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MPs duck for cover on euthanasia bill

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/06/2017

MPs are ducking for cover on the voluntary euthanasia bill, reluctant to commit themselves because they know that whichever way they vote they're going to upset some of their supporters.

ACT leader David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill was drawn from the ballot on Thursday and will go on parliament's agenda for a first reading.

But that might not happen before the September 23 election, and Mr Seymour thinks there could be delaying tactics to push the first reading past the election.

MPs will cast conscience votes, and political parties won't take positions on it.

Most MPs questioned as they went into parliament said they hadn't made their mind up, hadn't read the bill, didn't know all the details of its provisions, or had an open mind.

A handful, including cabinet ministers Jerry Brownlee and Jonathan Coleman, and health select committee chairman Simon O'Connor, said they would oppose the bill.

Others, such as Transport Minister Simon Bridges, said they would vote for the bill on its first reading so it could go to a select committee for public submissions, but wouldn't guarantee supporting it beyond that.

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