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Answer the Question Auchinvole

5 comments | 8:10 pm | top |
Last Wednesday a friend and I stopped in at the National Party tent at the A&P Show to give them a rark up over their actions around the anti-smacking law. We spoke with newcomer, list MP Michael Woodhouse and Chris Auchinvole, MP for the West Coast. Woodhouse has a good grasp on ACC but we spoke primarily with Auchinvole about the smacking issue. Auchinvole stated that the reason National didn't support ACT MP John Boscawen's bill to amend the law to allow correctional smacking with the hand only, was that the bill would bring about an incredible invasion of family privacy. Boscawen's bill is essentially the same as the bill put forward by National MP Chester Borrows in Feb 2007 which did not pass, and Auchinvole claimed that Borrows had said that it was "verbatim". He railed against the bill as he stated that it specified down to the most intricate level, the specifics of the legitimate use of reasonable force by parents upon their children. However if he had taken the trouble to read and understand the bill he would know that while it is slightly more complicated, it is far from unenforceable or a massive breach of family privacy. Instead it specifies a few things that parents must and must not do, while at the same time altering the law to permit the use of reasonable force for the purpose of correction.

However on 20 Feb 07 Chester Borrows stated that “The full National Party caucus supports my amendments". So why would Auchinvole give his support for the amendment in 2007 when in the opposition but now oppose the amendment in 2009 when he is comfortably in government. Auchinvole and the rest of the National party were happy to support this substantial amendment to Sue Bradford's anti-family bill when they were in opposition, as this was an opportunity for them to be seen to be for the people. But in 2009, a year after they formed the new government, here's a government MP claiming that this same bill is a waste of time. The worst thing about it was that Auchinvole absolutely refused to acknowledge that the current law meant that a correctional smack was a criminal offence. Instead he repeated his statement that "parents can give their children a smack", but when I pressed him as to the legality of this action, he neither confirmed nor denied, but simply refused to answer. I asked him several times but each time he avoided the question. Eventually I told him, "I think it's a criminal offence that you ask an MP a question and he refuses to answer you". Obviously this was a play on the law we were discussing which makes a correctional smack a criminal offence. Chris asked me if I was calling him a criminal, however this was simply an attempt at side-stepping my real accusation. Eventually he played the get out of jail free card, telling me that I was being rude and offensive and that our conversation was over. I don't know how these people get their jobs, but when a 66yr-old representative in Government can't give you a straight answer to a fair question, there's something seriously wrong.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Ross Calverley said...

It's called realpolitik

11:48 pm, November 15, 2009 
Anonymous Ron said...

flogging a dead horse mate. New smacking law works perfectly well as recent studies have shown!

12:13 am, November 16, 2009 
Anonymous Ali said...

That link (dontvotenational.org.nz) makes a fair point but would make its point a lot more strongly if:
a) it wasn't such a single-issue platform. John Key has failed to deliver in a lot of other areas too - most obviously the tax cuts promise, promised when everyone knew there was a recession coming - and then when it came, suddenly tax cuts were no longer possible.
b) it didn't refer to him as a "dictator". He is NOT a dictator and the suggestion that he is simply reinforces for me how naive, ignorant of history, and isolated New Zealanders are. If he were really a dictator, five minutes after that website was posted it'd be gone, and most likely the people who posted it would be gone too.

7:48 am, November 16, 2009 
Blogger Andy Moore said...

Ron, I think you should explain your definition of "works".

Ali, you're right - the Don't Vote National website does need a greater scope, will be working on it more as time permits. Key isn't a dictator but he sure is dictating... good point there.

10:05 am, November 16, 2009 
Blogger Simeon said...

I'm a dictator too.

Just ask my Dictaphone ;)

11:34 am, November 16, 2009 

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