web analytics

NRT: A surfeit of caution

Written By: - Date published: 6:26 pm, July 18th, 2013 - 28 comments
Categories: death with dignity, human rights, labour, leadership - Tags: , ,

I/S at No Right Turn on Street’s End of Life Choice Bill.


A surfeit of caution

When Louisa Wall put up her marriage equality bill, senior figures in Labour denounced it as a “distraction” and a “sideshow” and wanted her to drop it. The bill went on to be a great success, exciting people, inspiring people, showing them that Parliamentary politics mattered, and that Labour was relevant and could lead.

Naturally, Labour’s dinosaurs haven’t learned that lesson:

Labour MP Maryan Street is under pressure to drop a member’s bill which would legalise euthanasia because her party is concerned it could be a negative distraction in the lead-up to the general election next year.

If Ms Street’s End of Life Choice Bill was pulled from the ballot, the debate could extend into election year, and some Labour MPs felt this could hurt the party’s run for Government by distracting from its main policies and deterring more conservative voters.

Euthanasia is not as sexy an issue as marriage equality, nor as morally clear-cut. But like marriage equality, it is one whose support has been building for years and whose time has come. Its also one which reaches across traditional political lines – lest anyone forget, both Michael Laws (then a National MP) and Peter Brown (NZ First) have put up bills on the issue. While religious conservatives will fight it tooth and nail, there aren’t very many of them anymore, and marriage equality has burned them. For everyone else – including the elderly, who have watched their friends and family die slowly and painfully, stripped of their dignity – it is largely a matter of getting the safeguards right.

Labour could lead on this issue. Or it could abdicate that leadership to others. But if it does the latter, then it is basicly saying that all it offers is management. And if that’s the case, there is simply no reason to care about them.

28 comments on “NRT: A surfeit of caution ”

  1. Tigger 1

    Agreed. Stop running from ‘scary’ stuff and let the MP lead the charge, as Ball did so brilliantly. If you’re worried about fallout then make it a conscience issue and allow Parliament to debate it free of party bs. That’s advice for all parties. Stop seeing disagreement between your MPs as weakness and realise its realistic and grown up.

  2. weka 2

    I’m in two minds about this. Euthanasia is a critical issue, and the bill would need alot of debate publicly. Next year I fear our efforts should be focussed predominantly on the left winning the election. If Labour weren’t in such a sad state, it would be possible to do both.

    On the otherhand, it’s not a distraction from Labour’s policies, it’s what politics is supposed to be about, duh. If Labour can’t manage to get their core policies across (and I agree this is a problem for them), then that says something about Labour.

  3. Dan1 3

    Go for it Maryan!
    I remember a ten year old lass dying of a brain tumour.
    “Daddy,” she said, “you didn’t let our sheepdog suffer like this.” Says it all really.
    Pain relief has improved over 30 years, but I am all for dignity in dying.
    A glass of wine on the deck surrounded by family and friends, a celebration of what has gone before, and then a release from unnecessary pain and suffering of the patient and family.

    I am sure there will a large degree of support across the political spectrum.

    • Bill 3.1

      “But sheepdogs don’t go to heaven, hon cause they don’t have a soul. But you do. And you want to go to go heaven, don’t you? Well…God gave you this life and it’s up to God to pluck you from this life and take you to his bosom. And if you deny God, then well hon, you’ll burn in hell for ever. And we wouldn’t want that hon, would we? What was that? You’re burning in hell now? Oh – tsk-tsk – there now, there now.”

      Apologies for any unintentional hurt to sensibilities…

  4. gobsmacked 4

    It’s pathetic.

    As with Louisa’s bill, the Labour caucus could have agreed not to put a bill into the ballot. Or they could put it in and if it gets drawn, deal with it like adults (fortunately it was mostly the latter with Louisa’s).

