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Key Unlikely To Meet Smacking Referendum Promoter

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
John Key
John Key

Wellington, Aug 27 NZPA - Smacking referendum campaigner Larry Baldock has asked for a meeting with Prime Minister John Key to discuss the Government's reaction to the result, but he isn't likely to get one.

Mr Baldock, the leader of the Kiwi Party and the main promoter of the referendum, today released an open letter to Mr Key complaining about the Government's stance and saying he wanted an opportunity for "personal dialogue".

Mr Key was asked today whether he would meet Mr Baldock.

"Probably not," he said.

"I know Larry well, I've met him in the past. I think I understand the issues from both sides."

Mr Key announced on Monday he wasn't going to change the law that bans smacking, despite the 87.4 percent of referendum voters who said a light smack shouldn't be a criminal offence.

Instead he is going to ensure the police and welfare authorities don't prosecute any parent for lightly smacking a child -- which has not happened anyway since the law change in 2007.

Mr Key has also set himself against an attempt to change the law by an ACT Party MP who has drafted a member's bill that would make light smacking legal.

John Boscawen's bill will be up for a first reading debate, probably in about two weeks, and it will be defeated because National is going to oppose it.

Labour, the Greens and the Maori Party will almost certainly oppose it as well.

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