Story: Referendums

The fate of referendum results

The fate of referendum results

In this 2009 cartoon Prime Minister John Key is being a 'a tidy Kiwi' by throwing referendum results into the recycling. The specific reference is to the 'anti smacking' referendum of that year. From 1994 to 2016 only five citizens-initiated referendums (CIRs) have been held. In all of these cases the government of the day has ignored the results. This calls into question the value of CIRs as anything other than a way to raise publicity over the issues in question.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: DCDL-0012161
Cartoon by Allan Charles Hawkey

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Nigel Roberts, 'Referendums - Citizens-initiated referendums', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 January 2020)

Story by Nigel Roberts, published 20 Jun 2012, reviewed & revised 30 Aug 2016