Herald New Zealander of the year

NZ Herald has named Lecretia Seales as their New Zealander of the year.

Courageous woman who sparked euthanasia debate New Zealander of the Year

She was brave and inspiring, sharing something as personal and private as her death for the advancement of a human right.

Instead of spending her last months quietly with family and friends, she spent them in a legal battle – fighting for the right to choose how she died.

For that courageous effort, the late Wellington lawyer Lecretia Seales is the Herald‘s New Zealander of the Year.

She died, aged 42, on June 5 from brain cancer. Her death came just days after learning she had been unsuccessful in her High Court bid for the legal right for a doctor to help her end her life. She wanted the right to not die a painful death.

As the result of the debate she prompted, Parliament began the first public inquiry into the issue of medically assisted dying.

It’s a good choice.

The finalists were:

  • Richie McCaw and Steve Hansen
  •  broadcaster Rachel Smalley
  • spy boss Rebecca Kitteridge
  • road safety campaigner Sean Roberts
  • cot death specialist Ed Mitchell
  • Teina Pora advocate Tim McKinnel
  • activist architect Julie Stout;
  • Lisa King and Michael Meredith for feeding hungry kids;
  • Tania Billingsley, who stood up to sexual violence.

Other awards:

  • Sporting Achievement of the Year – All Blacks
  • Business Leader of the Year – IAG chief executive Jacki Johnson

 

Leave a comment

38 Comments

  1. kiwi guy

     /  19th December 2015

    It should have gone to McCaw by a MASSIVE margin, but instead it goes to someone because of what genitalia they happened to be born with.

    Reply
    • Pickled Possum

       /  19th December 2015

      Jeepers kiwi
      In my world that particular genitalia you talk of is called ‘The House of Man’

      McCaw kicks a little ball around pffffff
      Lecretia Seales … dying of brain cancer spends the remaining days of her life to push for the fundamental human right to end her life medical assisted.
      Now the powers that be are having an inquiry about medically assisted dying.
      Yaaaaa well done NZ Herald

      PS
      your coming across as a woman hating angry man there kiwi
      not a good look if your single.

      Reply
      • kiwi guy

         /  19th December 2015

        “McCaw kicks a little ball around pffffff”

        McCaw has reached the pinnacle of success in his chosen field through dedication, sacrifice and belief. Money, social status and respect have flowed his way as a result.

        What have you done, Pickle Brains? Sweet FA is what.

        Her crusade was wrong headed and ideologically driven, so no trophy.

        PS:

        “not a good look if your single”

        Castrating yourself to please the Political Lesbians is what will turn women off:

        ^ Feminist “nice guy” – I cant even.

        A woman respects men who are strong, work hard making money so they can provide security and opportunities for her and her children.

        Reply
  2. kiwi guy

     /  19th December 2015

    “Business Leader of the Year – IAG chief executive Jacki Johnson”

    Again, we all know why she won it.

    Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  19th December 2015

      Not everyone is as fixated upon that area of the human body as you are. Have you considered seeking help for this obsession, which is a rather unhealthy one ? It must be evident in your everyday life and could well get you into serious trouble one day, if it hasn’t already.

      Reply
    • alloytoo

       /  19th December 2015

      I have no idea why she won it, she seems to spend most of her time tweeting from Sydney. AWOL CEO if ever I saw one,

      Reply
  3. Zedd

     /  19th December 2015

    Shock, horror.. ‘super-Key’ was not on the list..
    Maybe he could be awarded ‘Jackass of the year ?’ :/

    I would support Lucretia 🙂

    Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  19th December 2015

      Can’t you write anything that doesn’t have a derogatory remark about John Key in it, no matter what the subject under discussion is ? It’s very tedious as one knows exactly what you’re going to say.

      Reply
      • Zedd

         /  19th December 2015

        ditto.. your replies are boring, tedious & obvious too.. 😦

        I’m not a member of the ‘Team Key’ suck-up crowd !!

