Welcome to our resource Value Your Vote 2017. This is the fourth election that we have provided this popular voting resource for families.
We believe that the issues of the economy, education, health, housing, and law and order are significant. But focusing on economics and other issues while ignoring social values will actually make society’s present problems worse, not better.
Research proves that the strength of marriage and family has a major impact on the strength of our nation and the rates of child poverty, child abuse, costs of welfare, and an ordered civil society.
Over the past 15 years, there have been a number of law changes voted on by our politicians specifically impacting the welfare of Kiwi families and the role of parents. Marriage has been increasingly devalued.
The moral values of any politician and of any political party will shape our nation’s laws. You and I have a duty to hold our politicians to account.
In the upcoming General Election, voting according to our values is the greatest freedom and privilege we have. We should value it – and use it!
This site allows you to see how your local MP and each political party has voted - and will vote - on these important social issues. Many of them are conscience votes, allowing an MP to vote according to his or her conscience rather than along party lines. However, in many cases there seems to be a ‘party conscience’.
Please note that Family First New Zealand does not endorse or oppose candidates or parties for elective office. This record should not take the place of your own effort to evaluate the parties and candidates. We would encourage all voters to make informed decisions on the candidates’ and parties’ policies across key issues. This resource offers a limited but nevertheless important perspective on each candidate and party in matters important to families.
NEW FEATURE - This election, we have asked all the major parties what their official party policy is on marriage, the anti-smacking law, abortion, euthanasia, marijuana, ‘gender identity’, sex education, parental notification and others. In some cases, we have also based their ‘policy’ on public statements made by the leaders in the media.
Families deserve laws that strengthen and protect them – not ones that redefine and undermine them.
We are pleased to offer this guide as a helpful resource to aid you in making an informed decision when you vote this September.
Bob McCoskrie – National Director
Authorised by Family First, 28 Davies Ave, Manukau City 2241
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Bill English did not complete the questionnaire, but did attend the recent Forum on the Family hosted by Family First NZ where he responded to some of these questions. Jacinda Ardern and James Shaw have not yet responded to our Questionnaire.
* We have analysed ALL the leaders’ voting records and public statements made on these issues to determine their position. We welcome any documented corrections.
Politicians chose to reject the obvious cultural and natural characteristics of marriage and the subsequent creation and care of children and made marriage just about partnership. They did not have the authority to redefine marriage - and their efforts only mask reality. With no clear public mandate, they committed an act of cultural vandalism. For millions and millions of people worldwide, marriage is a culturally-significant and historically-bound institution. The equality cause is not advanced by destroying institutions. Equality should respect difference, not destroy it.
READ MORE - www.protectmarriage.nz
At the same time as politicians were redefining marriage, many of them were also collecting signatures for a referendum on state asset sales – saying that New Zealanders had a right to be heard on this issue and that the government should listen to the public. That same courtesy did not extend to changing the definition of a significant social and cultural institution which the politicians did not have the public mandate to change. The proposal to hold a referendum on the definition of marriage was defeated.
The politicians demanded a conscience vote on the bill to redefine marriage, ironically at the same time as they voted that they would not protect the freedom of conscience of places of faith from having to host same-sex weddings if their facilities are available to the general public, or of some marriage registrars and marriage celebrants to lawfully be able to refuse a request to marry a same-sex couple. As a result of this proposal being defeated, some facilities have been pressured to change their policies or have no longer made their facilities available to the public in order to avoid possible prosecution. Some marriage celebrant applicants have been turned down due to their personal convictions on the definition of marriage, despite assurances from politicians that this would not happen.
In 2005, the Marriage (Gender Clarification) Amendment Bill attempted to clearly define and confirm marriage as a union between one man and one woman, in accordance with the common law understanding of marriage. The bill was defeated.
the role of parents
In 2007, Section 59 of the Crimes Act was amended, removing legal protection from parents who exercise discipline over their children in the form of light physical punishment. The amendment makes parents who engage in such correction of their children liable for prosecution and unwarranted intervention by police and CYF. Meanwhile the actual root causes of child abuse as identified by UNICEF and CYF reports remain. The law was passed despite 87% of New Zealanders opposing it. Rates of serious child abuse have continued to rise.
