Cloning Bill for New Zealand called “Better than Nothing”

Poses Identical Problems as Canadian Legislation
Fri Nov 12, 2004 - 12:15 pm EST

WELLINGTON, November 12, 2004 ( - In what appears to be a precise replay of the Canadian saga of Bill C-6, New Zealand is poised to pass its Human Assisted Reproductive Technology (HART) Bill with identical rhetoric for support. Labour MP Dianne Yates says she would like to see more restrictions on the IVF industry but is happy there are regulations being put in place.

The bill was passed in Parliament, 102-18, in a third reading vote on Wednesday. As was the case with the Canadian legislation, the bill's functioning is passed on to a set of regulations to be determined by a panel of 'experts'. In fact, the New Zealand legislation was deliberately amended to resemble Canada's law.

It is of serious concern to pro-life observers if the New Zealand legislation hides the same kind of deceptions and linguistic loopholes as did C-6. Dianne Irving PhD, a graduate of the Kennedy Institute of Bioethics at Georgetown University and an insider in the bioethics world, warned Canadian legislators that they were being duped into believing their bill banned cloning when it failed to define it accurately.

Even the language used to support it in New Zealand is the same and with some legislators echoing the Canadian Catholic Bishops' position that the bill is 'better than nothing." Yates even makes the same complaints about the finished product that were heard in Ottawa. She says, "This bill poses as many problems as it answers and I believe the revised bill still leaves some highly controversial technologies to decisions made by an advisory committee which will formulate mere guidelines and not regulations."

As with the Canadian legislation, the news media is colluding in the process by being careful to say only that the New Zealand legislation bans 'reproductive' cloning. They make no mention of any restriction on cloning for any other purpose. It has been pointed out, ad infinitum, that cloning is cloning, no matter what the intended ultimate purpose.

Even the bill's supporters are wary of the depth of the water in which they find themselves. Dianne Yates said, "There are parts of the bill, for instance taking a sperm or gametes from dead people, PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis), some issues that are left to guidelines - even the consent process - I would much rather have it as a regulation with penalties involved, but the House didn't agree."

Embryo Research Approval Orchestrated Via International Bioethics:

Canadian Bishops Conference Undermines Pro-Life Movement Strategy on Stem Cell Bill

See's Canadian Reproductive Technologies Bill page


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