Last night, Phil Twyford's Depleted Uranium (Prohibition) Bill, which was drawn from the ballot almost two years ago, finally came up for debate. It was rejected by the smallest of margins: a 60 - 60 tie (which means the status quo prevails and the bill fails). The reason? Because the Maori Party's Pita Sharples was away from the House and therefore unable to vote. The rest of his party had supported the bill, and it was likely he would too.
Sharples had a good reason to be away from the House - he was at a tangi for a respected New Zealander, not down on Courtney Place getting pissed - but its still disappointing to see such a worthy bill fail in this manner. Still, it does suggest that there is a Parliamentary majority for at least investigating taking a stand against depleted uranium, and that the bill is likely to succeed the next time Labour puts it up.