place in parliament as a representitive of the people, lest be making law for the masses. But worse still….making law that the masses reject.

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  41. scrubone (3,097 comments) says:

    Disappointing that they didn’t get the petition through first go.

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  42. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    What a lot of people (including Family Fist) seem to miss is that the law has a built-in review process. Why can’t people wait and see how it is functioning, as determined by the review, rather than all this scaremongering about “criminalising good parents” with no evidence I have seen that this is actually happening?

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  43. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    Steve Withers, and Toad – your arguments are actually in favour of changing the law back. If it hasn’t made any difference, then what was the point of doing it in the first place? The real test of this legislation is whether it is reducing child abuse. If it is not, then it is draconian and should be repealed.

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  44. JSF2008 (422 comments) says:

    Having watched a grey head OLD fart telling me to move on,on tv3 ,(nothings going to change) i would love to shove the petition up this old tossiers arse,LOVED HIS STATE SERVICE SUIT.
    but i have promised my wife that i would stay cool .chill out even if the queer bastards that rule us ARE really stuffing my lovely country up, and we now come under the wing of the ARSEHOLE TIBETIAN , KILLING ,ARSEHOLE COMMUNIST CHINESE, the greatest mass murders in history, but hell its helen clarks/davis show. untold thousands will become unemployed , but the witch doesnt care,I SPIT ON YOU CLARK,A TRAITOR you have sold and betrayed New Zealand .
    From a true New Zealander, not a educated TRAITOR, John.

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  45. Barnsley Bill (848 comments) says:

    Sue Bradford has been quoted by the herald as saying “Move On” to those who worked to gather the numbers.
    I note with much interest that the organisers of this petition managed to accumulate a much higher number than the water melons received votes at the last election.
    267,000 approved signatures
    2005 election results for the greens
    Party vote 120,521
    Electorate vote 92,164
    Total vote 212,685

    I wonder how many votes they would have received if all the “duplicates” were removed.

    Personally the anti smacking bill is neither here nor there for me as I decided a long time ago to completely ignore stupid laws.

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  46. getstaffed (8,040 comments) says:

    Toad said:

    …rather than all this scaremongering about “criminalising good parents” with no evidence I have seen that this is actually happening?

    Toad, technically the law makes any parent who smack their child guilty of a crime. Conviction of that crime is a different matter. I now know 100’s of top-grade, loving, excellent parents who are unconvicted criminals… simply at the mercy of the discretion and ‘common sense’ of others.

    As for evidence, perhaps you’d like to point to evidence of a drop in violent crime towards children. Difficult huh? But that’s ok because even Sue Bradford didn’t put her name to that desired outcome. For her the s59 repeal was a tick on the socialist bingo card game. Things will remain grim until socialists who detest any power stucture other than the absolute power of the state are removed, and NZ starts the long road to recovery.

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  47. Captain Crab (336 comments) says:

    Toad,
    You are quite right about the review. It is most reassuring. Hows that review for MMP going then?

    BlairM- you got it.None of any of this stops these children being killed.
    What have Labour done in the last nine years to stop it? It is stoppable isnt it?

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  48. stephen (3,981 comments) says:

    MMP didn’t have a built in review system, MMP just had ‘assurances’ from politicians.

    Barnsley Bill, you seem to have forgotten that one has to ‘register’ oneself to vote in an election, as opposed to just signing one’s name on a piece of paper. Apparently it’s one of the ways we prevent electoral fraud.

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  49. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    “You may have forgotten that Bradford said she was beaten (or hit a lot, not sure which) as a child.”

    Only because Tasers weren’t invented at that time

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  50. Barnsley Bill (848 comments) says:

    Stephen, they verified the names on the list using the electoral role. Are you suggesting that they sat in a room like a thousand bart simpsons writing their own list.

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  51. JSF2008 (422 comments) says:

    Love liarbor and its supporters, the communest chinese, and helen inspecting the troops, ,(how many tibetians have you executed)Soldier??? shades of the OGPU shock troops in red square russia , helen loves the COMMUNIST past redrum,MURDER, STALIN another possible love, watch our liarbor leaders behaviour, watch out folks helens really living in a dangerious past for our beloved New Zealand , a traitor to our country

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  52. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    Blair M said:If it hasn’t made any difference, then what was the point of doing it in the first place? The real test of this legislation is whether it is reducing child abuse.

