Abortion Bill passes first reading 94-23

Following speeches by many MPs in parliament today the Abortion Bill passed it’s first reading by 94 votes to 23. Three MPs didn’t vote.

This is a large majority, but it’s just the first of three votes, with some MPs wanting the Bill to progress to public submissions, but with no guarantee of supporting it all the way. NZ First MPs all voted for it but have imp[lied they may not support the final vote unless it goes to a public referendum (although their messages have been missed).

Here are the votes split up:


Labour: ARDERN Jacinda, DAVIS Kelvin, LITTLE Andrew, ROBERTSON, Grant, TWYFORD Phil, WOODS Megan, HIPKINS Chris, SEPULONI Carmel Jean, CLARK David, PARKER David, NASH Stuart, RADHAKRISHNAN Priyanca, HUO Raymond, LEES-GALLOWAY Iain Francis, TINETTI Jan, SIO Aupito Tofae Sua William, PRIME Willow-Jean, O’CONNOR Damien, FAAFOI Kris, ALLAN Kiri, JACKSON Willie, CURRAN Clare, DYSON Ruth, WILLIAMS Poto, WALL Louisa, WOOD Michael Philip, ANDERSEN Ginny, LUXTON Jo, RUSSELL Deborah, CRAIG Liz, LUBECK Marja, MALLARD Trevor, EAGLE Paul, COFFEY Tamati, STRANGE Jamie, McANULTY Kieran, WARREN-CLARK Angie, O’CONNOR Greg, MAHUTA Nanaia, HENARE Peeni, WHATIRI Meka, WEBB Duncan.
National: BENNETT Paula, CARTER David, BRIDGES Simon, ADAMS Amy, TOLLEY Anne, GUY Nathan, KAYE Nikki, McCLAY Todd, COLLINS Judith, BARRY Maggie, GOLDSMITH Paul, MITCHELL Mark, WAGNER Nicky, BENNETT David, SIMPSON Scott, KURIGER Barbara, DOOCEY Matt, HUDSON Brett, McKELVIE Ian, BAYLY Andrew, BISHOP Chris, DOWIE Sarah, MULLER Todd, SCOTT Alastair, SMITH Stuart, KING Matt, FALLOON Andrew, LEE Denise, STANFORD Erica, VAN de MOLEN Tim, YULE Lawrence, BIDOIS Dan, WILLIS Nicola.
NZ First: PETERS Winston, MARK Ron, MARTIN Tracey, TABUTEAU Fletcher, BALL Darroch, MITCHELL Clayton, PATTERSON Mark, JONES Shane, MARCROFT Jenny.
Greens: SHAW James, DAVIDSON Marama, GENTER Julie Anne, SAGE Eugenie, HUGHES Gareth, LOGIE Jan, SWARBRICK Chlöe, GHAHRAMAN Golriz.
ROSS, Jami-Lee.


National: PUGH Maureen, BROWNLEE Gerry, WOODHOUSE Michael, SMITH Nick, UPSTON Louise, DEAN Jacqui, MACINDOE Tim, LEE Melissa, BAKSHI Kanwaljit Singh, PARMAR Parmjeet, YOUNG Jonathan, HAYES Jo, O’CONNOR Simon, RETI Shane, BROWN Simeon, HIPANGO Harete, PENK Chris, LOHENI Agnes, GARCIA Paulo.


National: WALKER Hamish, NGARO Alfred, YANG Jian.

That was supplied from Stuff who have good coverage with summaries of the MP speeches here – Live: Abortion Bill’s first reading in Parliament

On Tracey Martin (who was put in a very difficult position by her party):

Tracey Martin in tears

NZ First MP Tracey Martin came to tears as she lays out the speech she was going to make on the bill.

She says she was ready to make a personal speech about why she supported the bill, but the context of this week’s news means she can’t.

