Gordon Copeland is throwing a sulk over the impending passage of Sue Bradford's Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Bill and is quitting United Future to form his own party with former MP (and fellow Christian extremist) Larry Baldock. While this obviously affects the government's majority in the House, the abstention of the Greens assures them of confidence and supply (59 votes out of 115), and this will be tested in the next few days following the Budget debate. However the loss of Copeland's vote spells even more problems for the government's legislative program. On the positive side, it means they are going to have to rely on the Greens and Maori Party more often to get legislation passed - which will give them greater power to demand concessions and stall bad bills such as the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Bill.
The bigger picture in all of this is the breakup of United Future. This was originally a conglomeration of Peter Dunne's United New Zealand (a centrist, liberal party) and Future New Zealand (the rump of the 1996 Christian Democrats), which subsequently turned into a takeover. Now the Christians are walking, hopefully Dunne will be able to return to his centrist, secular roots. Though given past polling, he'll almost certainly be doing it all by himself again. As for the "new" Future New Zealand vehicle, it'll likely follow in the footsteps of other such groupings and quietly disappear thanks to the undemocratic threshhold.
Finally, there's a lesson in this for our politicians: you can't trust Christian parties to deliver the votes they have promised - they will flake and betray you. Hopefully this will introduce a note of caution into any future negotiations with such groupings.