    But saying “Ooh, it’s gone in but let’s hope it doesn’t see the light of day, coz that would be awkward, but at least it’s not our decision, we’ll just keep our fingers crossed …” – that’s just an invitation to be mocked. Chronic lack of leadership, as usual.

    Withdraw it or stand by it.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Yep. Show some decent political management. Stand for it, or against it, and not somewhere in the meek grey space inbetween.

      • Alanz 4.1.1

        That is correct. And, please, do not mumble, bumble … and stumble.

        Make the argument cogently and clearly. And do lots of homework beforehand.

  5. It is not clear-cut imo although I want the ability to choose when and how I die and therefore support the ability of people to make that decision, I also really fear that in our society some people will be persuaded to go – you know because the bills are getting too high or they are no longer productive units in society. So the safeguards must be there. I have enacted the enduring power of attorney for my mother so this is not theoretical for me.

    • weka 5.1

      Interesting timing too, of a euthanasia bill and the kind of people-hating welfare reforms going on currently.

  6. Rhinocrates 6

    You really shouldn’t insult dinosaurs this way. They were very successful, sophisticated creatures of remarkable diversity, and as birds, which is what we call them now, the continue to innovate and prosper. The African Grey Parrot, the Kea and several species of crow, for example, exhibit intelligence equivalent to a five-year-old human, placing them well above the average economist.

    Labour could lead on this issue.

    Lead? Lead?! Do you realise how many steps actual leadership could take them away from the Bellamy’s buffet? Several at least! Maybe even a dozen! Are you insanely reckless?

    Alas, Captain Mumblefuck has appointed Whalecum as his senior policy advisor without actually paying him. It’s Whalecum who determines Labour policy now, not the membership or even the back benches. If a flabby Sontaran in a bad poodle hair wig doesn’t approve, it won’t be policy, no matter what work the membership does and you can be assured that Beltway Grant won’t want to upset the markets either.

    Apparently a half dozen soft NACT votes count for more than eight hundred thousand people who painted their roofs. I’m not sure if the electoral commission counts the same way though…

    • Suitably Clueless 6.1

      I really want a like button for comments like this, spot on the money, so to speak.

      [lprent: Tried before. Killed both by popular acclaim and because it was sucking CPU excessively. Unlikely to return. ]

      • Rhinocrates 6.1.1

        I’m thinking of renaming myself “Banquo’s Ghost” (see MacBeth ), but the postings of the old The Standard pages serve that purpose while “Rhinocrates” is sillier and I am very silly indeed.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          You have been missed.

          • Rhinocrates 6.1.1.1.1

            Thank you CV, and keep up the good fight, but I may have to devote more of my energies to my creative endeavours… the ones that pay… might pay… eventually…

    • Murray Olsen 6.2

      Great post, Rhino. You do realise I could now work out your identity by finding out who in Shearer’s office has qualifications in biology or palaeontology?

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        Plenty of dinosuars hanging around those parts…

        • Murray Olsen 6.2.1.1

          True, but thinking of dinosaurs as birds and vice versa is a fairly recent development. That gives an extra clue.

    • Alanz 6.3

      “Labour could lead on this issue.”

      More like Labour’s number one choice has been taking off like a LEAD balloon. Fly, fly, fly. Come on, fly. Six more months, o six more months. How long some more should we wait? Too late, soon it shall be too late.

      Grant, please, please, please, o Grant, please save the party. Please save the party from being euthanised. Save the list MPs, save the polls from slipping some more.

      • Colonial Viper 6.3.1

        Grant, Cunliffe and Little need to get their shit together ASAP and sort out a plan. Come on guys, for the good of the country, pretty please, don’t let us sleepwalk into another 3 long cold Tory years..

  7. Murray Olsen 7

    As far as euthanasia goes, fuck Labour again. They stand by damning with faint praise while NAct strips dignity from the living. When one of their own wants to restore it to the dying, they say the time isn’t right. Well, people die all the time, and any unnecessary suffering won’t be any less because it’s election year. In the meantime, people suffer and a few courageous doctors put their liberty on the line to help minimise the suffering.

