Potential Labour leaders show where they stand on euthanasia

Euthanasia: Killing or Caring?Andrew Little, who is vying for the Labour leadership, has made it clear that he does not think the End of Life Choice Bill should be returned to the ballot.

The controversial End of Life Choice Bill which was once championed by Maryan Street, is now in the hands of Palmerston North MP Iain Lees-Galloway (Labour).

Street failed to garner enough electorate votes in the September general election and the Labour party’s poor take of the Party vote meant that she also didn’t get into parliament on the list ticket.

Little, who only scraped into parliament himself, is not opposed to euthanasia, however, he believes that the Labour party needs to focus on more important issues rather than those that had the potential to cause controversy.

According to the NZ Herald, Little noted that

The challenge for the next three years is for us to emphasise issues of priority to a broad cross-section of New Zealanders and I’m not sure [euthanasia] is one of them.

There are mixed feelings from other contenders for the Labour Party leadership.

Grant Robertson advised Lees-Galloway to take the issue forward by creating a cross-party group.

Nanaia Mahuta fully supported the reintroduction of the End of Life Choice Bill to the ballot.

David Parker did not want to comment on the issue.

But Lees-Galloway believes that the euthanasia debate was not a party issue and would not detract from the bigger issues that the Party faces.

He was going to gauge the support the Bill would have in parliament before entering it back into the ballot.

Maryan Street withdrew the End of Life Choice Bill from the ballot last year under pressure from the Labour party which did not want to have to discuss the issue during an election year.

The new leader of the Labour party will be announced on November 18th.

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