21,000 New Zealanders have their say
A petition to hold a parliamentary inquiry into euthanasia has pulled in a staggering 21,435 written submissions from across New Zealand. The petition was instigated by the Voluntary Euthanasia Society of New Zealand and former Labour MP Maryan Street, following the death of right-to-die campaigner Lecretia Seales. It’s an issue more than 1800 submitters felt strongly enough about, that they also wanted to appear in front of Parliament’s Health Select Committee to speak to MPs directly. Committee chair Simon O’Connor said the MPs would hold hearings around New Zealand, to allow as many as possible the chance to submit in person.
Prime Minister John Key has confirmed he supports an inquiry, but would not put the issue on the Government’s work programme. Instead, ACT leader David Seymour has a members bill in the ballot, waiting to be drawn this year or it could languish in the ballot indefinitely.