Labour MP Chris Carter would collect a pension of about $1200 a week if he resigned from Parliament, the Herald understands - as well as the international travel discount for ex-MPs.

But resignation is looking unlikely in the short term, after Mr Carter's Te Atatu electorate committee rallied around him at the weekend in advance of party disciplinary action for his attacks on leader Phil Goff.

On Thursday, Mr Carter was sprung as the source of letters to the press gallery suggesting Mr Goff's leadership was in trouble and he would be challenged before the election.

He was immediately kicked out the caucus and his membership of the party will be top of the agenda at its New Zealand council meeting this weekend.

The Herald understands that Mr Carter was also facing further demotion at the next reshuffle as a result of his unauthorised trip to China during the recent recess, despite it being funded by the Chinese Government, not the taxpayer.

All MPs are required to get approval for international travel, whether private or work-related.

Given the sensitivities around his travel, and Tibet, which was part of his itinerary, his failure to get approval was viewed as a serious flouting of the rules.

Deputy leader Annette King has denied the MP's claims that she told him to keep it quiet.

Mr Carter's electorate committee met on Saturday at Tirimoana School, where his partner, Peter Kaiser, is principal. Mr Kaiser is also chairman of the committee.

Issues of process and natural justice are understood to have concerned the committee.

Party president Andrew Little attended the end of the meeting. He said the committee told him they had passed a resolution in support of Mr Carter but he had not yet received it.

Mr Little was confident that his public comments about Mr Carter had not overstepped the bounds of what could be considered natural justice.

"We have got to make sure we protect the party's interests both in terms of its political interests as well as preserving it from the risk of litigation.

"As a lawyer I know that in particular with issues like this when you are dealing with disciplinary matters and you are bound to follow the rules of natural justice."

Mr Goff has said he expects nominations for the Labour candidacy in Te Atatu to be reopened.

One of the people tipped to be a contender, lawyer Deborah Manning, has been working with Mr Carter, but Mr Little said it was as a supporter and that the Te Atatu MP had not engaged legal counsel.

Laila Harre, who said on Friday she could be interested in a vacancy, has decided "not to progress the opportunity to stand in Te Atatu any further".

She will take up a job with the International Labour Organisation in Suva next month.

Mr Carter has previously been advised by close friend Helen Clark that quitting is an option. During the MP credit-card debacle in June and his subsequent demotion, the former PM told him to quit Parliament if his heart wasn't in it, according to Mr Kaiser.

"She told him to throw it in if his heart wasn't in it, or if the pressure was too much," he told a newspaper.

Mr Carter stayed and appeared to accept the demotion and the loss of the foreign affairs portfolio.

TRAVEL DISCOUNTS
As an MP, Chris Carter earns $145,800 and can get a 90 per cent discount on international travel, uncapped. As an ex-MP, he would get a 90 per cent discount on travel but limited to the equivalent of a return business-class trip to the UK - about $10,000 - a year.

WHO COULD REPLACE GOFF?
Chris Carter intended to destabilise Phil Goff's leadership and force a change at the top before the election next year. He said there were many others in the caucus who could do the job better. Audrey Young assesses his claim.

ANNETTE KING
Loyal deputy and a unifying figure within the party. Able and affable but lacks the killer instinct. Too nice for the job.

TREVOR MALLARD
Has plenty of killer instinct and is grudgingly admired for it at times, more by the public than his colleagues. Too rough for the job.

DAVID CUNLIFFE
Perfect on paper, young, gifted and ambitious. But in reality is not yet respected enough by colleagues and has not earned his stripes. Too untested.

SHANE JONES
Made a greater impression with voters for his humility over taxpayer-funded porn than he did as a minister, but is not out of rehabilitation mode. Too early.

DAVID PARKER
Brains, political nous, but not robust enough; more suited to being a deputy leader. Too mild-mannered.