Referendum Timing

Now the Supreme Court has cleared the sale of Mighty River Power, I expect the taxpayer funded gathering of petition signatures will be presented to Parliament, and Labour and Greens will call for no partial sales to occur until after the .

The response to that should be when will Labour and Greens vote to repeal or amend the anti-smacking law, which 85%  of New Zealanders rejected in a referendum? You can’t claim referenda should triumph over election results in one case, but not in another.

Anyway what is the possible timing of the waste of money that Labour and Greens have forced on us. It is appalling that the Greens used taxpayer funding to hire peopel to collect signatures. CIRs are meant to be about citizens petitioning Parliament, not parliamentary parties using taxpayer funding to re litigate election results.

The Clerk of the House has two months to audit the petition, estimate duplicate or invalid signatures and certify if it has made the 10% threshold. It will of course make it, as the taxpayer funded collectors make it easy to do. If presented in March 2013, then expect certification in May 2013.

If for some reason they do fall short, then they have two further months to collect more signatures and repeat the process. So resubmission would be by July 2013 and certification by September 2013.

If it is certified in May 2013, the Speaker announces it to the House and the Government has one month to decide when the referendum will be held. The referendum must be held within 12 months of the Speaker’s announcement so no later than May 2014.

75% of Parliament could delay the referendum beyond 12 months.

The referendum would almost certainly be a postal referendum, which will mean a three week voting period starting and finishing on a Friday.


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