Archive for the site updates Category

Dr Seuss referendum question clearly confused some people

August 23, 2009

John Key said in June that the referendum question could have been written by Dr Seuss.

Now, we’re used to hate mail here at The Yes Vote headquarters – we’ve received plenty over the last few months, and it’s not unexpected given the nature of the question that there are a at least a few hateful people in the in the ranks of the pro-smackers.

What was our surprise then, when we received the following item yesterday:

Name: Richard
Email: [address removed]

It is a very sad week when a little 3 year old dies in our country from abuse that may have started with ‘a little tap’ and at the same time we have people like your group supporting the notion the violence towards our most vulnerable is ok.  I don’t think you understand what good parenting is and as for one of your representatives saying to his little girl ‘daddy loves you’ as he abuses her – how sick is that.  Shame on you

Time: Sunday August 23, 2009 at 4:04 am
IP Address: 125.237.176.[deleted]

Sent by an unverified visitor to your site.

This poor fellow obviously got the wrong end of the stick.  Some people are very confused about what YES and what NO meant on the referendum question.

We tried to be kind to this well-intentioned individual, and responded as follows.


You got it the wrong way around my friend … The YES Vote are the people who are against smacking!

Please take out your wrath on the VOTE NO people …

Undeterred, he responded:

Your response confirms for me that your organisation has got no idea about what you actually stand for and why the referendum was a waste of time.  By voting, anyone would have supported your contention that smaking is a part of good parenting – how sad.  By doing your homework and visiting hospitals etc, you’d see that the level of child abuse is appaling in this country and people who voted yes have been sucked into turning a blind eye to this and in effect supporting it’s continuation.  I’m pleased to say that I’m not one of these people!  I know heaps of people who are doing a great job of raising their kids without resorting to violence.

Thankfully, less than an hour later, he sent us the following apology:

Please accept my sincere apologies – I was so fired up I thought that I was emailing that lot wishing to over turn the current law – Baldock etc!!

I am sorry for directing my frustration at the wrong group.  I just can’t believe how naive people can be believing that smacking kids is ok.

I will do what you say.  All the best with your work – I wish you luck and again sincere apologies!!

Phew!  It just goes to show how devious and confusing the referendum wording was, and that good triumphs over evil in the end.  But we’re left wondering how many people were as confused as Richard when they voted.

Indie Section 59 documentary

August 10, 2009

This independent documentary on Section 59 was made by Richard Girvan as part of his Diploma in Television Production at Otago School of Media.

Section 59 from Richard Girvan on Vimeo.

Postal Referendum Advertising Rules

August 5, 2009

If you are planning on advertising in the referendum, please take note of the Chief Electoral Office’s Postal Referendum Advertising Rules, which are reproduced here for clarity.

A postal referendum on the question “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand” will run from Friday 31 July to Friday 21 August 2009.

Any individual or group can undertake advertising to promote either a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ vote on the referendum question.

Advertisers are subject to an expenditure limit of $50,000 (including GST).

Advertisements must contain a statement setting out the name and residential or business address of the person at whose direction it is being published. A Post Office box or website address is insufficient.

The expenditure limit applies to advertising that is used or appears to be being used to promote one of the answers to the referendum question, and is published or broadcast during the period from the 26 August 2008 until 21 August 2009.*

It is a serious offence for any person to, either alone or in combination with others, knowingly spend more than the $50,000 expenditure limit. The offence is subject to a fine of up to $20,000. Persons or organisations that formally or informally enter into an agreement or understanding about their referendum advertising should assume that they are subject to a single advertising expenditure limit.

Any person at whose direction an advertisement is published or broadcast must file a return of expenses with the Chief Electoral Office by 25 September 2009 (being one month after the date that the result of the referendum is declared under section 49 of the Referenda (Postal Voting) Act 2000).

The return must list where every advertisement was published or broadcast and the cost of every advertisement. A copy of a form for making a return of expenses for the postal referendum is available from the download panel on this page.

Advertisers who fail to meet these requirements are committing offences and may be referred to the Police.

The returns are open to public inspection.

It is an offence to print, distribute or deliver anything during the period from 28 July to 21 August that purports to be an imitation voting paper and that either has any direction or indication as to the way that the voter should vote or has anything on it that is likely to influence any vote.

The Chief Electoral Office is responsible for administering the advertising and expenditure provisions. If you have any questions about the rules please contact the Chief Electoral Office at: PO Box 3220, Wellington, Tel: (04) 495 0030, Fax: (04) 495 0031, Email:

*The 26th of August is the date on which the Speaker of the House of Representatives presented the petition to the House after being certified as correct by the Clerk of the House under section 18(1)(a) of the Citizens Initiated Referenda Act. 21 August 2009 is the close of the voting period for the referendum.

Video: Save The Children NZ CEO Philip Abraham – children have the same rights to protection against violence as adults

July 29, 2009

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Video: Vote Yes with Sue Bradford and Deborah Morris-Travers

July 29, 2009

Sue Bradford and Deborah Morris-Travers explain why it’s important to vote YES in the referendum.

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Send an email to your MP

June 19, 2009

Thanks to modern technology, we’ve made it easy to send an email your Member of Parliament and send them a clear message in a way that a poorly worded referendum can’t.

Just click over to our email your mp page, and let our wizard help you write your email.

Our friends in the Blogosphere

June 17, 2009

It’s time to share some love.  Over the last few days, we’ve had lots of coverage from a variety of blogs, and we’d like to give you the opportunity to see what others are saying. We’d like you consider supporting our friends who support us, by visiting their blogs occasionally and joining in the conversation.

