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Call for Citizens Initiated Referendum on Anti-Smacking Bill.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on March 26, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Call for Citizens Initiated Referendum on Anti-Smacking Bill.
Monday, 26.03.2007, 01:05pm (GMT12)

Posted at 12:32pm on 26 Mar 2007

Campaigners against a bill outlawing the use of force to discipline children hope to force a Citizens Initiated Referendum on the issue.

A coalition of Christian groups and social service agencies are paying for a full page advertisement in newspapers on Tuesday calling for signatures.

More than 50,000 have been gathered so far, with 300,000 needed in the next 12 months before the government would be forced to consider a referendum.

The government will attempt to pass the private members bill under urgency on Wednesday. It seeks to amend section 59 of the Crimes Act.

One of the organisers of the petition, Larry Baldock, says it is one of a number of activities happening this week designed to put pressure on the government.

He’s hopes to get 50,000 signatures this week alone as a result of the newspaper campaign.

The anti-smacking bill passed a Second Reading in Parliament by 70 votes to 51 on 21 February. Consideration of amendments began on 15 March when one clause was debated for almost two hours by 23 speakers. By the time the House rose for the day, only the name of the bill and its start date had been voted on.

Copyright © 2007 Radio New Zealand

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