    If I had a terminal disease and could foresee my inevitable death with no quality remaining, I’d make my own arrangements.

    • AmaKiwi 7.1

      “If I had a terminal disease and could foresee my inevitable death with no quality remaining, I’d make my own arrangements.”

      Check out a group called “Compassion and Choices” which originated as the Hemlock Society.

      • Murray Olsen 7.1.1

        Thanks, but you won’t get rid of me that easily 🙂
        Still got a while to go, Tories to annoy, windmills to charge down,………..

  8. Adrian 8

    It is bad political management. The left will not win power if it pisses off the Pasifika working class and offends it’s conservative religious beliefs. Labour in particular should be trying to enhance their living and working conditions, their poor wages, high power bills, health disparities, the list is endless. It should not be alienating them by being judgemental and picking arguements with them about some deeply held tenets.
    They may not vote National, but they will just not vote.
    Game over, three more years of Key and the country lost forever.

    • Murray Olsen 8.1

      Same argument as with gay marriage. The Polynesians I know are a bit sick of being used as a convenient excuse for Labour cowardice. They’re not as conservative as many people seem to think.

      • Adrian 8.1.1

        Pasifka people stayed home on election day in 2008, Murray. 14 votes needed in West Auckland, 45 in Chch Central etc, to get Labour candidates over the line just for staters. Good political management means doing the stuff you want at an appropriate time not when you are vulnerable to negative manipulation.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tuvalu language revival and COVID-19
    Te Vaiaso o te Gana Tuvalu 2021 - Tuvalu Language Week moves online due to the uncertainty around COVID-19 said the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.  “However it is a timely reminder of the power of embracing both traditional and new ways of doing things. It has been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • United Nations General Assembly: 76th General Debate Statement
    E ngā Mana, e ngā Reo, Rau Rangatira mā o tēnei Whare Nui o te Ao Prestigious people, Speakers of note, Chiefs one and all of this General Assembly Ngā mihi mahana ki o koutou katoa, mai i toku Whenua o Aotearoa Warm greetings to you all from my home ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum prioritises women’s economic empowerment
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today chaired the virtual APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum, which is working to address outstanding issues for women and girls across the region as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The forum brought together Ministers and representatives from 21 economies to discuss gender ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Upper Hauraki to move to Alert Level 2
    Upper Hauraki will move to Alert Level 2 from 11:59pm tomorrow, 25 September, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. After positive cases were detected in the Upper Hauraki area on Sunday, extra Alert Level restrictions were put in place to immediately prevent any wider transmission of the virus.  “We’ve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Report into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system released
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today welcomed the findings of an independent review into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system, which regulates the export of goods to foreign militaries, police forces or paramilitaries. Produced by David Smol, a former Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker has announced the appointment of Brett Crowley of Wellington as a District Court Judge.  He is currently the Wellington Public Defender and started his career as a staff solicitor working in a range of litigation including criminal defence work. He went to the bar in 1999 specialising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Mental health stocktake shows strong progress
    The first report of the Government’s Implementation Unit has found strong progress has been made since the Mental Health and Addictions Package was announced in 2019. “The report notes most initiatives funded in the Budget 2019 package are on track to deliver what is expected by 2023/24,” Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Working together to grow the West Coast
    A project that has been crucial in allowing businesses to continue during the tourism downturn is among a number of initiatives to receive a boost from the Government’s Jobs For Nature programme, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Sustaining South Westland is an extension of an initiative set up last year ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Next steps to improve safety in wake of Whakaari White Island tragedy
    The Government is moving to improve safety in light of the Whakaari White Island tragedy and has released proposals to reinforce safety standards in registered adventure activities. The package of proposals includes: Strengthening requirements for how operators, landowners and the regulator manage natural hazard risks Improving how risks are monitored, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand donates more COVID-19 vaccines to COVAX and the Pacific
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Associate Health Minister Aupito William Sio announced today that New Zealand is donating additional Pfizer vaccines to the Pacific and AstraZeneca vaccines to the COVAX Facility, to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. “New Zealand is donating 708,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Property Council of New Zealand
