Video: PM kicked out of Parliament over Panama Papers
John Key has been kicked out of Parliament for the first time over questions regarding the Panama Papers.
The Prime Minister was grilled by Opposition MPs over claims he made in Parliament yesterday linking Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Red Cross and Green MP Mojo Mathers to a database of foreign trusts.
The Green Party and Greenpeace had asked Mr Key to apologise, with Greens co-leader James Shaw saying it was a "new low" for him to "defame" hard-working charities while trying to deflect pressure over foreign trusts.
Today, Mr Key said citing his examples proved his point there were people in the database, publicly released yesterday, that weren't necessarily doing anything wrong.
He maintained he hadn't misrepresented Greenpeace, saying they were in the database.
Mr Key then went on the attack against Mr Shaw following a story at the weekend which tried to link New Zealand to the tax system in the Cook Islands. A letter from 'John Doe', the man claiming to be behind the hack of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, published at the weekend singled out Mr Key as being "curiously quiet" on claims the Cook Islands was a tax haven.
Mr Key maintained he had nothing to do with the country's tax system, and the leaker might have been confused because the Pacific nation also uses New Zealand currency.
"I think the member should do this -- I think he should get on his feet and he should say 'John, on Saturday night I went on TV'..."
The Prime Minister's microphone was then turned off.
Speaker David Carter ordered Mr Key to sit down which was followed by clapping.
"The Prime Minister will leave the chamber...when I stand to my feet and call for order, he is to be treated no differently to any other member in this House."
Following the incident, Mr Key spoke to Newshub and said it was the first time he had been kicked out as Prime Minister.
He said the Speaker had made the right call.
"I didn't see him, I didn't see the ruling."
Deputy Prime Minister Bill English answered questions on his behalf for the remainder of question time in the debating chamber.