READ MORE – www.protectgoodparents.nz
Just over a week after 87% of New Zealanders voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to change the anti-smacking law, politicians had the opportunity to support a bill that would have decriminalised light and non-abusive smacking for the purpose of correction. This would have removed the fear and uncertainty around the anti-smacking law. This proposed amendment to the law was virtually identical to that aggressively lobbied for by the current National-led government when in Opposition. The bill was defeated, and all National MPs voted against it.
Currently, girls under the age of 16 can have an abortion without their parents being informed. In 2004, an amendment was put forward to prevent this. The amendment would have allowed girls to make the final decision about whether or not to abort, but would have ensured this decision did not happen in isolation from their parents, except in exceptional circumstances. The amendment was defeated.
READ MORE – www.hillaryslaw.org.nz
The private members bill of Green MP Julie Anne Genter is effectively a grow-your-own-dope bill with very little control or safeguards. And the qualifying medical condition criteria are wide and subjective. Marijuana will simply and easily be diverted from medical programmes to ‘recreational’ purposes. We support the government’s caution around this issue, and we also support a compassionate response to those in real need. But this private members bill fails the test in terms of public health, public safety, and protecting our young people.
READ MORE – www.saynopetodope.nzStill awaiting 1st reading – projected vote of MPs on 1st Reading shown
The country has undertaken an extensive inquiry into the issue of ending one’s life in New Zealand with more than 22,000 submissions and 80% of those submissions opposing assisted suicide / euthanasia. This private members bill from ACT MP David Seymour is offering yet another attempt to try to mitigate the real concerns around so-called ‘safeguards’. The bill raises the same massive concerns around issues of subjective definitions, risks to the elderly, the vulnerable, the disabled, and people who are depressed and ‘sick of life’.
READ MORE – www.rejectassistedsuicide.nzStill awaiting 1st reading – projected vote of MPs on 1st Reading shown
After a number of attempts, this most recent bill which was passed into law allows trading on Easter Sunday. Based on the arguments used, Good Friday, Anzac Day and Christmas Day will soon be targeted.
A number of communities around NZ are trying to deal with the problems created by street prostitution: intimidation, noise, litter, and criminal behaviour. The 2004 prostitution law (see below) failed to give local councils the ability to deal with the nuisance and harm of this activity caused to both the prostitutes (many of whom are under-age) and families. The bill would enable prostitutes to be moved out of residential and family shopping areas in Auckland, but would have set a precedent for other councils in New Zealand to tackle the issue. The bill was defeated.
New medical evidence on accident probability, disease and brain development, along with the Child and Youth Mortality Review and the recommendations of the Prime Minister’s chief science adviser, made it absolutely clear that delaying the age at which young people have easy access to alcohol would reduce the level of damage they and society suffer as well as contributing to their future health and well-being. An increase in the drinking age would undo some of the harm which resulted from the previous lowering of the age. The proposal was defeated.
The Green Party’s medicinal cannabis bill in 2009 - which was soundly defeated – allowed for teenagers to cultivate and smoke cannabis with parental permission, created dope ‘pimps’, and appointed police to be the ‘dealers’. It also deemed medicinal purposes to include depression and mental illness, eating disorders, and schizophrenia.
Prostitution was made legal in New Zealand in 2004, after the passing of the Prostitution Reform Bill by only a single vote majority. In doing so, it made it legal for small brothels to operate in residential areas next to family homes, and failed to protect communities and families from the effects of street prostitution. Decriminalisation has failed to achieve its stated objectives of improving the safety, health and welfare or the conditions of the workers. What it has achieved is greatly improving the conditions for pimps and brothel owners, and ultimately legalised the sexual exploitation of vulnerable people.
The Death with Dignity Bill would have legalised euthanasia by allowing people who are incurably and terminally ill to request and receive medical assistance to end their lives. The bill was defeated. A similar bill was defeated in 1995.