'Where was the consultation with Māori?' Dr Huhana Hickey asks
Ngāti Tahinga, Māori lawyer and human rights, indigenous and disability advocate Dr Huhana Hickey recently featured on the Māori Party's webinar on the End of Life Choice referendum. Joined by Dr George Laking, Ven Ngira Simmonds and newly announced List Candidate, Hana Tapiata, the panel discussed the Māori perspectives on the Act.
Dr Huhana encouraged Māori to vote 'No' as they are 18 per cent of the population yet have not been consulted as Treaty partners about the Act. This is a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi obligations. There was no consideration of the whānau rights within the Act while supporting documents to protect certain at-risk groups were voted down during the select committee process.
'Why should Māori trust the state on the topic of euthanasia, when we can't even trust the state to provide adequate and equitable health care, education and housing?'
She warned that the New Zealand law is less stringent and less tight compared to the Victorian and Canadian law. In fact, the Canadian jurisdiction recently widened their eligibility criteria to include other non-terminal illnesses.
Being pro-choice, Dr Huhana would also be eligible for euthanasia/assisted dying under the proposed legislation. However, her concerns for the at-risk and vulnerable communities takes priority. So she is voting 'No' at the October referendum.