National MP Simon O'Connor sees no reason to apologise

A National MP is doubling down on comments he made in a controversial Facebook post claiming Jacinda Ardern is encouraging the old, sick and disabled to commit suicide.

Tamaki MP, Simon O'Connor, says the Labour leader's support for euthanasia legislation proves his point  and he sees no reason to apologise.

Ms Ardern's emotional response to seeing hundreds of shoes lined up outside parliament on Sunday as part of a suicide awareness campaign prompted Mr O'Connor to put the boot in.

On World Suicide Prevention Day, Mr O'Connor posted on Facebook, "It's strange that Jacinda is so concerned about youth suicide but is happy to encourage the suicide of the elderly, disabled and sick. Perhaps she just values one group more than the other, just saying".

Mr O'Connor told Newshub he didn't think he had over-stepped in any way.

"But I have been disappointed in some of the feedback, which has been much more shrill than actually debating the point".

The assisted dying bill that Ms Ardern had pledged to support through its first reading would only apply to those 18 years and older, and whose decision is supported by two doctors.

They would need to have an incurable disease that would take their life within six months, or a disease that makes their suffering intolerable.

But Mr O'Connor said this wasn't different to the issue he had commented on. 

Jane Steven's son committed suicide at 21, and the MP's comments have left her smarting.

"I'm glad he's not standing here in front of me, I'm absolutely appalled as a bereaved mother.

"It just seems like a politically convenient trick".

Mr O'Connor had not been told by his party leader to pull his head in.

But just 12 days out from the election the boss will be unhappy with a surprise departure from National's strategic attack lines - tax, and Ms Ardern's stardust.

Newshub.

 

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