New terrorism legislation is up for its first reading in Parliament this evening, but it's unclear whether it will have
the numbers to pass.
Photo: RNZ / Ana Tovey
Justice Minister Andrew Little met with National MPs last night to try reach a consensus on the Bill, which would boost
powers to deal with returning foreign fighters from Syria.
The meeting came after days of National leader Simon Bridges and Mr Little trading insults, accusing each other of
irresponsible comments and political grandstanding.
Mr Little described the meeting as "useful", however there was no resolution by late evening.
The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill
would give police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders, such as Mark
Taylor, who have engaged in terrorism related activities overseas.
The Greens are not backing the Bill, meaning National's support is needed to get it over the line.
Last week National put forward several proposed amendments to "strengthen" the Bill, including lowering the age limit
for them from 18 to 14 and increasing the term of imprisonment to five years - something Mr Little swiftly ruled out.
Mr Bridges said unless Mr Little negotiated with National in good faith, it would pull its support for the Bill.
Last night Mr Little said in a statement: "The conversation with Simon Bridges today was useful, and I am considering
some of their proposals on this issue. The Bill contains essential changes to ensure New Zealanders are protected from
returning foreign terrorist fighters".
A spokesperson for National said that they received several phone calls from Mr Little's office following their meeting
However, they said discussions and negotiations were still ongoing.