Just prior to Christmas last year, Parliament passed the first reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choices Bill with 76 votes in favour and 44 against. This bill had been drawn from the ballot box before the general election.
Now voted through the first stage, it is further than any similar bill has gone before.
Following Maryan Street's petition in 2015, there was an investigation by the health select committee, to which submissions were invited. That committee was unable to make any recommendations after months of interviews and discussion.
This new bill is to be considered by the Ministry of Justice and again submissions are invited to allow New Zealanders' views to be canvassed. The justice select committee wishes to hear what we think and why — it wants to know of our experiences and stories, rather than simply a yes or no opinion.
Any earlier submission to the health select committee will not be considered.
The question is whether you are in support of changing the law to allow a patient to request physician-assisted dying in the event of terminal illness, or with an irreversible condition that makes life unbearable, as long as there are strict safeguards in place.
The law change will give patients the right to have choice regarding the way they wish their life to end. This choice will be theirs alone.
Two copies of submissions must be posted to: Committee Secretariat, Justice Select Committee, Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6160, by February 20. Online submission is also available.
We have always been very firm supporters of the Whanganui Hospital. Several weeks ago Christine was feeling very unwell so an ambulance was called and a short ride later she is admitted to our Hospital with a serious chest infection.
The hospital was having a busy time so Christine was admitted to the surgical ward but treated by medical specialists and their staff.
We write to you, and all the Wanganui region, to express our gratitude for the outstanding care and attention Christine had during a total of nearly three weeks, one in Surgical because beds were scarce, then two weeks in Medical.
It upsets us to hear or read people who can only comment on OUR hospital in a derogatory way. We need to be aware of what is being done for a larger, older and less employed population with an ever shrinking amount of money. We believe that those who complain have, maybe, not been honest and thorough with the information they share about their health. We cannot expect the medical profession to be psychic — or should we?
The whole time Christine was in the care of our hospital everyone from ambulance staff, emergency staff and all the people in the wards. This is for everyone including Doctors, Nurses, X-Ray staff and Lab people who took blood for testing to the Spotless staff of cleaners, orderlies and food service people. We believe strongly that our hospital staff are overworked, underappreciated and grossly underpaid.
Christine felt like she was being cared for by a group of friends who would do anything to make her comfortable.
SHAUN AND CHRISTINE CRUCKSHANK
Bravo, Pam Noyes, for an excellent letter, but I am afraid you are preaching to the converted.
Like all good advice given to smokers and drinkers, it seems a waste of time.
A few days ago I had to wait outside a supermarket, so I watched for a while what was happening, regarding plastic bags. Customers were not given a choice, bags were distributed with great generosity.
Nobody had their own bag, nobody refused them, even for small items.
Like you, I am waiting for the message of the global damage created partly by plastic components to sink in and when customers would bring their own shopping bag.
It could be argued that using paper bags would be at the detriment of the forests and too expensive to produce.
No, I don't believe Sir Bob Jones's article in the NBR (Chronicle, February 9) was meant to be satirical.
The idea that Maori should be grateful for the colonisation of our land, Aotearoa/NZ, is quite common. And there are some who believe the problems Maori faced and still grapple with can be attributed to evolution.
I must assume that what they mean is our Maori ancestors had not evolved as rapidly or as far as the European or Pakeha colonists had.
It's rubbish, of course, and it's ironic that in the same issue of the Chronicle we have a picture of an early Briton who strongly resembled any number of dark-skinned races.
This darkie of around 10,000 years back, a blink of the eye in terms of evolution, was classified as a "modern human", which species first appeared on Earth a couple of hundred thousand years ago.
So what we had coming to our fair land in colonial times was not a superior race but people with a huge superiority complex, which some still swear by and which causes them to wonder why Maori stubbornly refused to abandon their culture, customs and language and become Pakeha.
And some of us still do. "Ae, e whawhae atu matou ake ake ake."
Send your letters to: The Editor, Wanganui Chronicle, 100 Guyton St, PO Box 433, Wanganui 4500; or email firstname.lastname@example.org