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“Tonight’s extraordinary media conference by the Acting Wellington District Police Commander stretches credibility about Police conduct towards members of a voluntary euthanasia group,” says Maryan Street, President of the End of Life Choice / Voluntary Euthanasia Society.
“It has become increasingly apparent that no one is prepared to say that the roadblock at Maungaraki, targeting elderly citizens, was lawful. This raises the possibility that the lawfulness of the search warrants and arrest which occurred in the wake of that exercise are now also in doubt.
“I welcome the involvement of the Privacy Commissioner and his suggestion of possible referral to the Human Rights Review Tribunal, which has the ability to award sizeable damages for breaches of the Bill of Rights Act.
“I have two main concerns about the explanation offered by the Police tonight.
“First, the claim that the checkpoint was set up ‘on the fly’ when it is clear to all that considerable planning and allocation of resources, staff and equipment, are required for any breath-testing checkpoints.
“Secondly, the claim that action was required ‘for the preservation of life’ does not bear scrutiny. If it was a life and death matter, why did it take Police a week to visit people in their homes? In addition, suicide is not a crime and nor is discussing end of life choices.
“Every fresh revelation about Operation Painter reinforces why a law change is needed. Agencies of the state do not have some higher, noble duty to interfere with rational decisions of competent adults who do not want pastoral care forced upon them. If we had a humane law on assisted dying, people would not be driven to take such serious measures into their own hands,” said Maryan Street.
© End-Of-Life Choice • PO Box 48 241, Silverstream, Upper Hutt 5142 •