by Chris Tobin
The people of South Canterbury are being given the chance to be better informed regarding two referendums which will be part of this year’s general election.
The Timaru Christian Ministers Association is hosting two public forums; the first will consider the Cannabis Legislation and Control referendum which will determine whether the recreational use of cannabis should become legal or not.
The second will consider the End of Life Choice referendum which will decide whether the End of Life Choice Act 2019 should come into force.
The Act would give people with a terminal illness the option of requesting assisted dying.
Timaru Christian Ministers Association spokesman Alan Cummins said speakers would give viewpoints from both sides on each issue.
“Our concern as an association is that people are given both sides of the discussion so they can go into voting with a good understanding. It’s purely educational.”
He was uncertain of the opinions of members of the ministers’ association.
“I would assume they would be more conservative. There is no clear line from the association.”
The first forum would discuss the cannabis referendum.
The panel would include James Coyle (youth worker), Aaron Ironside (a counsellor), Dr Natalie Cadzow (registrar of rural health medicine), Dr Goeff Noller (research and policy consultant) and Mike Smith (Make It Legal NZ).
The first forum would be held at the Gleniti Baptist Church, in Gleniti Rd, on Monday, August 3, starting at 7pm.
The second forum on end of life would be on August 7, also at 7pm and the same venue.
Panellists would be Dr Lik Low (primary care chief medical officer), Renee Joubert (Euthanasia-free NZ), Gerrie Lightenberg (nurse), the Rev Josh Taylor (St John’s Anglican Church) and Stewart Brougham (educational consultant).