'One of the finest human beings I have met': Sir Geoffrey Palmer's tribute to Lecretia Seales

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer has written a heartfelt tribute for his former colleague Lecretia Seales, who died of brain cancer today.

Just hours after her family learnt the outcome of a court hearing about her right to die at a time of her choosing, the Wellington lawyer died. Source: 1 NEWS

"Lecretia has got to be one of finest human beings I have ever met," Sir Geoffrey said of Ms Seales, who worked at his Wellington law firm Chen & Palmer before the pair worked together at the Law Commission.

"She never sought the spotlight. And she is extraordinarily taciturn. But deep down there is a person of great compassion, empathy and judgment," Sir Geoffrey wrote on Ms Seales' husband Matt's blog.

Sir Geoffrey praised Ms Seales courage in battling her sickness and then using her legal experience to battle for others.

"When her sickness struck she bore it with a fortitude and steadfastness that was amazing.

"Her idea to turn her experience into a law reform project was typical of her. What a brilliant idea. She always thinks of others first. She never complains. I salute her."

Sir Geoffrey also praised Ms Seales qualities as a lawyer.

"I found her easy to work with and I came to trust her accuracy, her judgment, and her discretion. She is my kind of public lawyer.

"Her terrier like qualities in running down the meaning of words in old statutes was awe inspiring."

He also reminisced about spending time with Ms Seales and her husband.

"I recall Matt and Lecretia visited us in Nelson and said they were going to get married. What a wonderful couple."

Ms Seales died at 12.35am this morning of natural causes.

Earlier this year Ms Seales went to the High Court in Wellington to request a landmark ruling to allow her doctor to assist her in dying, without the risk of prosecution under the Crimes Act , in the event her final days became unbearable to her.

Her death came just hours after her family and lawyers received Justice Collins' full judgment last night, which was to be released to the public at 3pm today.

Ms Seales was diagnosed with brain cancer four years ago. After surgery, radiation and chemotherapy she had exhausted all medical treatment options which ultimately lead to her pro-euthanasia crusade.