This cartoon illustrates the overwhelming 'no' vote in the citizens-initiated referendum on the 'anti-smacking' legislation in August 2009. The referendum was launched in response to an amendment to the Crimes Act in 2007, which had removed the defence of 'reasonable force' for the physical punishment of children. Conducted by a postal ballot in July/August 2009, the referendum asked, 'Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?'. Of the 56% of registered voters who participated, 88% voted 'no'. Opponents of the referendum complained that the wording of the proposition was misleading and ambiguous.
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