65.2% voted to legalize assisted death in the case of people with terminal illnesses, after several campaigns in this regard, supported by politicians from the government and the opposition.
The law will enter into force on November 6, 2021, ie 12 months after the announcement of the final results. Almost half a million special votes have not yet been counted.
The referendum was possible after the adoption of the End of Life Choice legislation in 2019.
Beneficiaries of assisted death must be over 18 years of age and be New Zealand nationals, the application criteria being terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months, significant deterioration in physical condition and “unbearable long-term suffering that cannot be be relieved ”. Eligible persons must be able to give informed consent.
The law does not apply to mental illness, disability or poor physical condition due to old age.
ACT leader David Seymour, the initiator of the bill and a euthanasia activist, said New Zealand was decades behind the world’s most progressive states.
“I think it’s time for New Zealand to be a more tolerant and compassionate society,” he told The Guardian.
53.1% of New Zealanders voted against legalizing cannabis.