An early sounding-out of MPs suggests a bill which aims to legalise same-sex marriage will have the numbers to pass into law.
Parliament will debate the redefinition of marriage as early as next month after a bill in the name of Labour Party MP Louisa Wall was pulled from the ballot.
At present, marriage is not defined in the Marriage Act, and Ms Wall’s bill would make it clear that marriage is a union of two people, “regardless of their sex, sexual orientation or gender identity”.
The bill would be decided by a conscience vote instead of along party lines.
A Herald survey of MPs received 76 responses out of 122. Of those who responded, a clear majority of 43 supported the bill or were leaning towards backing it.
Thirty-two MPs had not decided which way they would vote.
Just one MP, New Zealand First’s Richard Prosser, said he would definitely oppose it, but a handful more indicated they were likely to oppose it on the grounds that their constituency was conservative on issues of homosexuality.
Ms Wall said she was confident of the bill’s passage into law because she had the support of Prime Minister John Key, Opposition leader David Shearer, and the majority of the public.
But she expected “an array of views” from New Zealanders if it reached the committee stage.
Mr Key has previously indicated he would support the bill at first reading.