16 Nov 2009

Family First wants three referendums honoured

10:16 pm on 16 November 2009

The National Director of the lobby group Family First is calling on the Prime Minister to revisit and honour referendums held in 1999, as well as this year's smacking referendum.

Bob McCoskrie is one of the backers of an Auckland march planned for Saturday to protest against the government's decision to ignore the results of this year's smacking referendum.

Of those who voted in the referendum, 87% did not support the 2007 child discipline law, which gave children the same protection against assault as adults by removing the defence of reasonable force.

The funder and organiser of Saturday's march, Auckland businessman Colin Craig, says its scope is being extended in a bid to get previous referendums on law and order and reducing MP numbers acknowledged.

Mr Craig, who has pledged more than $400,000 for the "March for Democracy", says the results of referendums should be made binding.

Mr McCoskrie says he is hoping the Queen Street march this Saturday will draw a response from Mr Key.

"We're hoping that John Key will listen and will amend the law - decriminalise light smacking. We'd also like the previous referendums of 99 MPS and the law and order referendum revisited."

Mr McCoskrie says the National Government should honour the wishes of the people.

The Sensible Sentencing Trust says the march is a chance for New Zealanders to vent their frustration.

The trust's national spokesperson, Garth McVicar, says New Zealanders are sick of feeling voiceless.

He says he's joining the march because it has taken 10 years to get action on the law and order referendum.