Wall says it was prompted by Wellington lawyer Lecretia Seales’ situation where bid to end life was rejected.

The widower of Lecretia Seales has welcomed the tabling of an euthanasia bill by MP Louisa Wall - saying it is significant for a Labour MP to pick up the issue.

Matt Vickers said it was great to see an MP from one of the two major political parties championing the issue.

"The possibility of two bills in the members' ballot, from Act and Labour MPs, along with the Greens adopting a party policy in support of assisted dying legislative change, has created a great deal of forward momentum," Vickers said.

"We're hopeful we'll see legislation before the House very soon."

Lecretia Seales with her husband Matt Vickers in 2011 pre surgery, taken a few days after she was diagnosed with brain cancer. Supplied by family.
Lecretia Seales with her husband Matt Vickers in 2011 pre surgery, taken a few days after she was diagnosed with brain cancer. Supplied by family.

Wall today tabled the Authorised Dying Bill, which outlines a process for terminally ill people to legally choose to end their lives, before Parliament's Health Select Committee.

"The bill is tight and restrictive and only caters for people who, like Lecretia Seales, have a terminal illness," the MP told the Herald.

The bill was drafted with Otago University law professor Mark Henaghan and Wall's wife, human rights lawyer Prue Kapua.

Wall presented it to the committee, which is hearing submissions on the idea of a law change to permit medically assisted dying for people with a terminal illness or irreversible condition that makes life unbearable.

Act MP David Seymour has a private members bill, End of Life Choice Bill, in the ballot.

Wall's bill is based on the ethics committee system used for fertility practises.

An ethics committee would vet applicants and with them work out the details of the authorised death.

Wall, whose Marriage Equality Bill was drawn from the ballot and changed the law, said this bill was prompted by Seales' situation.


Seales, a Wellington lawyer, died aged 42 last year of a brain tumour, soon after a High Court judge rejected her bid for the legal right to help her end her life.

Rather than asking the courts to change the nature of the Crimes Act, Parliament needed to legislate, Wall said.

The Government is not interested in promoting a euthanasia bill. That means the new bill may need to be drawn from the pool of private members' bills.

Wall will first have to withdraw a bill she already has in the private members' ballot - Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Renewal of Licences) Amendment Bill - as MPs are allowed only one.

Speaking to reporters after appearing at the committee this morning, Wall said she had no intention of putting her euthanasia bill in the ballot.

She tabled it so that Parliament was able to scrutinise an alternative method of legalising euthanasia.

The Labour caucus backed her submission, Wall said.

Labour leader Andrew Little has asked another Labour MP, Iain Lees-Galloway, not to put his End of Life Choice Bill in the ballot, saying his party wanted to focus on greater priorities.

Lees-Galloway adopted the bill from former Labour MP Maryan Street, who removed it from the ballot ahead of the 2014 election at the urging of then-leader David Shearer.

Shearer had been concerned that the bill could become a political football in election year.

Little says he personally supports voluntary euthanasia and believes the National-led Government should change the law. Despite that position, he says it will not be a top priority if Labour come to power next year.

The committee has received 21,000 submissions and 1800 people want to be heard. The committee has split into three groups to meet the demand.

The members are: Simon O'Connor (chairman, National), Barbara Kuriger (National), Jacqui Dean (National), Julie Anne Genter (Greens), Annette King (Labour), Shane Reti (National), Scott Simpson (National), Barbara Stewart (NZ First), Poto Williams (Labour).
st), Poto Williams (Labour).