Work In Progress

Today was a significant day for Lecretia. After seven and a half years with the Law Commission as a senior legal and policy advisor, she has handed in her resignation for health reasons. I have discussed Lecretia’s contribution to the Law Commission before, and though she has been on leave from the Commission now for a couple of months due to health, she was determined to participate in a Commissioner meeting to discuss progress on the Law Commission’s Review of Contempt of Court. That meeting was today, her last day at the Commission.

Lecretia and the Commissioners

Lecretia and the Law Commissioners earlier today for a progress meeting on the Review of Contempt of Court

The meeting was hosted at our home and was an opportunity for Lecretia to review progress on the report with all four Commissioners. They themselves were determined to receive Lecretia’s perspective on the report’s progress, so were eager to visit her. Though she was happy to help, their attendance was contingent on them bringing with them some almond croissants from Louis Sergeant’s. They complied.

Lecretia is gradually adjusting to more limitations. Last week we had planned to travel to Auckland for a cuisine tour. We’d made bookings at The French Cafe and The Grove and Sidart, but unfortunately Lecretia’s health would have made travel very difficult so we cancelled. Lecretia was naturally disappointed but I think I’ve worked out a compromise. I’ve organised an accomplished chef to come and cook for Lecretia at our place later this week. And two weekends ago we organised an event at a close friend’s here in Wellington with the lovely folks from Nikau catering for us.

We have been in touch with Mary Potter Hospice and they have been absolutely fantastic. They have dropped off an electric armchair which reclines and also elevates and tilts forwards to help Lecretia get into a standing position, which assists us a lot as Lecretia’s paralysis shows no sign of easing up.

Our home is gradually evolving into an accessible environment of ramps and rails and stools and walking aids. It calls to mind an article I read a couple of weeks ago that a friend linked to on Facebook, about a 90-year-old woman employed by Ideo, the legendary design company that came up with the first computer mouse. Ideo’s ahead of a trend. With our aging population, there’s a lot of money to be made designing for people in failing health.

I am worried about Lecretia’s vision, as it’s where we see the most change right now. She’s always had the hemispatial anopsia, but lately even her good side is giving her trouble. She’s begun seeing double and her perspective is off – things aren’t where she expects them to be. An eyepatch seems to help a little. But she can’t reliably tell me how many fingers I’m holding up, which concerns me somewhat.

Lecretia is doing a fair bit of sleeping at the moment, but when awake is as fiery as ever, poring over the evidence and counterevidence for her upcoming proceedings. Reading is more difficult for her now, so I do need to read a lot to her, but she is quick to pick up on things that are wrong or where she feels she is being misrepresented.

We’re focussed on keeping Lecretia in the best possible health for next week’s hearing. We are eager for it to start.


  1. Wishing you both all the best in these very difficult times. Hope the High Court action gives you the outcome you wish for; every human being deserves the right to die with dignity and in their terms if faced with a painful, terminal illness. Words seem inadequate. Thank you for your fb page. xxx

  2. Truly brave, amazing lady with a beautiful soul

  3. Lecretia and Matt – your strength and determination is so incredibly inspiring. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  4. Sending so much love. You really are amazing. I totally beleive in what you are doing!!🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻

  5. Lecretia and Matt Thank you for everything, my prayers are with you love and hugs Diana xxx

  6. Incredible couple Lecretia and Matt, I only wish your followers could do more
    to help you thru this struggle with the Courts. Hoping for the outcome we would all like for you. X

  7. You are an amazing couple – I keep up to date with Lecretia – the laws need to change – Big Hugs and Mountains of Best Wishes xx

  8. Lecretia and Matt you are a true inspiration to us all. My thoughts are with you, I wish all goes well next week! Love and strength for both of you!

  9. Matt and Lecretia, it is with interest and hope I watch the progress of your application for Lecretia’s choice to die with dignity.
    It will be 6 years on the 1st September since my niece lost her battle with Glioblastoma. She fought a hard battle, but her cancer spread and reseeded in her spine. Her final months were wheelchair bound, with all the complex issues that go with having a fast growing tumour in ones brain/spine.
    She was a beautiful, vivacious 31 years old, married, no children, but with an amazingly loving supportive family, like you.
    I admire your tenacity and courage as a couple, to speak out. Matt, your bravery and love to honour Lecretia’s wishes.
    To Lecretia’s mum….this is not the order of things. My heartfelt love and thoughts are with you and your husband and children.
    There will be no winners in this story, but I am hoping there will be respect and dignity, which is what you are seeking.
    I hope that maybe…..just maybe….your journey is going to be the beginning of a tide of change. To many people have uninformed influence on this issue, and I wonder if opposition would change if they had to walk in your shoes, or others like you.
    Good Luck!

  10. You are both inspirational. Much love to you both

  11. You are an incredibly inspirational couple. All the very best for the high court decision- may it be a fair and humane one.

  12. You are such a amazing woman an inspirationxxx

  13. What an inspiration Lecretia is. So brave.

  14. I care about you, please why would your last act on earth defy God, and jeopardise your eternal well-being? It would be better for the Drs to help alleviate your pain than euthanase you. Kia kaha and pray for help to endure. Arohanui, Huriata

    • God allows us to make choices. I feel comfortable that he has allowed us to find a way for people to die with dignity, to die comfortably, and consciously. Doctors cannot always alleviate the pain. Remember the Bee Gees. The one that died not so long ago was put into a coma in his last days.

  15. Dear Lecrettia

    I have signed an advanced Directive thanks to your wonderful article in the Listener a while ago. I am following your story with great interest. My heart goes out to you and I hope you get some great results with the Law case. You are a very brave woman, hang in there, what a strong and wonderful husband you have , love to both of you Wendy Gee

  16. Hi Lecretia, You will make it more of a possibility that future New Zealanders will be able to die with dignity at the time of their choosing if they have a terminal illness or have irreversible, unrelenting pain. Thank you so much.
    Big hugs from Clare.

  17. This blog mirrors a lot of the same things and feelings we had with Karen. We really support Lecretia’s campaign, in dire straits it would be nice to have the choice. Karen had considered this option early on, but ultimately every little moment of life left had some joy and fun in it, and our Karen took everything she could from the time she had left. I really feel for you all as I know what you are going through, love and genuine heartfelt good wishes.

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