I'm not sure how it happened, but there's a referendum coming up.
See - about three years ago, a very stupid Green MP named Sue Bradford sponsored, pushed and nagged through a law saying that "reasonable correction" should no longer be a defence for parents accused of assaulting their children. The "anti-smacking bill", as it swiftly became known, coincided with a great deal of publicity about the shocking rates of child abuse in this country. And eventually it passed, in the teeth of furious opposition from conservatives of all stripes.
But it's only now that we're learning just how determined that opposition was. Someone, somewhere, has collected the requisite number of signatures - which is an impressive feat, because it takes some 10% of the total electorate - to force a referendum on the question "Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?"
I'd like to propose: "Should New Zealand taxpayers' money be wasted on non-binding referenda with loaded and dishonest questions?"