On the night of Wednesday October 23, David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill was amended to include a binding referendum on whether it should come into force. This means that New Zealanders will likely be asked to decide whether euthanasia should be legal in a referendum at the 2020 election.
The amendment was adopted by a vote of 66 to 54. (See also the Hansard report on Parliament’s website.) A majority of Labour MPs (28) voted for the referendum, including leader Jacinda Ardern. A majority of National MPs (39) voted against it, including leader Simon Bridges.
The referendum would give give the bill a much higher chance of passing as it keeps NZ First on board with the legislation. The referendum is not certain as the bill still has to make it through a third reading vote next month.