Our professional and compassionate team support people with a life-limiting illness to live every moment, and to approach death according to their values and what is important to them.

Our priority is to work alongside every patient to gain a deeper understanding of their suffering and work through the many ways we’re able to alleviate troubling symptoms.

While assisting dying is not a service we provide at Harbour Hospice, we respect a patient's right to choose and will work positively to transfer them to an authorised physician. 

Throughout this entire process our care continues, supporting family and whānau as they work through their grief and loss.

No matter what a person’s personal wishes or values, we will care for them and support family and whānau through their grief.

Commonly asked questions

We appreciate that patients and their families may wish to discuss assisted dying. Our priority is to work alongside every patient to gain a deeper understanding of their suffering and work through the many ways we’re able to alleviate troubling symptoms.

Anyone who requests specific information about assisted dying will be connected to the Support and Consultation for End of Life in New Zealand group (SCENZ), established by the Ministry of Health.

If you choose to make a request for assisted dying, our care team will refer you to SCENZ who will then guide you on next steps. It is our legal obligation to pass on this information to anyone who requests assisted dying. While we will not administer assisted dying medication, our support teams will continue to be there for families to guide them through their grief and loss.
We will continue to uphold the Hospice philosophy “to neither hasten nor postpone death”, therefore assisted dying medication will not be administered at any of our Hospice sites. However, you can remain in our service irrespective of your choice and our specialist team will work positively to transfer care to your authorised assisted dying physician.
You can choose where you want to be when assisted dying medication is administered (i.e. hospital or home), but Hospice staff will not be able to be present during the procedure. 
Family members, whānau and welfare guardians do not have any power to make decisions on your behalf. We do encourage you, however, to discuss this with family, whānau, friends and counsellors. 

There is always something than can be done. Palliative care is given right up until the very moment a person dies, and beyond, with ongoing support for family and whānau. Our specialist care team helps people manage pain and other distressing symptoms, by supporting a person's physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, which can improve quality of life.

To learn more about the Assisted Dying Service provided by Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora, click here.

Palliative care is active treatment

Receiving Hospice care does not mean doing nothing, or ‘giving up’.  Pain control continues to the end, alongside emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing. 

Good pain relief improves quality of life

Physical, emotional and spiritual pain can be equally upsetting. Hospice works to understand your 'pain', so you can continue to enjoy life in the way that's most important to you.

Giving someone a syringe driver is not assisted dying 

Syringe drivers administer medication in a strictly monitored and safe way to manage distressing symptoms.


It's normal to stop eating and drinking close to death 

We appreciate how difficult it can be seeing someone you love refuse food or water, however this is normal as the body slows down and prepares for death.

* Palliative care, as defined by the World Health Organisation, “intends neither to hasten nor postpone death”. This philosophy is a cornerstone of hospice care in New Zealand. Palliative care is holistic – physical, emotional, spiritual, social and cultural needs are all valued equally.