PM: I support euthanasia and it will be debated again soon

Prime Minister John Key says he would support legislation allowing euthanasia following Lecretia Seales' high-profile case, but says getting it right is difficult.

Ms Seales died last week after a campaign to push Parliament into reconsidering its stance on legalising euthanasia, debate on which has been voted down by Parliament three times.

She took her case to the High Court, but Justice Collins ruled that only Parliament had the right to change laws in the area.

Mr Key this morning told TVNZ's Breakfast he personally supported euthanasia, and would support legislation in its favour, but there was some difficulty in getting the wording right to legislate it.

He made reference to comments by Ms Seales, who said her husband Matt would know "when the time is right" for her to pass away.

"And I'm sure that is right," Mr Key said, "but the question is how do you write that in legislation - because everyone has a slightly different view," he said.

While he didn't think the Government should put the issue on its agenda, Mr Key said a number of MPs would introduce bills into the ballot system and the issue would eventually come up again, this time getting "a good debate".

"It's a conscience issue, it's always been a conscience issue and will continue to be one," he said.

Prime Minister John Key says he agrees euthanasia should be legal, but the trick is how to word the legislation. Source: 1 NEWS


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Donations pour in for Jerry Collins' orphaned baby daughter

A Givealittle page created for All Black legend Jerry Collins' orphaned baby daughter has already raised more than $14,000.

Jerry Collins' French rugby family turn out in force Source: 1 NEWS

Four-month-old Ayla Collins was the sole survivor of a crash that killed her 34-year-old father and her mother Alana Madill on a motorway in the south of France in the early hours of Friday, local time.

Ayla was, at last report, still in a critical condition in a hospital in Montpellier with her mother's sister, Breena. Madill's parents are due to arrive from Canada today. 

Derek Handley, a young New Zealand entrepreneur who co-founded The Hyerfactory, says The Jerry Collins Memorial Fund Givealittle page was created in Collins' honour and for his daughter's future.

Any proceeds raised will be put into a trust for Ayla for whatever she might need in life as she grows up, Mr Handley says on the page.

The page has so far had $12,647 pledged, which is approaching half the target of $25,000, with 12 days still to run. The money has been promised by more than 220 backers.

Mr Handley says he doesn't know the family but he's a passionate All Blacks fan who loved watching Collins play for the Hurricanes and New Zealand.

"The idea of Ayla growing up without both her parents immediately made me want to do something to inspire New Zealanders and rugby fans around the world to rally in some small way," he says.

Meanwhile, a pencil drawing of Jerry Collins, by Aaron Jenkins, has so far drawn a top bid of $1,040 on Trade Me, with the money raised to go to Collins and Ms Madill's families and baby Ayla.

On the other side of the world, a rugby match in the French city of Perpignan that was to celebrate Samoan rugby star Henry Tuilagi's jubilee, was instead converted to a fundraiser for Collins' daughter, following the tragedy. Tuilagi decided to change the focus of the event to his mate, who he had taken under his wing.

Collins, Ms Madill and baby Ayla had been travelling home after attending a banquet for Tuilagi when the crash occurred.

They've been remembering the former All Black as his daughter remains in hospital after the crash. Source: 1 NEWS


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Labour blasts non-binding 'debt truck' legislation

Labour says new laws introduced to crack down on lenders exploiting people with exorbitant loan contracts doesn't go far enough.

New laws were introduced and came into effect on Saturday which require lenders to explain the terms of their loans fully to clients.

However, Labour Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer said the new Responsible Lending Code does nothing to regulate the "debt trucks" which travel door to door in lower socio-economic areas.

"Bizarrely, the code is non-binding," he said in a statement.

Mr Shearer said New Zealand was one of the only Western countries which did not put a limit on interest rate charges.

"This government has twice voted down legislation that would curb interest rates," he said.

"It simply does not care about the poorest in society being exploited.

"Debt trucks are a multimillion-dollar industry, taking advantage of our poorest, trawling the streets in low-income areas, selling clothes, bedding, furniture, electronics and food, at prices often many times higher than their recommended retail price.

"The truck companies claim to be offering a good service, but why aren't they in Grey Lynn, Remuera or Mt Eden?

"The Government must act to clean up consumer protections on direct selling. The only control at the moment is a council 'sales licence'."

Source: 1 NEWS


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