The more than 35,000 submissions to David Seymour's controversial End of Life Choices Bill is the highest number ever received.

And Raymond Huo, chairman of Parliament's justice select committee, which will deliberate on the submissions, said yesterday the unprecedented response was "indicative of the significance of this complex issue to so many New Zealanders".

And here in Whanganui, the debate over assisted dying has raged as fiercely as anywhere, prompting MP Harete Hipango to host a public meeting on the issue.

Read more: Opinion: Seymour shuns submitters on end-of-life bill


It will be held on Tuesday, May 29, at the Central Baptist Church, and Ms Hipango said it would be an opportunity for the Whanganui public to express their views about the bill.

The man behind the bill, ACT Party leader David Seymour will speak at the meeting, as will National Party MP Maggie Barry, an opponent of the bill.

"The bill is of such huge interest to the public that I wanted to bring key people to the Whanganui electorate," Ms Hipango said.

Ms Barry speak about her Palliative Care Bill — currently in the ballot for member's bills — which is about enshrining every New Zealanders right to access world-class palliative care.

Ms Hipango said the meeting was tom provide information, hear people's views and explain the process going forward.

"There will be a high level of impassioned interest and I welcome public participation from Whanganui and from the wider Whanganui electorate."

Mark Dawson, editor of the Wanganui Chronicle, will facilitate the meeting.

On the parliamentary front, the justice committee intends to hear from all submitters who have asked to be heard.

"The committee intend to hear from the vast number of organisations, community groups and individuals who have taken the time to write to us," Huo said.

Hearings from national organisations begin on Monday, May 21, in Wellington, before the start of a number of regional sub-committee hearings taking place across the country.

End of Life Choices Bill public meeting; Tuesday, May 29, Whanganui Central Baptist Church, 285 Wickseed Street, Whanganui, from 5.30om to 7pm.