Kiwi Polemicist

A personal note from Bob McCoskrie 19-11-09

A Personal Note from Bob McCoskrie..

This Saturday at 1.30pm my family and I will be exercising together! – walking up Queen St with thousands of others on the March for Democracy.
When I signed the petition along with 310,000 other NZ’ers like you asking for a Referendum on the anti-smacking law, and then voted NO along with 1.57 million other NZ’ers (87.4%), I did expect that the politicians would act upon that strong united voice of NZ families. But they didn’t. They attacked it, undermined it, and dismissed it – simply because they didn’t like the answer. And in the process they stepped all over democracy.

But it’s not the first time. In 1999 they ignored two referendums – one on reducing the number of MP’s and supported by 82% of NZ’ers, and one on focusing on the rights and protection of victims and a stronger response to violent offenders and supported by 92% of NZ’ers. There have been other important family issues where the politicians have ignored the voice of families e.g. surveys showed that over 70% wanted the drinking age raised to 20 but they rejected that, 83% (avg of polls) opposed the anti-smacking bill but they still passed it, and 75% believed that a parent should be informed if a girl under 16 goes to a doctor to seek an abortion and they ignored that.

In 1993, the politicians introduced the Citizens Initiated Referenda Act – a mechanism by which you and me could have a voice on important issues affecting families. They set an incredibly high benchmark of collecting almost 300,000 signatures, and then winning the public debate leading to the vote in the Referendum. The politicians then ignored every one of them . In the case of the most recent Referendum, they said they would ignore it even before the vote. Incredible!

I want NZ to be a place of DEMOCRACY not DICTATORSHIP .

When I started Family First NZ in 2006, it was to give a voice to families and to speak on important family issues in the public domain. We have had incredible coverage well beyond our initial expectations, but I believe that is because families have felt that they’ve been ignored on many issues that concern them.

The sad fact is that politicians and government funded groups (including Barnardos who said that the march will simply be about ” mobilising the ignorant “) aren’t interested in debating the issue of democracy or referendums when it doesn’t suit. All they’ll be doing is counting the number of people who march!!


Remember the Springbox protests, the Bastion Point protests, the Foreshore and Seabed Hikoi which birthed a political movement, and the Electoral Finance Bill protests which saw the law eventually turfed out.

Martin Luther King Jr said “ Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter .”

If you’re able to , please join us on Saturday. Men and women have given their lives for the sake of democracy . A walk up Queen St is the least I can do!

Please note – it will be a peaceful fun march with a festive family atmosphere – balloons, music, clowns, spot prizes. Families just being counted for democracy!

Kindest regards

Bob McCoskrie
National Director

ps: all the details are here . If you are unable to attend, please leave your virtual footprint on the website (takes less than a minute to do!) | About us | Media Centre | Contact Us | Support Us |


1 Comment »

  1. […] Polemicist @ 10:47 am Today Bob McCoskrie of Family First has sent out a letter titled “A personal note from Bob McCoskrie“, where he states why he is going on The March For Democracy this Saturday (the background to […]

    Pingback by Democracy is dictatorship: a response to Bob McCoskrie’s letter « Kiwi Polemicist — November 19, 2009 @ 10:48 am

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