    What I said is that I don’t see any evidence of good parents being criminalised. The difference it has made is that parents who beat their kids can no longer claim that the beating was “reasonable force” for the purpose of correction. Remember that under the previous law, parents who belted their kids with hosepipes and riding crops were acquitted using that defence.

    Whether it reduces child abuse is a long-term issue and associated with a whole range of other factors than the law. No-one, including Sue Bradford, maintained that it would have an immediate effect in that regard.

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  53. getstaffed (8,040 comments) says:

    … Remember that under the previous law, parents who belted their kids with hosepipes and riding crops were acquitted using that defence

    Remind me… was it 4 or 5 parents whose lawyers successfully used s59 in the last 10 years? Think it was 4. So does that make it sensible to crimininalise 10’s of 1000’s of very good parents while not impacting violent crime against children? Or does shifting the goal posts just allow social engineers to claim ‘success’ in the fight against real abuse?

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  54. JSF2008 (422 comments) says:

    getstaffed, good post um helen davis/clarks kids names have slipped my mind , Could you refresh me?????? and New Zealand

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  55. big bruv (14,217 comments) says:

    Toad

    Bradford said “it will stop violence against children” she also said that all men who smack their kids are pedophiles.

    Please do not pretend she aid anything else, nor should we pretend this bill was ever about anything more than extending the states influence over the much despised family unit.

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  56. max (30 comments) says:

    the law which national helped pass???

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  57. slightlyrighty (2,097 comments) says:

    Max.

    That law was always going to pass wether National voted for it or not. National got a clause written in which would allow the authorities to use their discretion where the “offence” is trifling or inconsequential. Not ideal I know but netter than having the bill pass in it’s original form.

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  58. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    Sigh…

    maybe now the hysteria will die down and people will start coming to the realization that it’s not the “Anti-Smacking Law”, it’s the “discipline is not a get out of jail free card if the person you ASSAULTED happened to have been your child” Law.

    No, who am I kidding? Keep on feeding the fear and hysteria…

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  59. Paul (863 comments) says:

    Thank god.

    I wonder if Mickey Mouse signed this one too, like he did the Homosexual Law Reform Bill.

    “I suspect that the Labour govt has ensured that this petition would not have the correct number” And those suspicions are based on the reality that the earth is flat. Hope you are wearing your tin foil hat to stop those government mind reading machines.

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  60. dave (821 comments) says:

    I have just been given an email written by Larry Baldock and sent it to DPF with attachments. Baldock’s pissed off. They handed in 324,511 signatures ( not 324,316 as DPF noted ). The sample was 1/11th – so 29,501 signatures were checked.

    Of those signatures checked, 25,754 were valid.3,747 were not. Of those signatories not qualified 3,373 could not be found on the roll, 214 were illegible, 158 were duplicated and 2 were triplicates. 25,754 x 11 = 283,294. The number required is 285,027 so this indicates a shortfall of just 1,733 signatures.

    However the Government’s Statistician has said that his best estimate is just 266,903 or a shortfall of more than 18,000; nearly 17,300 greater than the 1/11th sample would indicate. But at the 95% confidence level thats 269,000. How did he get his 266,903 number?

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  61. getstaffed (8,040 comments) says:

    …158 were duplicated and 2 were triplicates

    I salute the restraint shown by the s59 repeal supporters — these numbers suggest close to nil orchestrated sabotage.

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  62. Barnsley Bill (848 comments) says:

    I wonder if the son she never had as the governing minister will be found to have his finger prints on this decision?

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  63. dave (821 comments) says:

    how did he get his 266,903 number
    Actually he used the estimator of Goodman and Kiranandana. No idea what that is. Does any one here know and can explain how it works. DPF?

