Families Commissioner Christine Rankin's decision to be a face of the "vote no" campaign for the smacking referendum is "quite incredible", Green MP Sue Bradford says.From Stuff (who have changed their article to be about Rankin not going to the Vote No campaign launch)
Ms Bradford was the architect of a 2007 law change which removed the defence of reasonable force in child abuse cases. Ms Rankin vehemently opposed the law change and was spokeswoman of For The Sake Of Our Children Trust.
Tomorrow Ms Rankin will front at the launch of a campaign urging voters to vote no to the question "should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand"?
That is despite Prime Minister John Key last week saying he would not expect Ms Rankin to continue to campaign against the law change, and the Families Commission saying it supported the new law.
"I am surprised because I had thought that Christine Rankin was under strict instructions from the Government to keep her head down now that she's been appointed a Families Commissioner," Ms Bradford told NZPA.
"It seems extraordinary that she's willing and able to be the public face of the vote `no' campaign. . . it's quite incredible."
Ms Rankin was paid $565 a day up to 100 days a year in her position as a commissioner and as such was supposed to represent the interests of all New Zealand families, Ms Bradford said.
She questioned how that was compatible with being "out there on the front line campaigning for the `no' vote".
"I just do not see how her position as a Families Commissioner is tenable and would ask John Key and Paula Bennett to urgently reconsider her position."
Ms Rankin last week refused to comment on the referendum as the media had "ripped her to shreds" when she was appointed to the commission last month.
Ms Rankin's history of extravagant spending as a public servant and her relationship with a newly widowed man were publicised widely after her appointment to the commission.
The citizen initiated non-binding referendum will be held by postal ballot from July 31 to August 21. It was forced by a petition organised by opponents of the 2007 law change.
Bob McCoskrie, director of Family First NZ which is leading the "vote no" campaign, said Ms Rankin had not expressed any concerns about being involved.
"She's got freedom to speak out on it," he said.
Zoiks! I haz no wrdz. Feel free to share yours while I phaff around the internet in a speechless fashion.