    Kia ora koutou katoa   Is it a pleasure to be able to speak with you today, and to be able to answer some questions you may have. I would like to acknowledge the organisers of this event, the Property Council. The theme of this year’s conference is City Shapers. Together ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Additional MIQ for Christchurch
    An additional hotel will be added to our network of managed isolation and quarantine facilities, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I have approved and Cabinet is in the final stages of signing off The Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch as a new managed isolation facility,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ COVID-19 response earns another major digital investment
    Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark welcomes Amazon’s Web Services’ (AWS) decision to establish a Cloud Region on New Zealand shores, further boosting New Zealand’s growing digital sector, and providing a vote of confidence in the direction of New Zealand’s economic recovery. “Amazon is the second ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand invests in cutting edge cancer R&D
    Scaling up the manufacture of CAR T-cell cancer therapy for clinical trials Advancing New Zealand’s biomedical manufacturing capability Supporting future international scientific collaborations Transforming cancer care with targeted, affordable solutions Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has announced that the fight against COVID-19 will not stop the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Expert group appointed to lead New Zealand’s future health system
    An outstanding group of people with extensive and wide-ranging governance and health experience have been appointed to lead the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “This Government is building a truly national health system to provide consistent, high-quality health services right across the country. This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding to help clean up contaminated sites
    The Government is supporting the clean-up of contaminated sites in Northland, Dunedin and Southland to reduce risk to people’s health and protect the environment. Environment Minister David Parker said the funding announced today, through the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund, will help us turn previously hazardous sites into safe, usable public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Predator Free apprenticeships open up new job opportunities
    The expansion of a predator free apprenticeship programme is an opportunity for more people to kick-start a conservation career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The Predator Free Apprenticeship Programme is focused on increasing the number of skilled predator control operators in New Zealand through a two-year training programme. “The Trust ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further NCEA support confirmed for Auckland students
    The number of Learning Recognition Credits for senior secondary school students will be increased for Auckland students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. This recognises the extended time these students will spend in Alert Levels 3 and 4. “It means students in Auckland will have a fair opportunity to attain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Long-term pathway next step to better mental wellbeing for New Zealanders
    The Government is taking a new approach to support people who experience mental distress, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Kia Manawanui Aotearoa – Long-term pathway to mental wellbeing (Kia Manawanui) is the first 10-year plan of its kind that targets the cause of mental distress and also sets out how ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Keeping our Police safe to keep our communities safe
    The Government is committed to keeping our frontline police officers safe, so they in turn can keep New Zealanders safe – with one of the largest investments in frontline safety announced by Police Minister Poto Williams at the Police College today.   The $45 million investment includes $15.496 million in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clean Vehicles Bill passes first checkpoint
    The Land Transport (Clean Vehicles) Amendment Bill will help New Zealand drive down transport emissions by cleaning up the light vehicle fleet, Transport Minister Michael Wood says. The Bill passed its first reading today and will establish the legislative framework for key parts of the Government’s Clean Car Package, including ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding boost supports ongoing Māori COVID-19 response
    The Government is responding to the need by whānau Māori and Māori Health providers to support their ongoing work responding to COVID-19 and to continue increasing rates of Māori vaccination, Associate Minister for Health (Māori Health), Peeni Henare and Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today.   This increased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Significant increase to COVID-19 penalties
    Penalties for breaches of COVID-19 orders are set to significantly increase from early November 2021 to better reflect the seriousness of any behaviour that threatens New Zealand’s response to the virus, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Throughout this Delta outbreak we’ve seen the overwhelming majority of people doing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill returns to Parliament
    The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill has returned to Parliament for its second reading in an important step towards giving enforcement agencies greater power to protect New Zealanders from terrorist activity. “The Bill addresses longstanding gaps in our counter terrorism legislation that seek to protect New Zealanders and make us safer,” Justice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Joint Statement: New Zealand and Australian Trade Ministers
