Govt Ignoring Referendum But Still Funding An Answer

Family First NZ is furious that the Families Commission has used its latest government-funded newsletter to promote the anti-smacking law and a ‘Yes’ vote to keep the law.

In its latest Family Voice which is a 10-page magazine sent out and also available on its website, it dedicates a 2-page spread to an article promoting the anti-smacking law, and linking on its website to other supporters of the Yes-vote including Barnardos, Plunket and lobby groups including EPOCH.

“This makes a complete sham of claims by the government that the Referendum won’t make any difference, yet the law change and an answer to the Referendum is being promoted by a government agency and being paid for by taxpayers,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“This effectively confirms that the yes-vote campaign is government funded which we always suspected. Government funded groups like Barnardos, Plunket, Childrens Commissioner, and the Families Commission have been busy running seminars, websites, sending out briefing sheets to MP’s, publishing newsletters, employing staff especially for this issue, and sending out social workers far and wide pushing their message.”

“But groups such as Family First NZ who are promoting a No-vote are limited to the $50,000 maximum sending limit set under the CIR Act and have to raise it through donations from individuals and families concerned by this issue.”

“The Families Commission should be taking a neutral stance on this issue and examining why so many families are opposed to the law change – rather than pushing a pre-conceived agenda, especially when their current board is split on this issue,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“It’s a disgrace that a Referendum which allows for the general public to have a say is being hijacked by government funding.”

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