Majority happy with civil union, prostitution laws

By Ruth Berry

A majority of voters say they are happy with the way civil union and prostitution decriminalisation laws are working.

Voters are also overwhelmingly happy about the smoking law changes, according to a Herald DigiPoll survey taken last week.

It asked voters whether they were happy or unhappy with the "way the law allowing civil unions is working".

Forty-six per cent said they were happy and and 35.7 per cent said they were unhappy. A further 18.1 per cent said they didn't know or refused to comment.

Asked if they were "happy or unhappy with how the decriminalisation of prostitution is working", 39 per cent said they were happy and 34.6 unhappy.

A large 26.4 per cent were undecided or refused comment.

A total of 75.9 per cent of people were happy about the way the smoking ban in pubs is working.

The poll also suggests that "moral issues" were not particularly high on voters' list of concerns.

A total 5.4 per cent rated them as the most important issue for them.

Internal Affairs this week said 74 couples had solemnised civil unions since the legislation took effect in April.

Of those couples 10 were heterosexual.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters claimed it was proof the Government's "gay marriage agenda" was a flop.

"They inflicted a full frontal assault on the nation over gay marriage without giving New Zealanders their say and now it seems even the gay community doesn't want it."

Asked for a comment from National on the poll results, Dr Brash's office said the issues were about conscience votes and the party didn't have a view or, therefore, a spokesman on them.

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