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The postal referendum on child discipline starts today, with voting taking place from now until Friday 21 August.
We Green MPs are going to be voting 'Yes' to help keep our country's children safe from violence, even though we regret that the referendum question itself is both confused and misleading.
We believe that the current law is working well, and that at a really fundamental level children deserve the same legal protection from assault as adults.
Bringing up our babies and children without hitting them is better for parents and children alike.
My fellow MP Kevin Hague, a father himself, says, 'Violence has played no role in my parenting and I strongly believe many other New Zealand men feel - like I do - that it's vital we model positive parenting. Children are precious and we need to treasure them and respect their right to a peaceful childhood.'
As the sponsor of the original bill reforming s59 of the Crimes Act, I have always been driven by a belief that children should have the same right as adults to a life free from violence.
I am well aware that no law on its own will ever stop people hitting or battering their children, but evidence is already coming out to show the kind of gradual culture shift we had always hoped for is happening.
Voting 'Yes' in the referendum sends a clear message that you are part of this change.
With best wishes,