Thursday, 6 August 2009

Key preparing for Section 59 U-Turn?

Asked whether upcoming referendum on smacking might change his views on the repeal of section 59, John Key didn't seem to want to give a straight answer:
NZ Prime Minister John Key said while the law technically said smacking was illegal that was not how it was being administered.

Police reviews showed it was working well.

"I've always argued that if the law doesn't work we will change it. If an overwhelming bulk of New Zealanders vote no then what that should do, I think, is give Parliament the strength of courage to change the law if it starts not working," he told Newstalk ZB.

Mr Key said the government had other priorities. (1)

Which begs the question, what does "not working" mean? So much crap has been put out there about what the repeal was and was not meant to do, that Key could select almost any criterion he likes and use it to claim that the law was, or was not working.

With 83% of New Zealanders indicating it should be okay to smack in some circumstances (2), I can't help t can't help but imagine that a review of it in ... oh, about two years time ... might find that it hadn't worked, in which case National might feel the need to turn the next election into a de facto referendum on repeal.
1 - "Anti-smacking law not working: Kiwi poll," unattributed NZPA article. Reproduced in the Brisbane Times, 3rd of AUgust, 2009. (http://news.brisbanetimes.com.au/breaking-news-world/antismacking-law-not-working-kiwi-poll-20090803-e6sc.html)
2 -
ibid.

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