COMMENT

There is no question a bit of history has been made in the Parliament. The End of Life Choice Bill is now law, and is a a triumph for David Seymour.

It is similar to the homosexual law reform law all those years ago, and is an example of a rare moment in political time where we have something way, way larger than the bits and pieces of the day.

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Laws come and go, laws get amended, policy gets enacted and tipped up, but the End of Life Choice Bill is a moral argument mixed in with religion as well as politics and legality.

It's been attempted numerous times, and failed every time, and for good reason. The hurdles are many and varied, and every single part of it is complex. So to finally see it as law, to see something this profound is a red letter day indeed.

And to have been the individual to have seen it through is worthy of much praise and admiration. Seymour did it as a party-of-one. If one of the bigger operators had driven it, they could have had the resource of the organisation. The vote could have been, if not whipped, influenced. The machine of a large party could have, probably would have, helped immeasurably.

But for a single player to start, drive, and stick to this by themselves is a gold medal winning piece of work.

How Rod Emmerson viewed the issue in June 2015 after right-to-die advocate Lecretia Seales died. Image / NZ Herald
How Rod Emmerson viewed the issue in June 2015 after right-to-die advocate Lecretia Seales died. Image / NZ Herald

Along the way, many argued Seymour was doing this to the detriment of his party. They claimed he's got major issues he could have, and should have, spent time on. Like the fact he's on one per cent, the fact he wanted to relaunch and rebuild his chances at the next election.

You can't underestimate what chasing 119 other votes is like. The ones who are on board, the ones who aren't, but could be, the ones who say they are, but aren't, the ones too scared to commit, it must have been a nightmare.

But the magnitude of this will surely have been worth it in the end. All great movements are.

Does it help him next year in the election? Hopefully, it does. If having a politician who is effective is what you're interested in, then you can't argue with what Seymour has produced.

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But bigger than next year is the fundamental change that has come as a result of this.

This is a landmark, this is for the history books. New Zealand fundamentally, and socially been changed by this.

And as former Labour MP Maryan Street, who campaigned for change, told us the other day, no country who has got across this line has ever gone back.

And this has been because of the efforts, dedication, and tireless hard work of David Seymour.