        Reply
        • kittycatkin

           /  19th December 2015

          Nor am I, although I do admire him. But you are like Kiwi Guy-no matter what the topic is, you reply as if it was about something else. I don’t like Andrew Little, but I don’t drag his name into every conversation, no matter how irrelevant it is.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  20th December 2015

            Put it this way, PZ, if I was running a business in which JK applied for a job, would I hire him? You bet, in a heart-beat.

            Would I hire any of the recent Labour party leadership applicants/holders? I would consider Shearer for an undemanding role, possibly Little as an organiser/manager but none of the others.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th December 2015

              Oops, obviously somehow this replied to the wrong comment.

        • @ Zedd – I’ve coined the medical term for it.

          KRAS – Key Reverence and Adoration Syndrome.

          @ Ratty below – I guess you and KG probably know each other?

          One sure sign of a master provocateur, double-agent or disguise artist is you will never know which side they are on. Unless KG outright states his true position, WE will never know.

          The brilliance of this is you and I are forced into taking a position based on belief. The one darned thing which you can’t scientifically prove or really provide any evidence for, other than, “I believe … this or that”.

          Reply
  4. Ratty

     /  19th December 2015

    Troll lol lol lol Kiwiguy

    Oh god, you are serious arent you ?

    Reply
  5. Brown

     /  19th December 2015

    I think its an awful choice. It celebrates death, not life and just rolls with the latest cause celebre. We prattle on about terrible suicide stats in one breath then encourage it in the next. While we need to have the conversation about assisted suicide I don’t see someone dying before they could get an assisted death as a cause for celebration.

    … broadcaster Rachel Smalley. FFS, she’s a narrow minded progressive with whom the real world will one day catch up.

    Who compiles this nonsense? Everyday there are thousands of people who quietly go about their business without fanfare and do much good for little reward. You probably don’t even know who you are because modesty means you are just doing what you think is right and no reward or recognition is required. The baubles of men – pffft.

    Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  19th December 2015

      I don’t like the idea of assisted death, but nor do I like the thought of someone having to stay alive in a state totally lacking all dignity and quality of life. Maybe one has to go through seeing someone reaching that stage before one can make a real judgement.

      The second part sounds like sour grapes. If someone neither seeks or expects rewards or recognition, why should they be given it ?

      Reply
      • Pete Kane

         /  19th December 2015

        “I don’t like the idea of assisted death, but nor do I like the thought of someone having to stay alive in a state totally lacking all dignity and quality of life.”

        Yes, was all I could offer when reading your comments Ms Kittycatkin. A dilemma, one way or another for so many. I hope things are going OK for you by the way.

        Reply
  6. David

     /  19th December 2015

    Rachel Smalley ! awful woman but she does work for the Herald

    Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  19th December 2015

      Was she the one who called NZ women lardos and other complimentary remarks on air when she didn’t realise that the microphone was on ?

      Reply
  7. @ Brown – Your post above makes me feel sad. I would argue that death itself celebrates life. Isn’t this what funerals are about, along with expression of grief and loss?

    One significant group of people neglected, seemingly forgotten, in our discussion of ‘Death with Dignity’ and never, to my knowledge, shown as a proportion suicide statistics, are the people who take their own lives each year because of the absence of any Death with Dignity in our Law. I believe these ‘suicides’ are numerous.

    Lack of Death with Dignity commits these people to having ‘suicide’ recorded on their death certificates, along with all its legal implications and possibly stigma.

    The quotient is very simple in my opinion: The current ‘suicide’ situation is considerably less humane than Death with Dignity.

    Lecretia Seales did several very important things simultaneously. She was a voice for other people in a similar position to her. She reactivated the discussion, leading to Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill being placed in the Parliamentary ballot.

    And, perhaps most importantly, she tested the current law in our High Court, which is exactly what should be regularly happening to laws.

    Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  19th December 2015

      Pz; nobody sees the death certificate except people who need to (like the undertaker) and won’t be repeating what’s on it.So there would be no stigma.

      Reply
      • kittycatkin

         /  19th December 2015

        I meant to say, none from that source. I have known people who have killed themselves, and the main response has been pity and shock.

        Reply
        • KCK – I shall refrain from making an insulting comment, though I would feel very justified in doing so. I am mighty angry right now.

