Family First NZ says that government funded organisations are working and spending overtime pushing the anti-smacking law, attacking the Referendum, and promoting a yes-vote.
“Following on from the Families Commission last week, and ongoing lobbying from the Children’s Commissioner and government-funded groups like Barnardos and Plunket, the latest example is the Human Rights Commission who admitted today that they funded a legal opinion to try to validate their support for the anti-smacking law,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “They also labeled the Referendum as ‘flawed’ and ‘meaningless’.”
“Once again, this makes a complete sham of claims by the government that the Referendum won’t make any difference, yet the law change, an answer to the Referendum, and attempts to undermine the process are being promoted by government organisations – and being paid for by taxpayers.”
“But groups such as Family First NZ and many others who oppose the law and promoting a No-vote are limited to the $50,000 maximum spending limit set under the CIR Act and have to raise it through donations from individuals and families concerned by this issue.”
“The spending limit is penalising groups who oppose the anti-smacking law, but taxpayer-funded groups are spending like there’s no recession!”
Ironically, in response to a formal complaint by Family First NZ that the anti-smacking law is vague and uncertain, the Human Rights Commission acknowledged the potential uncertainty of the law but said they were not convinced that the earlier version of section 59 ‘provided any better guidance than the present legislation’.
Mr McCoskrie says that recent research by Curia Marketing Research found widespread confusion about the effect of the law. 55% of the respondents said that smacking was always illegal, 31% said it wasn’t, and 14% didn’t know. A recent Families Commission report showed that immigrant families are confused by the anti-smacking law and see smacking as a viable option for correcting their children.
“The Referendum is being dismissed by the government yet there’s no shortage of cheques being signed to determine a favourable outcome to the politicians,” says Mr McCoskrie.