National MP suspended from Parliament

Nick Smith
Nick Smith

Nelson MP Nick Smith has been suspended from Parliament for 24 hours after Trevor Mallard "named" Smith, prompting senior National MP to suggest Mallard was a "bully."

The dispute between Smith and Mallard happened in the last question of the day in Question Time when he was questioning Police Minister Stuart Nash about the death of Matthew Dow (23) who was was killed at Appleby on New Years Eve in 2017 by a driver high on meth and cannabis.

Smith said Nash had told Dow's mother, Karen Dow, and himself last year that Cabinet had approved a discussion document on the introduction of testing for drugged driving and it would be released in the new year.

Nash had now admitted that the Government had made no progress, Smith said.

"This issue is more important with the Government plans to liberalise drug access."

Smith will accept Karen Dow's petition to Parliament this afternoon seeking urgent legislation to introduce random roadside drug testing "to reduce the escalating road toll from drugged drivers, which resulted in 79 fatal crashes in 2017 and exceeds the number caused by those impaired by alcohol".

Smith said afterwards he was "gobsmacked" by what had happened in Parliament.

He was accompanied by Karen Dow.

Mallard had kicked out Smith for disorderly behaviour but as he was leaving, Smith shouted out abuse at Mallard, prompting the Speaker to order him back into the House to face a naming motion.

All parties of Government, Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First supported it.

National and independent Jami-Lee Ross opposed it. No vote was cast for the Act Party.

Once Smith had left the chamber, Brownlee asked if he could make a late submission on Speaker's inquiry into bullying in Parliament.

Naming a member is a lot more serious than a simple suspension. It requires the Speaker to seeking the censure of the whole Parliament for conduct he considers so grossly disorderly, that booting an MP out would not be enough.

The suspension of Smith follows Mallard kicking out National Party leader Simon Bridges from the House in Question Time yesterday.

Bridges had moaned in response to an answer from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and Mallard accused him of making barnyard-like noises.

Last week Mallard compared Hamilton East MP David Bennett to a primate he had recently seen in Rwanda (a gorilla).

Bridges clashed a second time with Mallard yesterday and was kicked out when Bridges called him "unprofessional."

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