The Goverment has the numbers to progress a bill next week to enable police use of video surveillance while investigating crimes.
But the Act Party announced this afternoon they would support the bill at its first reading on the condition that it would be subject to 36-hour select committee scrutiny.
"If the Act caucus was happy with the bill as it came out of select committee, we would support it," parliamentary leader John Boscawen said.
The bill would suspend the effect of the Supreme Court decision earlier this month into the Urewera case.
With United Future and Act, the Government no longer needs Labour Party support for the bill to pass its first reading.
The bill would effectively mean police, under a search warrant, can still use hidden cameras on private property to gather evidence - a practice the Supreme Court said was illegal, but which police believed was legal on the common law presumption that it was not unlawful.
This seems to be a sensible compromise, and obviously, there have been plenty of meetings in what would have in days gone by been referred to as smoke-filled rooms. With only six sitting days remaining in the life of the 49th Parliament, a short and sharp Select Committee process can take place, and the Bill can still proceed before the House rises. Those who oppose the intent of the legislation will have the opportunity to make brief submissions before the Bill is reported back.
And in order to secure the support of Act for the First Reading at least, we wonder if anyone needed to remind them that whilst the Bill is at the Select Committee, next Wednesday can become the final Members' Day of this Parliament. Isn't there a Bill awaiting Third Reading which Act has a particular interest in?
Goodness; this seems to be the ultimate win-win situation for the parties of the centre-right!