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  64. Paul Marsden (990 comments) says:

    My father was once a respected industrialist in NZ and he beat me when I did wrong. JJ Stewart (and ex All Black coach), was a teacher of mine, and he beat me (and many others at my school), for literally no reason at all. What I got taught was a respect for my elders and peers. I have since gone on to create a number of business enterprises and employment for many. The changing face of NZ society began in the early 1970’s, with the liberalisation of the liquor laws and the ‘Polynisation’ of NZ society. (and which many a poor Maori was caught up in) The ‘perfect storm’ if you like… An influx of people possessed of a warrior-like gene (un-acustomed to Pakeha values)that when combined with the consumption of copious amounts of alcohol and drugs (freely and cheaply available), becambe a volitile mixture. Combine all of this with a socialist government, bleeding-heart liberals in the political and judical sector: the abolition of apprenticeship taining schemes; the profilferation of the internet and the general dumbing-down of NZ society, and you have a society that is wallowing and lost its way in the world.

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  65. Craig Ranapia (1,266 comments) says:

    I suspect that the Labour govt has ensured that this petition would not have the correct number, I smell another case of Labour lies and corruption.

    Really? Sounds more like Larry Baldock couldn’t organise the proverbial piss up in a brewery — what is so hard about the notion that a petition should be signed ONCE ONLY by a properly qualified person who provides accurate contact details (as listed on the electoral roll) in a legible hand? Isn’t it a bitch when you actually have to follow the rules like everyone else, and listening to Baldock having his little tanty on Checkpoint didn’t make me regret his departure from Parliament.

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  66. dave (821 comments) says:

    OK Craig,

    can you answer this: Of those signatures checked, 25,754 were valid.So 25,754 x 11 = 283,294. The number required is 285,027 so this indicates a shortfall of just 1,733 signatures.The Government’s Statistician has said that his best estimate is just 266,903 or a shortfall of more than 18,000; nearly 17,300 greater than the 1/11th sample would indicate.

    How ,Craig, did the Government statistician come up with 266,903? Tell me that.

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  67. Craig Ranapia (1,266 comments) says:

    Dave:

    Do you think Geoff Bascand deserves a chance to actually answer the question before being called the Liarbore Dykeocracy’s tame bitch? Tell me that.

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  68. Bogusnews (414 comments) says:

    Craig,

    normally you have a good contribution, but in this case I believe you are off the mark.

    What we have is a government who railroaded a law through that almost no one wanted. When the petition comes in it appears that further shenanigans happen with the count. I can certainly understand why people are peeved, especially when this important information is not justified or explained by the media.

    They rammed it through without consultation, forced their odd views onto parents, and now to add insult to injury are discarding the fine work on the petition.

    I can understand why people are p***ed off.

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  69. Graeme Edgeler (2,972 comments) says:

    Dave – there were 160 signatures in the sample that were proved duplicated (because they appeared twice or three times within the sample).

    If you were to then individually check the other samples (i.e. look at the remaining 10 1/11’s), you would likely find a similar number within each sample. That is, you would find 160 signatures within each sample that were duplicated within that sample.

    But this would ignore any signature that was in both sample A, and sample B. Or sample A, and sample C (or any of the 110 combinations of elevenths).

    You should consider, if they found 160 signatures that were duplicated within a sample, how many would they find if the compared that sample to the remaining 10/11’s of signatures?), approximately another 1600.

    Consider the next 1/11. There would be 160 internal duplicates, but also duplicates that look valid because you haven’t checked everyone else, a further 1440. In the third 1/11 sample, there’d be another 160 internal duplicates, and 1280 external ones. Keep doing this and you get around 19,000 duplicates – not the 1760 you’d estimate.

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  70. stephen (3,981 comments) says:

    Thanks for injecting a bit of rational thought into the forum Graeme.

    How the hell does this:

    he beat me (and many others at my school), for literally no reason at all.

    …teach people respect?! That it totally warped!

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  71. Craig Ranapia (1,266 comments) says:

    What we have is a government who railroaded a law through that almost no one wanted.

    Bogusnews: I’m sure this is going to get me another dump truck full of bad karma, but I’ve no regrets that Section 59 of the Crimes Act is gone. Doesn’t mean I buy into the hysterical S&M rhetoric of proponents of Bradford’s bill, but I sure don’t think they were wrong in trying to plug a defence for sadistic loons.

    But let’s get back on topic for a moment — I’m going to keep asking the question you’ve skilfully dodged until someone bothers answering it: Do you think Geoff Bascand deserves a chance to actually answer the question before being called the Liarbore Dykeocracy’s tame bitch? Or do we just go down the Roger Nome/Ghost Who Lies path of presuming someone is guilty of some horrendous skull-duggery for no other reason than we don’t like the outcome?