          I am talking about people who did things like … shall I go on ….?

          I am probably legally restrained from describing the acts of suicide themselves, which I have seen the aftermath of first hand.

          Think? Imagine a moment?

          Now, imagine the torment, the fear, the loneliness and the suffering that accompanied carrying out those (many) decisions to commit suicide?

          Our current law is therefore, self-evidently inhumane compared to allowing a doctor to prescribe some pills the terminally ill patient can take at home in the time and setting of their own choice.

          Reply
      • Pickled Possum

         /  19th December 2015

        20 years ago researching my great grand father I applied for his death cert and received it.
        We thought he had drowned at sea but he had died from something totally different
        nothing horrifying just different from what we had all been told over the years.
        Some family photocopied it … those doing genealogy for correct birth and death dates.
        So people can see your death cert long after you are dead.

        Reply
        • Brown

           /  19th December 2015

          So what if people see your death certificate? In this day and age where we are reduced to a few cells with neither meaning nor morals what the heck does it matter? I don’t care if people know I committed suicide and can’t see why atheists get all uppity about dying when its the inevitable end of a road we all walk. I wish atheists had the courage of their lack of conviction.

          Reply
          • MaureenW

             /  19th December 2015

            What do you mean by your comment re atheists and their lack of conviction?

            Reply
          • Pickled Possum

             /  19th December 2015

            Brown….I was replying to kitcat she said… “nobody sees the death certificate except people who need to (like the undertaker) “.
            I will in future put the name on my comment to whom I am replying to
            so people don’t get confused and write random stuff to me.
            Have a peaceful night 😎

            Reply
          • @ Brown – I think we missed it. Let’s go over it again, shall we?

            The terminally-ill people to whom I refer committed often gruesome and sometimes uncertain forms of suicide which, I believe, were inevitably accompanied by terrible emotional suffering, torment, turmoil and sheer terror, usually bourne all alone, without family, friends or caregivers.

            Compare this with assembling your family if you wish to, saying your farewells, taking a pill legally prescribed you by a doctor, going to sleep and not waking up.

            There ISN’T a comparison between these two experiences. They CANNOT be compared. We need Death with Dignity so that this INHUMANITY ends.

            Reply
            • Brown

               /  20th December 2015

              … borne all alone…

              That is the main problem. Mankind is now too busy with their cell phones to really care for fellow man. Send a hashtag to show you stand with someone when what they really want is someone to hold their hand.

  8. @ Brown – I hear what you’re saying, I do. However, I also think we tend to exaggerate the degree of human disconnectedness, especially in family crisis situations like terminal illness. I myself tend to exaggerate it for effect on here sometimes. I think individuals mostly react in the same way “community” reawakens or comes to the fore in times of natural or man-made disaster. I hope so anyway. I hope I do.

    What do you think of the proposition that, for a terminally-ill person, where there is no hope whatsoever of recovery, in the later stages of palliative care, Death with Dignity is infinitely more humane than choosing suicide by other means?

    Reply
    • Brown

       /  20th December 2015

      You give two choices but there is a third. I don’t want to be dependent on someone to care for me but I know there are people who will do so because they love me. Its then my problem to put my pride to one side and let them care so I can be humble, grateful and respectful as a parting gift. That, in my view, is courage and I’m hopeless at it. Others may want it over quickly but I think that shows a lack of respect and empathy for those that will miss them. I have seen much benefit arise from the witness of people who hold on and remain stoic in the face of much that is unpleasant. Death with dignity is more than just dying earlier than you need to.

      If you have not love you are stuffed (or something like that).

      Reply
      • @ Brown – once again I understand what you are saying, I do. But Death with Dignity is not going to prevent anyone taking exactly the course of action you describe.

        If you want to be humble, grateful and respectful as a parting gift, hold on and remain stoic, then you don’t need to make use of Death with Dignity provisions.

        There’s not going to be any inducement or compulsion. Death with Dignity will be a totally free choice made by each individual, in consultation with their doctor.

        https://www.deathwithdignity.org/faqs/

        e.g. “Only the patient him or herself can make the oral requests for medication, in person”.

        Reply

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