Brownlee's new job: Keeping PM in line

Gerry Brownlee and John Key (Getty)
Gerry Brownlee and John Key (Getty)

Gerry Brownlee has just been appointed perhaps his important job yet -- keeping the wise-cracking Prime Minister out of trouble.

John Key was thrown out of Parliament last week after talking over Speaker David Carter, who had stood up.

"I was actually thinking I was being so amusing and so engrossed in my own answer, I didn't see the Speaker," Mr Key told Paul Henry this morning. "It wasn't deliberate."

It was the first time in his seven-and-a-half years as Prime Minister he's been asked to leave. To stop it happening again, Mr Key has enlisted Mr Brownlee's help.

"I've told him to dive-tackle me next time David Carter gets to his feet."

He has a long way to go to catch with New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, who has been kicked out more than 30 times. He was kicked out two days in a row in April, and again on May 3.

"Winston does it every couple of weeks. He's the Usain Bolt of being thrown out," says Mr Key.