Whatever proposals the Cabinet considers this week, they must focus on the need for real action on New Zealand’s shameful levels of serious child abuse.
“It is time to stop squabbling about the right to smack children and get down to serious action to stop child abuse,” says the Yes Vote coalition spokesperson Deborah Morris-Travers.
“On this, there is no disagreement between Yes and No voters.
“We have the world’s worst child death by maltreatment rate, and the consequences of child maltreatment and are costing all New Zealanders $2 billion a year in social welfare, legal, prison system and other costs, let alone the community and social costs.”
That cost is the conclusion of an Infometrics report prepared for Every Child Counts, which counts many Yes vote supporter organisations among its members.
“The Prime Minister is to be applauded for sticking by the law as it stands, and for seeking non-legislative responses which can give people comfort on the issues that clearly concern many.
“We hope that the Government will now seize an opportunity to take serious action on the real problem that distresses us all: the huge cost to individuals, society, and the economy of child abuse.”
“Since before its passage in 2007, member organisations of the Yes Vote coalition have advocated active communication with the public about what the law means and how it is intended to operate to contribute to lowering child abuse rates in New Zealand.
“If such action is part of the Government response, we will support that wholeheartedly. Such an approach would hasten the change in social attitudes to physical punishment which is already occurring, and which is a fundamental part of stopping child abuse.
According to an article in The Herald headlined “US funding for ‘no’ vote”, one of the core groups behind the referendum and Vote No campaign has received over $1m in funding from a conservative American religious group. Funding has increased recently to over $200,000 per year.
Focus on the Family’s US spokesman Gary Schneeberger said his organisation involved itself in political debate: “We absolutely do – and certainly in the United States we have advanced Biblical values in the public square, without question.”
Are we allowing foreign political interests to meddle in New Zealand’s electoral process? If so that’s very scary!
Read the full article at the herald to learn more.
Supporters of the child discipline law as it now stands are urged to complete their referendum postal ballots and mail them before Thursday of this week, August 20, in time to be counted when voting closes on Friday evening.
“Voting Yes remains the positive option for this referendum,” says Deborah Morris-Travers of the Yes Vote coalition.
“A Yes vote supports children, good parents and the evidence published during the referendum lead-up that shows New Zealand parents are rejecting physical punishment as a ‘good parenting’ option.
“No one should be surprised that the No vote campaign is preparing a swanky hotel celebration to celebrate a hollow victory on the slanted and confusing question put to New Zealanders in this referendum,” says Ms Morris-Travers.
“The question was worded to engineer that outcome.
“What they didn’t expect was to be given a run for their money by the Yes vote campaign, which has found support throughout the community, especially among the hundreds of frontline voluntary and non-government agencies that work with real parents and real children every day of the week.”
Ms Morris-Travers appealed to supporters of the law who are abstaining from voting to think again.
“We all agree that this referendum is a waste of money on a bent question, but it is the democratic process in action. Only by voting can you truly participate and make a positive contribution for New Zealand’s children.”
John Campbell ran a heated but civil discussion on the referendum tonight, with Anton Blank (Te Kahui Mana Ririki) and Murray Edridge (Barnardos) representing The Yes Vote pitted against Sheryll Saville and Bob McCoskrie speaking for the Vote No lobby.
The question assumes that smacking is part of good parental correction – which is an assumption that John and many other people dispute.
Vote YES if you favour smacking being a crime, you want to keep the law the way it is, you support a violence free society, but you find yourself in the company of Sue Bradford and the Nanny State, and those people who think they know how to bring up your children better than you do.
Vote No if you’d like to go back to the previous law where “reasonable force” is a defence against physically hitting children, and you find yourself in the company of the whackers and the bashers and the wacky right and all of those people.
John is voting YES because he believes, along with Pita Sharples, that there has to be a better way of bringing up your children than smacking them.
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 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.
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.