Police would be able to randomly test drivers for drugs just as they do for alcohol under a new National Party bill just pulled from the ballot.
The private members bill, in the name of MP Jami-Lee Ross, would allow police to get a saliva sample from a driver on the side of the road to test for cannabis, MDMA or methamphetamine.
Under the existing system, police use "impairment tests" for detecting drug-driving, such as making a motorist walk in a straight line.
Police carry out such a test if a motorist appears impaired but passes an alcohol breath test. If the motorists fails the impairment test, they are asked to return to a police station for a blood test.
The bill was drafted by National MP Alastair Scott, and Ross is likely to transfer responsibility for it to him.
Scott said about a third of road deaths involved someone who had drugs in their system - often mixed with alcohol.
The testing method which his bill would allow – likely to be a tongue swab – was more time-consuming and costly than alcohol breath-tests, he said.
But he said relying on tests such as gazing into a police officer's eyes or standing on one leg was archaic and unreliable, and the changes outlined in his bill were more effective and scientific.
It is endorsed by the Automobile Association, which says the risks associated with drug-driving are similar in scale to that of drink-driving. The Police Association also backs a change, which is already in place in Australia.
Three other bills were also pulled from the ballot today.
A bill in the name of National deputy leader Paula Bennett would give police new powers to prevent gang members from owning firearms.
Police would be able to search the cars and houses of the most serious gang members for firearms at any time and without a warrant.
It would only apply to a small group of the most dangerous gang members who already had convictions for firearms offences or serious violence offences.
The new powers were part of a drug policy announced by National during the election campaign, and Bennett said at the time that it would probably breach gang member's human rights.
She controversially said at the time that gang members had fewer rights than others – a statement which she later apologised for.
National MP Ian McKelvie's Dog Control (Category 1 Offences) Amendment Bill would speed up court cases for offending relating to dog control.
It would allow the most serious charges (category one) to be heard by a Justice of the Peace or Community Magistrate rather than a District Court judge.
McKelvie said he had a surprisingly large number of complaints at his electorate office about the time it took for dog control cases to be resolved.
Dogs were often impounded at the cost of the owner while the process was taking place, meaning the owner was left without their animal for long periods – often on charges which they were later found innocent of.
Category one offences, which include a dog biting someone, make up around 90 per cent of recent dog control cases.
A bill in the name of Labour MP Rino Tirikatene would entrench the Maori seats in Parliament.
It would mean the Maori seats were treated the same as general electorates in the Electoral Act and could not be dismantled without a 75 per cent vote of MPs or a public referendum.