End of Life Choice Bill passes first reading


The End of Life Choice Bill, or a bill to allow assisted dying, passed its first reading in Parliament last night with a 76-44 majority.

ACT leader David Seymour, the bill’s sponsor, joins The AM Show to discuss his latest win in Parliament.

The bill proposes that any New Zealand citizen or permanent resident 18 years or older be eligible for ‘assisted dying’ if he or she suffers from one of several conditions, including terminal illness and experiencing unbearable suffering.

“This is fundamentally about choice,” he says. “And it is possible to designing a law that is all about choice.”

"I have enormous respect for Bill English... on this issue I think he's frankly just wrong and on the wrong side of the issue.

Mr Seymour says he will support a change to the bill so there will be referendum “to tick off that it actually becomes a law.”

"One challenge is that in order for that to happen, there's now effectively two votes in Parliament - one to pass the law as usual, and another to decide whether it becomes a referendum. Winston Peters has nine votes, I have one vote - together we're going to have to make sure we have enough votes in Parliament to actually pass that addition to the law."

Asked by AM Show host Duncan Garner if it was the beginning of an unlikely "bromance" with Winston Peters, Mr Seymour chuckled.

Watch the full interview with David Seymour above. 

The AM Show with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson, weekdays 6-9am on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.