Does David Seymour feel a bit of a dick now NZ First is supporting his bill?

David Seymour spent his election campaign slagging off Winston Peters and NZ First.

He must feel a bit of a dick right now, after NZ First announced they will support the euthanasia bill.

NZ First has promised to support a contentious euthanasia bill provided a public referendum is attached.

ACT Party leader David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill will have its first reading tonight.

It will go to a conscience vote for Labour, National, and the Greens – but NZ First will get its MPs to vote for it.

“We have said that we will support it providing that a binding referendum was added to the bill,” NZ First whip Clayton Mitchell said.

“As a party we collectively believe this shouldn’t be down to 120 temporarily elected MPs.

That is sensible. MPs have a habit of going against the electorates wishes. Having a binding referendum on this is great.

Seymour said the bill was likely to pass first reading anyway but NZ First’s support could see it pass “by a considerable margin”.

He would personally provide support for an amendment to add a referendum but it would be up to NZ First to find the votes required to pass it.

The amendment could be added either at the select committee or committee of the whole house stage.

If it did go to a referendum Seymour was confident New Zealanders would give the assisted dying law support.

“There’s been an enormous amount of polling: Reid Research, Colmar Brunton, Curia…And they all agree that support for assisted dying is around about 75 per cent.

“To put that into context the All Blacks are one of the most successful rugby teams in the history of the world and only about 45 per cent of us watch them.”

Seymour said this was a “once in a decade” opportunity, and hoped the bill would pass its first reading, where it would then go to select committee, where it would be open to submissions.

If it made it that far, it would be the first such legislation to reach a point where the New Zealand public had a chance to have their say.

Labour, National and the Greens have all said their MPs would be free to vote individually, based on their conscience.

MPs should just get on with it. It is long overdue. This bill will be Seymour’s last hurrah, hopefully he can get it across the line, at least then he will have a legacy, albeit probably thanks to NZ First.

 

-Fairfax


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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