ACT's David Seymour defends End of Life Choice Bill after Disability Commissioner's criticism

ACT leader David Seymour says his End of Life Choice Bill will not negatively impact the disability community, despite fears from the Disability Commissioner around safeguards and protections for people with disabilities. 

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero released her submission to the Justice Select Committee on Mr Seymour's Member's Bill yesterday. 

Ms Tesoriero said in a press release she was hearing "significant concerns about this Bill, particularly the inclusion of grievous and irremediable (but non-terminal) medical conditions. These concerns are important and relevant and need to be part of the conversation around this legislation."

"In its current form, the Bill undermines the position of disabled and vulnerable members of our community. It devalues their lives and poses significant risks to them, as individuals and as a group."

Mr Seymour told 1 NEWS one of Ms Tesoriero's concerns was "that somebody with a disability might be somehow euthanised because of their disability".

"That's impossible," Mr Seymour said.

"The second thing she's worried about, if some people choose to end their lives because of their condition, that's somehow a message to people their life is not worth living."

"This is for people who are in an advanced state of decline, whose capability is declining. Not because they have a certain level of capability but because their situation is getting worse and worse."

"It's not about what level of capability you have, it's about the fact that you're declining and getting worse."

When asked if he thought Ms Tesoriero's concerns would have an impact on MP's support of the Bill Mr Seymour said: "We have ongoing discussions with members of parliament, there may be some alterations to the bill as it goes through the Select Committee process, because no Bill is perfect when it's first introduced."

Ms Tesoriero said if the Bill was to be passed, it was "vital that the concerns I have outlined are addressed in full consultation with the disability community". 

The pair are set to have a meeting to discuss the Bill in the next few days. 

Paula Tesoriero’s submission for the euthanasia policy questioned the broadness between people with a disability and those with a terminal illness. Source: 1 NEWS



New Zealand retains triple A credit rating

The credit agency Moody's has today maintained the government's credit rating and expressed confidence about the future of the economy.

The rating remains at triple A, with the outlook described as stable.

Moody's analyst Matthew Circosta said the international ratings agency expects the coalition government will remain committed to fiscal discipline, with the Budget staying in surplus.

But it says the government has the flexibility to increase spending in areas such as education and housing.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the rating was very pleasing.

"What they've said is that the underlying fundamentals of the New Zealand economy are strong, that the approach that the coalition government's taking to being responsible with our budget management.

"But investing in areas like infrastructure and improving social supports are the right thing to do, that we can manage to do that within the finances we've got."

Moody's said the very high strength of New Zealand's institutions was a key factor in underpinning the credit rating.

The assessment comes just days after official figures showed growth in the economy increasing to 1 per cent in the three months to June.

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Shot of New Zealand twenty dollars.
New Zealand $20 notes (file picture). Source: istock.com

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American tourist dies in skiing accident on Mt Aspiring

An American tourist has died while skiiing on Mt Aspiring this afternoon.

Police say the skiing accident at Mt Aspiring happened at about 1.30pm today.

Two visitors to New Zealand were skiing from the top of Mt Aspiring, downhill toward the Bonar Glacier.

One of the skiers got into difficulty, has fallen on the slope and was fatally injured.

The other skier gave first aid to the injured man, but he unfortunately died at the scene.

The Rescue Coordination Centre were advised of the beacon activation just after 1.30pm today.

Police and Search and Rescue teams have been working to locate the skiers this afternoon.

Emergency services are now at the scene and an investigation is underway.

The victim is a 35-year-old American citizen.

Police are currently in the process of talking to his next of kin.

Mount Aspiring towers over the southern alps in New Zealand. Source: istock.com

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Man charged with multiple assaults in Invercargill

A 24-year-old man has been arrested in relation to several assaults in Invercargill today.

The man, who has been remanded in custody, is due to appear in Invercargill District Court on Tuesday 2 October.

The man has been charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and assault. Further charges are likely.

Between 1.30 and 2.30am today, the man allegedly assaulted four people at two different properties.

A 17 and 23-year-old man, and a 26-year-old woman sustained minor injuries from the incident at the first property, while a 30-year-old man sustained serious facial injuries at the second location.

Police are not looking for anyone else in relation to either incident.

Police car generic.
Police car generic. Source: 1 NEWS


First images of wreck believed to be Captain Cook's Endeavour revealed

Researchers exploring whether a shipwreck off the coast of Rhode Island could be the vessel that 18th-century explorer Captain James Cook used to sail around the world have released images of the vessel.

The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project, which is leading the search effort, and the Australian National Maritime Museum identified the vessel.

It's one of 13 shipwrecks that have been known for years to be in the harbor near Newport, Rhode Island.

Archaeologists were meeting today in Newport to talk about their recent fieldwork.

The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project also described the site as promising but said it'll still take a lot more work and money to identify it.

Nearly 250 years ago, Cook ran aground on Australia's Great Barrier Reef during a voyage to the South Pacific.

His ship was the Endeavour, an awkward little vessel that improbably helped him become the first European to chart Australia's east coast.

It was the ship in which the explorer charted New Zealand and Australia between 1769 and 1771.

The Endeavour was also part of the fleet of 13 ships the British scuttled during the Revolutionary War in 1778 to blockade Newport Harbor from the French.

It was listed in the records under a different name, the Lord Sandwich.

The nonprofit Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project located documents in London identifying the groups of ships in that fleet and where each was scuttled


Archaeologists are almost certain they've located the scuttled ship. Source: 1 NEWS


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