Labour MPs have not yet decided whether they will support or oppose a bill that would erase reference to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi from all legislation.

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters had his Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi Deletion Bill drawn out of the private members ballot. National has indicated it will support the bill going to a select committee but the legislation is unlikely to survive without Labour support.

Prime Minister Helen Clark's spokesman said the first debate on the bill was probably months off and Labour MPs had yet to consider it.

A decision on how Labour would vote would be made at a caucus meeting sometime, he said.

National deputy leader Gerry Brownlee said Labour should say which way it would vote.

"Labour was never serious about putting an end to the Treaty grievance industry."

He said the bill was a test of Helen Clark's credibility on race issues.

Mr Peters has been a long-time critic of treaty references in laws, labelling them meaningless political correctness that cause uncertainty and work for lawyers.

"The chance has arrived to derail the treaty gravy train. This year could be remembered as the time New Zealanders decided they were truly one, unified people," he said.

Act Party justice spokesman Stephen Franks said Mr Peters had the luck "of the devil" having his bill selected so near the election.

Mr Franks said Mr Peters' bill would create gaping holes in legislation, but it could be repaired if it reached select committee.

"Reaching the first reading debate will be a watershed event," he said. "It marks the end of decades of suppressed debate."

- NZPA