Even though the overwhelming majority of the 56 submissions so far heard on the waka jumping bill oppose it, the Government is unlikely to back off.
That is because the Bill is regarded by NZ First as critical to the coalition agreement.
The legislation would require an MP who resigned (or was expelled) from a party to resign from Parliament.
Research presented to the Select Committee considering the Bill shows that since 1996 NZ First has been the most affected by members resigning for one reason or another.
POLITIK has learned from a source from one of the parties involved in the coalition negotiations that the Bill was a key bottom-line demand from New Zealand First.
“It was one of the very first issues raised by Winston,” the source said.
It is clear that the Government believes that to not get the Bill through would imperil its coalition arrangement with NZ First and that the Greens are being pressured to support it because without their vote it will fail.
So NZ First has no bottom lines when it comes to protecting the provinces, protecting regional irrigation, protecting Taranaki industry or protecting rural roads. Their only bottom line is that Winston wants the power to expel MPs from Parliament.
And Labour and the Greens are going to play along.