Labour leader Phil Goff says he thinks errant MP Chris Carter is "unwell" and should have taken former prime minister Helen Clark's advice to move on if his heart wasn't in his job.

Mr Carter was expelled from Labour's caucus last week after sending an anonymous letter to the media, saying the party couldn't win the next election with Mr Goff as leader and he should be replaced.

Since then senior Labour MPs have questioned Mr Carter's state of mind and said he was suffering from stress.

Mr Goff was asked on TV One's Q&A programme today whether he believed Mr Carter was unwell.

"I think he is unwell," Mr Goff said.

"For that reason I don't want to make a lot of personal comments about Chris. He needs some privacy, he needs some time, but the truth is he's gone from the Labour caucus."

Mr Carter's partner, Peter Kaiser, told the Sunday Star-Times former Labour leader Helen Clark had given Mr Carter two pieces of advice.

"She told him to throw it in if his heart wasn't in it, or if the pressure was too much...to knuckle down and stay."

Mr Goff said he thought Mr Carter should have moved on.

"I gave him a second chance, but you don't get a third chance in a situation like that," he said.

Mr Carter had been in trouble over his spending while he was a minister in the previous government, and a new controversy about an unauthorised trip to China and Tibet was about to break when he took the action that led to his expulsion.

Mr Carter is accusing his former colleagues of spinning stories against him and says he had no problems with taking the trip without authorisation because it didn't involve any taxpayer money.

The next move is for Labour's council to expel him from the party when it meets on Saturday.

Party president Andrew Little - who could have called a council meeting earlier if he had wanted to - hasn't said categorically that the Te Atatu MP will be expelled.

"The case is pretty much there," he said on TV3's The Nation programme.

"But he is entitled to be heard and the New Zealand Council has a range of options, the worst of which is expulsion."

As Mr Goff has said Mr Carter will be expelled, anything short of that would be a vote of no confidence in the party leader.

Mr Little also said it was firm party policy that employees should not be able to trade a fourth week of their leave.

The Government intends allowing them to do that, although employers will not be allowed to even suggest it to them, and Mr Carter said in his letter Mr Goff had supported the Government when he recently said he was relaxed about the issue.

"When Labour is in government next year the minimum annual leave entitlement will be four weeks," Mr Little said.

"There will be no tradability of the fourth week."

Mr Goff said he didn't favour trading in the fourth week and hadn't said that.

"What I said was of a range of things that the Government is legislating for that will hurt the interests of ordinary New Zealanders, that's lower down my list of priorities than things like being able to be sacked without being given the reason," he said.

- NZPA