A 13-year-old Crohn's disease sufferer has presented a petition to the Health Select Committee at Parliament, calling for access to employee toilets for people with the disease.
Nicole Thornton was supported this morning by the speaker, Trevor Mallard.
She told the select committee of her health struggles, including losing her hair and having to be fed by a tube through her nose.
She also has to go to hospital every six weeks for medication.
Kate Montgomery, who lives with an ostomy bag, also spoke to the select committee in support of Nicole.
"The most mortifying moment of my life was eating lunch on the beach and realising my ostomy bag was filling up too quickly," Ms Montgomery told the committee.
She became emotional as she recalled stopping at a business who wouldn't let her use their toilet.
She then had to pull over on the side of the road and empty it into a plastic bag.
"Nicole's petition will save people's lives," she said.
About 20,000 people suffer from the disease in New Zealand.