At this year’s general election, Kiwis also have the opportunity to vote in two referendums concerning the End of Life Choice Act 2019 and the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill.

To say that these issues are significant and complex is surely an understatement. That’s why, to help us all to make an informed vote, ShoreLines invited advocacy groups on both sides of the arguments to briefly present their views and provide links where we can learn more.

End of Life Choice referendum

Official website:

Question: Do you support the End of Life Choice Act 2019 coming into force?

Yes, I support the End of Life Choice Act 2019 coming into force.

We’re voting YES in the End of Life Choice referendum for three reasons: choice, control and compassion.

First, we believe Kiwis with terminal illness should have a choice to end their suffering on their own terms. Second, dying New Zealanders should have control at the end of life, to die peacefully with loved ones around them. Third, passing this law is the compassionate thing to do. We need to trust our fellow Kiwis to know what’s right for them at the end of life.

It’s important to remember that no more people will die, but fewer will suffer. This legislation is safe, effective and will prevent unnecessary suffering. Assisted dying is already available to people living in Australia, Canada and the United States – why not here too?

If you agree, please vote YES in the End of Life Choice referendum. If you have a story to share, we’d love to hear from you. Please visit our website for more information.

Frankie Bennett

Campaign Officer | Yes for Compassion

Further reading:

Facebook icon: @yes4compassion

No, I do not support the End of Life Choice Act 2019 coming into force.

We oppose the End of Life Choice Act because of the serious danger it poses to the vulnerable members of our community.

Human beings are not infallible. There is simply no possible way to prevent mistakes or abuses that would see vulnerable people wrongfully killed as a direct result of the End of Life Choice Act. Such outcomes have already occurred in the minority of overseas places where similar laws have been passed.

This referendum isn’t about whether we agree with euthanasia, it’s about saying no or yes to a risky piece of legislation that cannot be changed now that it has left Parliament. Among other fatal flaws, the safeguards to detect if someone is being pressured into euthanasia are inadequate. There is also no “stand down” period, meaning that someone could receive a diagnosis, request euthanasia, and be dead three days later. 

More than 200 lawyers, and 1,500+ doctors have publicly told us this is a dangerous piece of legislation.

Kate Cormack
Spokeswoman | Voice for Life
Further reading: 


Cannabis legalisation and control referendum

Official website: 

Question: Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?

Yes, I support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill.

Cannabis is illegal in Aotearoa, yet 590,000 New Zealanders used it last year alone. Our current law is clearly not working.

Because cannabis is illegal, we have no control over it. The purpose of the referendum is to put those controls in place, from seed to sale, and to reduce cannabis-related harm to individuals and communities. With cannabis legal we can work towards specific health and social outcomes by setting rules on price, products, potency, packaging etc. Meanwhile, a levy will be put aside from an estimated $490 million in new taxes to fund cannabis-related education, prevention and treatment.

If New Zealanders vote ‘yes’, Police will be freed up to focus on serious crime, while thousands fewer New Zealanders would be convicted each year. For those who use cannabis to treat a health condition, legal cannabis would mean easier access to a wider range of products, at far more affordable prices.

Legalisation and control of cannabis would be a clear win for us all.

Kali Mercier

Policy and Advocacy Manager | Kaiwhakahaere Kaupapa Here

NZ Drug Foundation | Te Tūāpapa Tarukino o Aotearoa

Further reading:

The big questions behind this year's referendums

No, I do not support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill.

Saynopetodope believes the international evidence shows that legalising cannabis makes thing worse. The black market remains strong, (70% of sales), and competes with the legal market. The result is an increase in the total cannabis market. With increased sales comes increased use, often among 15-25 year olds. Younger users are four times more likely to become addicted and experience negative mental health outcomes.

Cannabis is now ten times stronger than in the 1970s. This high potency product destroys lives. More than a plant, cannabis products include a wide range of vape and edible alternatives. Cannabis shops open in low-income communities, taking money from vulnerable families. New Zealand is not ready for this new industry.

Roadside and workplace impairment testing is not yet available. We want improved health and education strategies without a law change.

Remember, this referendum is about recreational cannabis since medical use is already legal. Recreational cannabis is just too risky for our young and vulnerable.

Aaron Ironside MA (Psychology)
Campaign Spokesperson | Say Nope To Dope
Further reading:


The opinions shared here are the organisations’ own and are reproduced for information purposes only. ShoreLines is not endorsing any organisation’s view over another.

The big questions behind this year's referendums

Leave A Comment