The Hand Mirror has supported us from the start, most recently pointing out how confused John Boscawen is over the whole issue. They were the first to run our skyscraper.

No Right Turn has mentioned us several times, and runs our lovely banners too.

The Standard has run several items, most lately “Child beating lobby finished“, and also runs our skyscraper.’s published “That ridiculous referendum” yesterday and continues to give us good and broad coverage; they also run our skyscrapers.

Still Truckin had a story today called “And it’s all wasted time” and also runs our skyscraper.

TechTime summarised what we’re about and also runs our banner.

Ideologically Impure says “The question is stupid and its writers should feel stupid“.

Red Headed Devil child runs our skyscrapers.

If you think Christians are on the wrong side of this debate, think again. Christian Social Services (the folks who have to deal with the consequences of bad behaviour) are right behind us. Other brave religious souls have also spoken out.

Pork ‘n Puha run our banner.

Public Address have run a couple of great stories which have generated heaps of discussion and traffic.

Chris Nimmo not only runs the YES in ’09 Facebook Group, he also runs our banner.

TruthseekerNZ is unequivocal about his position.

Andrew McMillan discusses Childrens’ Rights in New Zealand.

Thank you so much for your support! We’re sorry if we missed anyone, do let us know and we’ll mention you in the next round.

Banner ads and skyscrapers

June 9, 2009

The Yes Vote banners and skyscrapers are here for you to use on your own web sites and blogs!

Here’s the code to insert into your web pages … Note that they automatically produce a random ad from our selection on each refresh.

For a banner (690×100):
A Yes vote in the upcoming referendum protects children and supports parents

<a href="" target="_blank"><img
src="" border="0" alt="A YES vote in the
upcoming referendum protects children and supports parents"></a>

For a skyscraper (160×600):

<a href="" target="_blank"><img
src="" border="0" alt="A YES vote in the
upcoming referendum protects children and supports parents"></a>
A Yes vote in the upcoming referendum protects children and supports parents

The Yes Vote makes big gains in cyberspace

May 31, 2009

Google’s PageRanks were updated last week, and we’ve achieved an astounding PageRank of five after being live for under two months! We’ve never seen that happen to a site quite so quickly before, and we’re pleased to be part of a movement that’s able to generate so much traction so quickly.  PageRank is Google’s measure of how important and authoritative a web page is; the higher the pagerank, the higher up the search results lists your site is when people search for topics related to your site.

We’ve served tens of thousands of pages to thousands of visitors.

We’ve also received excellent coverage online in places like Hard News, The Hand Mirror, No Right Turn, The Standard, and Frogblog.

The YES in ’09 Facebook Group has 273 members and is still growing stronger every day.

For a study of how attitude affects outcomes in the Twitterverse, compare a search on @theyesvote to a search on @vote_no to see what people really think.

We are committed to retaining a tone that is positive, constructive and evidence-based. This referendum isn’t about personalities, it’s about the issues.  It isn’t about religion, it’s about best practice.  It isn’t about sound bites, it’s about the whole complex story. And it isn’t about protecting parents, it’s about protecting children.

But the real contest isn’t in cyberspace, it’s in the real world.  It’s great to get the word out and build our online following, but to win the real game we need to convince our friends, families, colleages and contacts that a Yes Vote in the August referendum is the only way to send a clear message to our politicians to protect our children by retaining a Child Discipline Law that is working well.

While we seem to be winning the cyberspace contest for now, we won’t be smug or complacent. We need to be out there taking action, and engaging in conversation with everyone who is willing to listen about why a Yes Vote in this referendum is so important to the future of our country.

So let’s seize the initiative, and get out there and raise awareness with as many people as possible.

Technorati Profile

From the mailbag 1

May 24, 2009

There is steady flow of incoming messages here at The Yes Vote headquarters. We are stoked by the support, mainly by people working at the coal face – Early Childhood Educators and people who work dealing with the consequences of family violence.  We’re also bemused by messages from some members of the lobby of people wanting to regain their right to hit their kids in the guise of correcting their behaviour.  We respect these people’s right to an alternative view, but reject the anger and misguided disregard for New Zealand’s awful record of child abuse and murder. Thankfully the love-to-hate ratio is very high, which reinforces our basic faith in humanity, and that the power of love and nurturing is much greater than the power of hate and violence.

Here is a sample of some of the messages:

I believe no person should be able to physically abuse a child, a smack of any type is not okay.  Child abuse in NZ is appalling, our children have rights and should be treated with respect.  Violence breeds violence.

I strongly support the no smacking legislation and  as a third year early childhood teaching student I will strongly enforce the ideals in my teaching practice.

We value the rights of each child to live free from all forms of violence.

I have always supported the deletion of Section 59 from the Crimes Act so that it cannot be used as a defence of “reasonable force” after using violence against a child. Assaulting an adult is not allowed by law, so why should it be legal to assault a small defenceless child? There are better ways of bringing up a child to be a peaceful and responsible citizen than hitting it.

We fully support existing legislation and believe that the Police are using thier discretion regarding the law appropriately. We believe that the law is helping to change behaviour about hwat is acceptable child rearing pracitce in terms of the use of physical violence.

We support the new law, and totally support the principle that every child has the right to be safe from violence. To return to the pre-2007 law would be a step backwards for New Zealand.

Thank you for your support, it means a lot to us!

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

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If you are going to use or distribute material from our campaign in any way, eg remixed or mashed up, please ensure that your actions are compliant with the relevant legislation, as the Yes Vote Coalition cannot take responsibility for actions beyond our control or knowledge.

The bottom line is that we want to play by the rules. We appreciate your support, but please act ethically, thoughtfully, and within the law.

Please see our Legal Disclaimer for more information.