The Government's anti-terrorism bill looks set to pass as the Green Party has swung in behind it, leaving National's demands in limbo.
The Terrorism Suppression Bill was set to be introduced this week, but it was delayed after the Government lacked the numbers for the bill to pass; the Greens called it too tough while National had called it too weak.
Justice Minister Andrew Little and National leader Simon Bridges blamed each other over the failure to negotiate bipartisan consensus, which is common on national security issues.
But the impasse has been broken by the Green Party, which said it would now support the bill after the Government agreed to make changes.
Those include greater scrutiny by a court of any of the alleged terrorist's foreign convictions and deportations, and more access to evidence.
"The use of classified information will only occur with the protection of a judge, and the lawyer appointed to assist the accused person will have access to the information, thus ending the use of secret evidence without an advocate," Green Party justice spokeswoman Golriz Ghahraman said in a statement.
"Because of the change inserted by the Green Party, this bill will never allow for secret evidence to be used in a case without the accused having a form of representation, as happened in the [Ahmed] Zaoui case."
Bridges, who described the bill as playing Russian roulette with New Zealanders' safety, said that Little had let his "ego" get in the way.
He told the Herald that National would oppose the bill at the first reading, and continue to attempt to strengthen the bill.
Andrew Little has let his ego get in the way of New Zealanders' safety so far. Now he has a choice whether to make this bill safer or not.— Simon Bridges (@simonjbridges) October 23, 2019
The bill – which aims to give police more power to deal with those who have engaged in terrorism-related activities overseas if they return to New Zealand – would apply to the likes of the so-called Kiwi jihadi Mark Taylor, who is believed to be in Syria.