New Zealand Parliament

NZ Speaker wants better appreciation of Pacific

According to Trevor Mallard, the Pacific parliaments programme, Tai a Kiwa, is a good vehicle for this.

Historically, Wellington has not had a good relationship with Pacific parliaments, said Mr Mallard, and had looked to the UK, the US, Australia and more recently to Asia.

He said it was why he had pushed for Speaker-led parliamentary exchanges in the region, before the Tai a Kiwa programme which was formalised a year ago.

"Firstly, up to Vanuatu and the Solomons," he said.

End of Life Choice bill vote in NZ Parliament today

MPs will vote according to their conscience, rather than along party lines, in the second reading of ACT Party leader David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. It will either edge closer to becoming law or be thrown out.

The first reading passed by a significant margin of 76 votes to 44 in December.

Many who supported it then did so on the basis they wanted to see the bill go to first to a select committee - where bills are polished and changed - so it could be properly debated.

Pacific women MPs visit the Beehive

The initiative is a Commonwealth-funded programme to enhance good governance in the region and encourage more women to take up senior political roles.

Christchurch East MP Poto Williams cited Tonga and Samoa, where legislatures have changed to accommodate the participation of more women into politics.

"There are ways and means to enhance the system to encourage women in," she says. "Once they are there it's about supporting them to be the best MPs. It's about ensuring they understand the role of the select committee or writing legislation, advocating for their community."

Man who set himself on fire has died, NZ police say

Emergency services rushed to the scene just before 4pm yesterday and treated the man where he lay, near the statue of Richard Seddon.

RNZ reports the man was then taken to Wellington Hospital in a critical condition.

Police said this morning they were still investigating what had happened.

They were conducting enquiries on behalf of the coroner.