    Reality check: Some folks around here have accused the Government Statistician (who is also the CEO of Statistics New Zealand) of politically motivated fraud. Put up or shut up, guys, because that’s not a trivial allegation.

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  72. big bruv (14,217 comments) says:

    The words of Comrade Bradford yesterday spells the end of this petition, from past experiences when a politician says “it is time to move on” it means that this corrupt govt and its bedfellows will do anything (“whatever it takes”) to make sure there is no referendum.

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  73. rubbernecker (13 comments) says:

    A campaign to add invalid signatures to the petition, increasing the chance that it fails again, seems to me to be quite a fun thing to do.

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  74. stephen (3,981 comments) says:

    Although somewhat Mugabe-like, rubbernecker! Yuk!

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  75. Craig Ranapia (1,266 comments) says:

    A campaign to add invalid signatures to the petition, increasing the chance that it fails again, seems to me to be quite a fun thing to do.

    So’s sticking a lit firecracker up a cat’s bum, if you’re twisted that way. I’m no supporter of this petition (in fact, I think non-binding citizen-initiated referenda are crapuous pseudo-democracy but that’s a whole other thread) , but I’ll express my disregard by not signing it as opposed to perpetrating a fraud.

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  76. rubbernecker (13 comments) says:

    Except that a firecracker up the bum will hurt the cat. I am more interested in not hurting people. Particularly kids.

    I do actually agree with you Craig. And I agree with democratic right of those who wish to bash their kids to say so. And I also enjoy my right to make fun of them. Failing because of so many invalid signatures I guess reflects on the intelligence of those signing.

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  77. ross (1,414 comments) says:

    I find it bizarre that there are people on here saying that under the old law, child abusers were being acquitted. What planet are you on? Child abusers, murderers, rapists and other violent criminals get acquitted all the time. It’s called our justice system, or reasonable doubt. But that doesn’t mean we should start tinkering with the law. Perfection is unrealistic. The problem with the new law is that tries too hard to fix a problem that was miniscule. A bit like cracking a peanut with a sledgehammer.

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  78. stephen (3,981 comments) says:

    Well ross there was this last year: http://www.stuff.co.nz/4283366a10.html

    Riding crops and hose piping have also been used, but they were acquitted as they were judged to be using ‘reasonable force’, which is nuts. Annoyed that Bradford and co didn’t just try to define reasonable force, but there you go.

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  79. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    Craig R – good to see you taking a sensible approach to this. I disagree with you on many things, but you’re spot on here.

    There has been a lot of deliberate disinformation about the Bradford amendment, but it has actually changed very little for good parents apart from giving a clear signal that there are better ways of disciplining our kids than whacking them. The Police still have a discretion on the basis of public interest whether to prosecute, as they always have done.

    But what it has done is promoted a lot of thought about whether physical discipline is the most appropriate form of discipline, and ensured that genuine abusers can’t use a justification defence to get off. Sure, only a few people were acquitted using the defence of “reasonable force for the purpose of correction”, but how many more did the Police choose not to prosecute knowing the defence was available to them?

    stephen – it is impossible to define “reasonable force”. Chester Borrows tried, talking about force that caused physical injuries that are only “trivial and trifling”. But how can a parent know in advance what injuries the application of force will cause (including mental injuries). And given that many parents use physical discipline when they are angry with the child’s actions, their judgment about what is “reaonsable” is often likely to be impaired by their anger.

    There is no evidence that the current law has led to good parents being criminalised, as Family Fist and the likes suggested, so, as Sue Bradford has said, we should all just move on and start to address thenumerous other issues that are related to child abuse.

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  80. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    Totally agree with the referendum. The anti-smacking act is bad news and represents one section of the community forcing their will on to everyone else.

    The anti-smacking act means that parents are visited by the police for smacking their children and in some cases have gone to court. Family first have publicised this well in their advertisement.

    This totally changes everything. I wish people who are not parents would get a clue! This act means that our children can ring up the police and complain if they are smacked. And the police will and do investigate. This undermines the family because it undermines parental authority. It takes away the right of parents to physically discipline their children in a time-honoured fashion and supported by Christian principles. Unfortunately we have had a foolish piece of legislation foisted on us by an illiberal minority who think they know better than everyone else.

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