Video: Where there's smoke, there's fiery MPs

Video: Where there's smoke, there's fiery MPs

Opinions are divided amongst MPs and political parties over whether Parliament grounds should be smokefree.

One of the strongest objectors is Parliament's highest-profile smoker -- Winston Peters -- while Prime Minister John Key is right behind the idea.

The challenge was laid down by Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox during the Government's launch of plain packaging for cigarettes on Tuesday.

"I'm going to put the challenge out right now to the minister. Minister, our Parliament grounds need to be smokefree," she said.

Newshub put the challenge to various MPs.

Mr Peters wouldn't be drawn either way.

"We are not going to respond to people who politically don't matter," Mr Peters said.

Other MPs were more forward.

"I think it should be as a practical reality," Hekia Parata says.

"I think that that's the name of the game," echoed Chris Finalyson.

Some MPs were under the impression Parliament grounds were already smokefree, including Deputy Prime Minister Bill English and Gerry Brownlee.

Meanwhile the minister in charge of tobacco laws, Sam Lotu-Iiga, was keen to clarify there was no smoking inside Parliament buildings.

"Well there's no smoking inside the building as far as I'm concerned. [Marama is] talking about out in the grounds," he said.

The Green Party also had differing views with Julie Anne Genter supporting the ban, while co-leader Metiria Turei outright rejected it.

"I don't think we should keep punishing smokers for the addiction that they suffer,” Ms Turei said.

Ms Fox will lodge her request with the Speaker of the House for consideration.

Newshub.  

 

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