Martin was the lead negotiator with Andrew Little on this bill from NZ First as the women’s spokeswoman for the party. She told the media on Tuesday morning that the party would not be seeking a referendum on the issue. But later that morning at a caucus meeting NZ First resolved to attempt to introduce a referendum at committee of the whole house.

This led to a somewhat embarrassing media situation on Tuesday afternoon when it all came out on the way into the House.

Martin is detailing this whole story to clarify things.

She confirms that NZ First will block-vote in favour for first and second readings.

I presume she has been able to present the actual party position and won’t be contradicted again.

Aupito William Sio will support the bill at first reading:

Pacific Peoples’ Minister and Labour MP Auptio William Sio is speaking for the bill, at least in the first reading, despite opposing abortion himself.

“I value life,” Sio says.

“I am looking at this debate from the perspective of a father who does not support abortion.”

He says he would want his daughters to not abort – but would support them in their choice, whatever it was.

“I do not support abortion, but I am on the record that I support a woman’s right to choose.”

I respect him deferring to his daughters and to women despite his personal views.


Leave a comment


  1. What about the father’s right to choose and the baby’s right to stay alive ?

    Why is it all right to kill one before it’s born and a crime to kill one that has been born ?

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  9th August 2019

      Because one is independently viable and the other is not. And that is just the most obvious of the physical and mental differences.

    • Cyril Figgis

       /  10th August 2019

      “What about the father’s right to choose and the baby’s right to stay alive?”
      What about it? The mother bears the physical and mental strain of pregnancy, as well as the very real risk of several serious pregnancy related medical conditions, and in some cases, death. In situations where the parents aren’t partnered up, in most cases the mother raises the child, and so forgoes the freedoms of the childless. The mother may also have to sacrifice employment and career progression, which obviously results in both short and long term financial loss. The mother faces the risks and losses; it is her choice.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  10th August 2019

        Very, very few women die in childbirth now., and the risk of serious medical problems is very slight.

        I hope that not many babies are aborted because the mother wants the freedoms of the childless. Or that women make their children feel guilty because having them was a sacrifice. Surely it’s making an exchange of one thing for another rather than a sacrifice.

        The father is legally obliged to provide for a child whether he wants it or not and whether he has any contact with it or not.

        He can’t force the abortion of an unwanted child or refuse to support it. He has virtually no rights.

  2. I think he’s having a bob each way and should vote according to his supposed principles.

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  9th August 2019

    Winston playing politics with women’s lives.

  4. Corky

     /  9th August 2019

    What about the spiritual implications of abortion? And I’m not talking about religious implications..religion is a man made concept. We are assuming we have free will, like the bull that escapes the cattle yard to enjoy his freedom. Little does he realise he’s put into motion events that will lead to him being punished with a bullet in the head.

    Obviously, we do have free will and choice. But like the bull, we don’t know the full implications of our ‘being’ and responsibilities in this universe. I think some woman intuit that abortion entails more than just ‘freedom of choice.’

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  9th August 2019

    Farrar has a good post on MPs’ personal speeches in the first reading debate.

  6. I bet ol’ Graeme Lee is proud of his daughter today, hmmm?

  7. oldlaker

     /  9th August 2019

    I’m genuinely puzzled how MPs can be in favour of abortion but not of assisted dying for the terminally ill. That includes Maggie Barry, Michael Wood, Anne Tolley, Simon Bridges and Nathan Guy, among others. I’m in favour of both but can’t for the life of me see how abortion is not more morally fraught than voluntary euthanasia. I would have thought if you are in favour of abortion (in which a proto-child gets no choice) you would naturally be in favour of assisted dying (in which a dying adult chooses). Apparently not. Simply bewildering to me.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  10th August 2019

      I am puzzled by that, too, it seems totally inconsistent. A baby has no choice in the matter, an adult has.

      Did you see the man who has something like motor neurone disease and wants to able to choose to die before he is helpless and lacking in any dignity ? He was asked what his response was to the antis….and raised two middle fingers.

  1. Abortion Bill passes first reading 94-23 — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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