9 Steps: The bill process and how you can engage


Below is an outline of the legal process for bills in New Zealand and the steps concerned members of the public can take at various points. MPs can stop the process at various points by voting for a bill not to proceed.

David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill would put vulnerable Kiwis at risk and undermine suicide prevention, no matter how it’s worded. Please urge MPs to vote against it.


#1 Public: Visit and Write to MPs

Urge MPs to vote the bill down in principle. Make appointments to speak with the MPs in your area (including List MPs). Send postcards, letters or emails to other MPs.


#2 MPs: First Reading

After 10 short speeches, each MP votes according to their conscience on whether the bill should be rejected in principle or proceed to the next stage.


#3 Public: Write to the Select Committee

Write a short letter, email or message using the online form. Send a copy to MPs. State whether you are also willing to speak to the Committee later. The Committee needs to receive a large number of submissions (quantity) as well as detailed criticisms of the bill (quality).


#4 Public: Speak to the Select Committee

Oral submissions. The Committee invites some willing written submitters to speak to them in person. These people have the opportunity to discuss their written submissions and also submit additional information if they want to.


#5 Public: Visit and Write to MPs

The Select Committee publishes a report on whether they think the bill should proceed, and if so, in what form.

Urge individual MPs to reject the bill irrespective of recommended changes – Legal assisted suicide in any form will have negative implications for society.


#6 MPs: Second Reading

MPs vote on recommendations the Select Committee disagreed on. After 12 speeches, each MP votes on whether the bill should be rejected or proceed to the next stage, based on the recommendations by the Select Committee.


#7 Public: Visit and Write to MPs

Contact individual MPs to let them know your views and urge them to reject the assisted suicide bill as it stands.


#8 MPs: Committee Stage

On the following Members’ Bill Wednesday, MPs debate the details of the bill at length as a ‘House Committee’ and agree on its final form.


#9 MPs: Third Reading and Royal Assent

MPs sum up the bill in its final form and vote on it. If the bill passes the final vote, which usually happens if a bill reaches this stage, the Governor-General signs it into law (called Royal Assent).


Based on information at the following source weblink: