Referendum instigators called on to withdraw their petition

June 25, 2009

Media Statement                                  June 25, 2009

If the instigators of the citizens initiated referendum are serious about making life better for children in New Zealand, they should exercise their ability to stop the referendum and save some of the $9 million committed to this futile PR stunt.  This is money that could be applied to making a real difference for New Zealand’s children and their families.

“The promoters of the petition forcing the referendum, Sheryl Saville, Larry Baldock and Bob McCoskrie, have a short window of time in which they could demonstrate some common sense and commitment to New Zealand families in these hard economic times, by withdrawing their petition,” said Yes Vote spokesperson Deborah Morris-Travers.

Legally, the petition can be withdrawn by its promoters before the Governor-General issues the writ for the referendum, which must be done by Friday 3 July 2009.

The Yes Vote coalition is calling upon them to act responsibly in this matter.  It is clear from the referendum debate over the last two weeks that the question is misleading, many people remain confused about the application of the law, and there is no political will to change the law when it is working effectively.  The outcome from the referendum therefore will be of little value.

The Yes Vote Coalition represents the major agencies working with communities to support parents and families.  We support the child discipline law and we support parents.  We see and understand the challenges faced by families throughout New Zealand and we know those families don’t want precious government resources being wasted on a referendum that will add little to the future well-being of their children.

“We call on the petition promoters to withdraw their petition while it is still possible to do so,” concluded Ms Morris-Travers.

  • Contact: Deborah Morris-Travers. Tel 0274 544 299

Plunket Barnardos Save the Children Unicef Jigsaw Ririki Parents CentrePaediatric Society Womens Refuge Epoch

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