Yesterday, I mentioned that if the date of a citizen's initiated referendum on the smacking legislation is to be announced before the announcement of an election day, the referendum can't obviously be held on an announced election day.
However, I`ve since discovered that should an election date be announced between the announcement of the referendum and the date of that referendum, the government can, if it wants to, revoke the former Order in Council and appoint the polling day as the day on which the referendum is to be held.
Or the House can pass a resolution setting the smacking referendum date itself. It can defer the referendum to the following year provided it has 75% support, and it is voted on before 23 September.
I can't see either happening. Assuming the petition is valid, the selective Labour law of common sense is the only thing preventing a printing of the the election papers and the referendum papers at the same time.Also, an early election won't necessarily stop a referendum.
UPDATE: The Herald's John Armstrong concurs
There would be a problem if the election was called before the Office of the Clerk had finished validating the signatures on the petition. That is highly unlikely.
When asked outside Labour's caucus meeting yesterday about how the referendum might square with the election date, Helen Clark walked away. The election timetable is not a subject she is ready to traverse.