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Watch: National's Nikki Kaye on how the death of a family member swayed her 'sympathy' for euthanasia into 'firm' support

It was no grand moral turning point, but Nikki Kaye admits her unhappiness with the death of a relative swayed her "sympathy" for euthanasia into "firm" support.

National's shadow education spokesperson has been a public supporter of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill, which was successfully voted to select committee last week. Source: 1 NEWS

"I do have experience of a family member who died in a way that I was not happy with," Kaye says.

"It certainly highlighted for me the fact that people could benefit from ending their life a little bit earlier."

The reflection comes as the first reading of David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill was last week convincingly voted by Parliament though to select committee, 76 to 44.

The National shadow education spokesperson says her stance on assisted dying begun to take shape, by necessity, at the outset of her political career.

She says political campaigning routinely confronts you with the same volatile issues - and you have to have a stance on them.

"As soon as I was in Parliament, from door knocking you get asked your views on abortion, assisted dying," Ms Kaye says.

"So I think I was always sympathetic to the cause but certainly, as a result of some personal stuff, I have firmed up my view that we should try and progress a very narrow law in this area."

The National leader said he was opposed to all forms of assisting dying, but David Seymour’s bill especially lacks safe-guards for vulnerable New Zealanders Source: 1 NEWS

As a conscience vote for MPs in the two major parties, Mr Seymour's bill has if not necessarily split the house, at least publicly split senior National Party politicians.

One of the most vocal opponents is leader Bill English who prior to its first reading, on December 12, described it as a "very bad piece of legislation" lacking critical safe-guards for New Zealand's most vulnerable people such as the disabled and elderly.

"It's going to be a bit tricky for Mr Seymour to answer the question as to why some suicides are good and some are bad," Mr English said.

Even more provocatively, was National shadow conservation spokesperson Maggie Barry, who said the bill was akin to a "licence to kill".

Yet, Ms Kaye is far more measured in her contrasting support for the bill.

"I support a really narrow piece of legislation," she says.

"I do accept that there may need to be changes made at select committee but I think when you look at the fact that potentially between 65 and 75 per cent of New Zealand public have never had the opportunity to get this to select committee, it's really important that we're going to have that opportunity now," she says.

"That's why I've voted for it, but also I've voted for it because I really believe there are maybe a very small group of people that are suffering and if we have the opportunity to help them we should do that."

A 1 NEWS Vote Compass poll during the 2017 election campaign showed 68 per cent of voters agreed, or strongly agreed with the statement: "Patients with terminal illnesses should be allowed to end their own lives with medicinal assistance".

Within that number 65 per cent of National voters supported euthanasia.

Doctor Peter Thirkill is using the story of his father's stroke as he speaks out against euthanasia. Source: 1 NEWS

A 2017 poll by Horizon Research also found 75 per cent of 1300 people surveyed were in favour of terminally ill New Zealanders being legally assisted to peacefully end their lives.

Parliament has twice voted down Dying with Dignity Bills: championed in 1995 by then National MP Michael Laws, and in 2003 by NZ First MP Peter Brown.

On December 13, Act leader David Seymour's End of Life Choices Bill passed its first reading in Parliament, with MPs to sending it to select committee.

Chairman Raymond Huo has wasted no time in calling for submissions, urging people to have their say by February 20.

ACT leader David Seymour’s End of Life Choice bill has passed its first reading in Parliament. Source: 1 NEWS

"We want to hear the public's view on the bill so the committee can make informed decisions about whether any changes are needed to improve it," he said.

NZ First wants a public referendum on the bill, but the select committee process will decide if a public and binding referendum is held, or if a non-binding referendum to get a feel for New Zealanders attitudes and support for the bill is held, leaving the ultimate decision with MPs.

As it stands, Seymour's bill would require patients to meet certain criteria to be eligible and have their request reviewed by at least two medical practitioners.

Other safeguards include allowing patients to withdraw consent at any point.

Speakers in the first reading debate were largely against the bill but a silent majority of 76-44 ensured its passage to committee stage.

Among those in favour were NZ First as a bloc, but only if it goes to a referendum - something Mr Seymour says he will support.

If the bill becomes law it's not expected to come into effect until at least early 2019.

In Ms Kaye's eyes, the select committee process will be crucial to refining Mr Seymour's bill.

"I certainly do not at all dismiss people's concerns with the legislation," Ms Kaye says.

"I think it's a really complex area from medical, legal, ethical perspective so I'm really clear - I support a narrow law.

"I'm not saying that the bill is perfect but we're going to have the opportunity at select committee now to work that through and there are other jurisdictions that have passed laws like this and I think their countries have been better as a result of it."