Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finally unequivocally ruled out supporting ACT's Treaty Principles Bill past first reading.
But earlier, ACT leader David Seymour threw a spanner in the works - telling Newshub the Government might redefine the principles of the Treaty without letting Kiwis have their say through a referendum.
Luxon on Wednesday morning was on AM explaining the similarities between his Waitangi speech on Sunday, and that he gave last year, were deja vu by design.
"Look, it's very deliberate we want to make sure we've got a consistency of communication and message," he said.
He was hitting the replay button to convey he hadn't changed his position on the Treaty. He fancied it so much, he said he's planning to repeat it next year.
Seymour's Bill to redefine the Treaty Principles is creating so much anxiety and angst. Luxon has acknowledged it has created "tension".
Despite that, the Prime Minister chose not to address it in his Waitangi speech.
But on Wednesday, he was stepping his defence up a notch - saying he had to accept it in negotiations or risk sending Kiwis back to the polls.
"For the ACT Party, that was a bottom line in their negotiation - it was one of the major sticking points in the negotiation, we came to a compromise," Luxon said.
Newshub asked Seymour whether he threatened to go to a second election.
"No, I've never made an explicit threat like that," he said.
Luxon has removed words like "intention" and "commitment" from his explanation about National's position - leaving no wriggle room. The Bill is done for.
"We are not supporting it beyond first reading," he said on AM.
And then later, a double down - a rule out in his post-Cabinet press conference.
"We will not be supporting that Bill," Luxon said.
Seymour said Luxon has used "different language at different times"
"But my bet is that when it comes up for a second vote, which is maybe a year away from now, and what will decide it is what the public wants, and no one knows that at this point because it hasn't been written, it hasn't been debated," Seymour said.
Seymour's election proposal was to rewrite the principles, pass the Bill through Parliament and essentially have it ratified by public referendum at the next election.
Asked if he is promising there will be a referendum if the Bill is successful, Seymour said: "No, it's quite possible that the legislation will pass and the job will be done, Parliament has finally spoken."
Asked if he was saying he could fundamentally change the constitutional arrangement of our country with 8 percent of the vote, Seymour said that wasn't accurate.
"We can make a proposal that the majority of New Zealanders could choose to adopt."
That could be potentially without a public vote.
"They would have to support a Parliament that voted for the law to go through and they have elected that Parliament," Seymour said.
But the people have elected a Parliament that says it won't support it?
"As I say, they may well change their mind," said Seymour.
Changing the minds of 50 or so MPs is significantly easier than convincing more than half of New Zealand's voting population.
Asked if National would remain opposed to defining the Treaty principles if there were not a referendum, Luxon said: "Yes, the same action would happen."
Perhaps the most important mind for Seymour to change seemingly unwilling to shift.