Labour's Pacific Affairs spokesman Su'a William Sio wants a fellow Labour MP's same-sex marriage bill withdrawn, saying it could cost his party the next election.
Manurewa MP Louisa Wall's private member's bill to legalise gay marriage was pulled from parliament's ballot two weeks ago, and is expected to have its first reading next month.
Mr Sio, who is the MP for Mangere, told Radio New Zealand the bill is causing divisions with Labour's Pacific support base, with some church ministers preaching against the legislation and against Labour.
MPs will have a conscience vote on the bill, and Mr Sio will vote against it.
"This issue cuts deep into fundamental beliefs and will divide the community," he said.
"There are weightier and more pressing issues, like holding John Key to account for the weakening economy and the lack of jobs, and that's where our priority ought to be, rather than an issue that has the potential to really derail our focus on winning (the election) in 2014."
Mr Sio believes Labour's support for issues like prostitution reform, anti-smacking legislation and civil unions has cost it thousands of Pacific votes, and it will lose more votes by supporting gay marriage.
Labour's Pacific Islands vice-president Efu Koka also wants the bill withdrawn, agreeing the party will lose votes over the issue.
However, Ms Wall says much of the opposition from Pacific groups comes from misbeliefs, like that their churches will have to hold same-sex marriages.
"That's not true, and I don't want mistruths interfering in what should be a really rational debate about what a diverse New Zealand looks like and how we should all have tolerance and accept each other for who we are."
She says Pacific communities will have a chance to have their say if her bill passes its first reading and is sent to a select committee.