Law & Government

Law & Government

About Law & Government

Our representatives in Parliament and their advisors have the power to affect thousands, even millions, of lives. From the constitutional framework that empowers and limits government, to issues of law and policy that touch on deeper issues like the value and inviolability of human life, we continue an active engagement and interest in a range of policy and legal issues.

Most Recent Activity

Living Wage disputes

By Kieran Madden


Last week, the Government announced that the minimum wage will soon rise by 50 cents to $15.25/hour, higher than the…

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Submission: Health Select Committee Inquiry into the ending of one’s life in New Zealand

By Jane Silloway Smith


Since late 2013, Maxim Institute has undertaken a stream of research into the legal and policy arguments regarding euthanasia and…

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The reason more important than the change

By Alex Penk


At the height of the Boer War, New Zealanders celebrated the heroism and abilities of our troopers. There was an…

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The limits of our care

The limits of our care


While reading last week’s NZ Herald series “Cancer – The cost of a life,” I wondered what the introduction of…

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Euthanasia Facts: Critique 3.1

Euthanasia Facts: Critique 3.1

By Jane Silloway Smith


Critique 3.1: 40% of those in Oregon who access assisted suicide do so out of a worry that they are…

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Euthanasia Facts: Critique 2

Euthanasia Facts: Critique 2

By Jane Silloway Smith


Critique 2: There has been a 656% increase in the number of assisted suicide deaths in Oregon since 1998 The…

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Euthanasia Facts: Critique 3.2

Euthanasia Facts: Critique 3.2

By Jane Silloway Smith


Critique 3.2: 40% of those in Oregon who access assisted suicide do so out of a worry that they are…

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Euthanasia Facts: Critique 1

Euthanasia Facts: Critique 1

By Jane Silloway Smith


Critique 1: 1.8% of deaths in Belgium occur without the patient’s explicit consent The ACT Party’s regular bulletin, Free Press,…

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Euthanasia Facts: A response to ACT’s <i>Free Press</i>

Euthanasia Facts: A response to ACT’s Free Press


Recently, the ACT Party’s Free Press newsletter called into question the veracity of some facts used by Family First on…

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Assisted dying rejected again

Assisted dying rejected again

By Jeremy Vargo


This past Friday the UK’s House of Commons rejected a bill that would legalise assisted suicide; with 330 MP’s voting…

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Why Not? | Making sense of the case against assisted suicide


Why shouldn’t New Zealanders be able to legally access assisted suicide or euthanasia? There are many compelling answers to that…

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A philosophy of death

A philosophy of death


Just over a week ago two titans of bioethical and moral thinking debated whether or not voluntary euthanasia should be…

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Public interest vs public safety

Public interest vs public safety


Words can have consequences. That’s why there are some subjects we have to tread around pretty carefully, and suicide is…

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No longer protected

No longer protected


Professor Theo Boer, an ethicist at Utrecht University, thought that the legalisation of assisted suicide and euthanasia in his home…

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Caring for the whole person

Caring for the whole person


“Now what’s wrong with your dad?” I was asked for the seventh time that day.  I couldn’t believe it. We…

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Gambling with people’s lives

Gambling with people’s lives

By Jane Silloway Smith


Last month, the Canadian Supreme Court struck down that country’s laws against assisted suicide. Because New Zealand’s Bill of Rights…

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The aftershocks of King Henry VIII

The aftershocks of King Henry VIII

By Alex Penk


What does a long-dead Tudor king have to do with the Canterbury earthquakes? In late 2010, after the first shock,…

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On our behalf

On our behalf

By Jeremy Vargo


I sense a simple joy lightening the national mood. Since the Government’s u-turn on their previous u-turn—essentially promising they wouldn’t…

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The tragedy of Brittany Maynard

The tragedy of Brittany Maynard

By Jane Silloway Smith


As a society, we cannot allow the value of life to be defined solely by a subjective, individual perception of…

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The business of social investment

The business of social investment


We spend a lot on welfare. According to recent Treasury figures, of the $92.2 billion the Government spends, $50.5 billion…

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