    Hon Damien O'Connor MP, New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth, and Hon Dan Tehan MP, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, met virtually on Monday 20 September to advance trans-Tasman cooperation under the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (CER). CER is one of the most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s Post Cabinet Press Conference/COVID-19 Update opening statement
    ***Please check against delivery***   E te tī, e te tā, nau mai rā [To all, I bid you welcome]   As you will have seen earlier, today there are 22 new community cases to report; three of which are in Whakatiwai in the Hauraki area, and the remainder in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major milestones for Māori COVID-19 vaccine rollout as new campaign launches
    Whānau Ora and Associate Health (Māori Health) Minister Peeni Henare acknowledges two major milestones in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for Māori. “I am very pleased to announce more than 50 percent of eligible Māori have received their first dose and 25 per cent are now fully vaccinated,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government funding to fight infectious diseases
    $36 million for research into Covid-19 and other infectious diseases The investment will improve our readiness for future pandemics Research will focus on prevention, control, and management of infectious diseases The Government’s investing in a new Infectious Diseases Research Platform to boost Aotearoa New Zealand’s Covid-19 response and preparedness for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
    Suspension to be reviewed again mid to late November Decision brought forward to enable access from Australia to first tranche of around 3000 rooms in MIQ Air New Zealand working at pace to put on more flights from Australia from October    The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extra support for Ethnic Communities to share vaccination information
    Extra support is being made available to Ethnic Communities to help them share COVID-19 vaccination information within their communities, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “We know we need to get every eligible person in New Zealand vaccinated. A fund being launched today will allow for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • School holidays remain unchanged for Auckland region
    School holidays in Auckland will continue to be held at the same time as the rest of the country, starting from Saturday, 2 October, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I’ve carefully considered advice on the implications of shifting the dates and concluded that on balance, maintaining the status quo ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government continues crackdown on gangs and organised crime
    Operation Tauwhiro extended until March 2022 Since it was launched in February, Operation Tauwhiro has resulted in:   987 firearms seized $4.99 million in cash seized 865 people charged with a firearms-related offence Gangs and organised crime groups will continue to be relentlessly targeted with the extension of Police’s successful ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to Body Positive 'HIV Treatments Update Seminar 2021'
    E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. Nō reira tēnā koutou katoa Acknowledgements It’s a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Power bill changes bring fairness to charges
    A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. “Phasing out the regulations on ‘low-use’ electricity plans will create a fairer playing field for all New Zealanders and encourage a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy’s strong momentum will support rebound from Delta outbreak; COVID fund replenished
    The economy showed strong momentum in the period leading up to the recent Delta COVID-19 outbreak, which bodes well for a solid economic rebound, Grant Robertson said. GDP rose 2.8 percent in the June quarter, following on from a 1.4 percent increase in the previous March quarter. This was a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Projects create benefits into the future
    Making a well-known lake swimmable and helping to halt the decline of the endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins are among a suite of new projects being supported by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme across the southern South Island, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It’s no secret that many of our most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Opening statement for Whāriki Indigenous Small Business Roundtable
      Kei ngā tōpito e wha o te āo e rere ana te mihi maioha ki a koutou nō tawhiti, nō tata mai e tāpiri ana ki tēnei taumata kōrero mo te ao hokohoko arā mā ngā pākihi mo ngā iwi taketake Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa – Pai Mārire.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New members appointed to Kāpuia
    The Government is adding four additional members to Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “I’m looking forward to having Pamela MacNeill, Huia Bramley, Melani Anae and Katherine Dedo  join Kāpuia and contribute to this group’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan
    Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today. “Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pay parity pathway for early learning teachers confirmed
    Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January, 2022, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government signalled this work in Budget 2021. “From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago