Wellington Scoop

Protestors at Parliament to oppose End of Life Choice legislation

RNZ photo

Report from RNZ
A group of about a dozen MPs from Labour and National today addressed a last-minute protest at Parliament, on the day that Parliamentarians have their final vote on the End of Life Choice Bill.

The member’s bill, sponsored by ACT leader David Seymour, would allow terminally-ill adults to request a medically-assisted death.

MPs will this evening cast the deciding vote on whether to send the question of voluntary euthanasia to the public or to dump the issue altogether.

In a change secured by New Zealand First, it would first have to go to a public vote to be held alongside next year’s General Election.

The Bill cleared its second reading 70 votes to 50 in June and was expected to pass comfortably tonight.

End of Life Choice Bill passes 69-51

On the front lawn of Parliament this afternoon a protest group of a few hundred people brandished signs opposing the legislation – “caring not killing”, and referring to the Bill’s “weak safeguards”.

Labour list MP Jamie Strange told the crowd MPs from across the House would support them in their opposition.

National’s Alfred Ngaro, a list MP, told them the Bill was going ahead despite the direct opposition of thousands of New Zealanders, including some in the medical community – “still, here we are today”. He encouraged them to “keep the faith because there are those who believe that this is wrong”.

Mr Seymour said he was “quietly confident” the Bill would pass tonight, but would continue working for votes up to the last minute.

“We’ve had the arguments – I don’t think anyone will ever be able to say that Parliament didn’t properly scrutinise this bill. It’s been nearly two years since the parliamentary process started. And over that time we’ve kicked around every conceivable argument for and against the bill.”


  1. Matty H, 14. November 2019, 8:44

    Parliament did not scrutinize the bill. They would have seen the harm from passing such legislation when we already have legalized euthanasia written into the Crimes Act that allows doctors to euthanize. Over half of NZ doctors don’t support the Bill.

  2. Anon, 14. November 2019, 13:22

    Pro-suicide legislation in the nation with the highest suicide rate is both asinine and socially destructive.

  3. Neil Douglas, 14. November 2019, 13:38

    Parliament did scrutinize the bill but maybe not enough for you. We can now look forward to deciding the matter for ourselves through a referendum. What’s wrong with that?

  4. Mark, 14. November 2019, 14:11

    Agree with you Anon, Parliament has failed to address all matters and issues pertaining to this Bill. What’s economically seen as cost effective is not right action. You don’t put social pressure on the ill to ask them to commit suicide as that is evil.
    Neil do you look forward to the bill being passed in a parliamentary culture that was recently exposed to be partly consisting of bullies.