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Urgency on anti-smacking bill dumped.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on March 27, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Urgency on anti-smacking bill dumped.
Monday, 26.03.2007, 09:34pm (GMT12)

Urgency on anti-smacking bill dumped

26/03/2007 19:28:02

Newstalk ZB:

The government has confirmed that it will no longer seek urgency on Sue Bradford’s anti-smacking bill.

 

Labour had been seeking support for the final stages of the private member’s bill to be considered under urgency on Wednesday.

 

But a spokesman for the office of Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen says that will no longer happen.

 

Amendments to Sue Bradford’s bill will still be debated by Parliament on Wednesday.

Radio NZ:

Posted at 8:34pm on 26 Mar 2007

Labour has abandoned its attempt to fast-track MP Sue Bradford’s controversial Bill outlawing the use of force to discipline children.

Labour was to try to get support across Parliament for an urgency motion on Wednesday, which would see the Bill’s final stages debated and passed this week. It seeks to amend Section 59 of the Crimes Act.

However, it has been unclear whether there would be enough support for that, with opponents saying pushing the Bill through would be an abuse of the parliamentary process.

Two New Zealand First MPs – Doug Woolerton and Brian Donnelly – were set to face off against their colleagues on Tuesday about wanting to support the urgency motion.

A spokesperson for the Leader of the House, Michael Cullen, says the motion has been withdrawn because it was causing “too much angst” for parties. (Yeah, particularly for Labour, eh Michael?).

Petition underway

Opponents of the Bill staged a protest in Nelson on Monday, and a coalition of Christian groups and social service agencies are paying for a full-page advertisement in newspapers on Tuesday, asking for signatures in support of a referendum on the issue.

More than 50,000 signatures have been gathered so far, with 300,000 needed in the next 12 months before the Government would be forced to consider it. One of the petition organisers, Bob McCoskrie, says forcing a referendum will ensure the matter becomes an issue at the next general election.

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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