Simon Bridges and Gerry Brownlee have been removed from the House by Speaker Trevor Mallard, prompting a National Party walk-out.
National leader Simon Bridges spoke to media after he left the House, and said he thinks his comment about the Speaker "protecting" Jacinda Ardern was what led to his removal.
"The Prime Minister wouldn't answer and Mr Mallard was trying to protect her," Mr Bridges said, after he was asked to leave the House of Representatives.
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"I've made that point to him. I said, 'Here comes the protection'."
The incident came during Wednesday afternoon's Question Time in Parliament.
Mr Bridges was questioning the Prime Minister about when Czech drug lord Karel Sroubek will be deported from New Zealand.
"Has she entirely washed her hands of anything to do with the Sroubek fiasco, and is she ducking and diving to get out of its way?" he asked.
This query prompted the Speaker to order Mr Bridges to leave the House, eliciting boos and sounds of protest from the National Party.
"Here comes the protection," Mr Bridges said in reference to the Speaker.
Mr Brownlee was heard to say that Mr Bridges' comment "seemed to have struck a nerve". Mr Mallard then ordered him to leave as well.
Video shows National MPs getting up and walking out. Photos showed that within minutes the backbench was empty - with the exception of about four MPs, who remained behind to ask their questions.
Michael Woodhouse, Nathan Guy, Nikki Kaye, David Carter and Matt Doocey were among those to leave the House.
Mark Mitchell left later after asking his question.
"What I've seen is a Prime Minister who, for a while now, hasn't answered serious questions," said Mr Bridges.
"Here we are talking about a victim [and] very serious matters that there should be answers to, and that [the Prime Minister] knows about and should know about as Prime Minister."
He said every Question Time he thinks Mr Mallard "gets on his feet with, I think, pretty trivial matters to try and break the flow".
"The other MPs weren't happy with what they saw. For Mr Brownlee, I guess it was a matter of getting up and raising a point about what had happened."
Mr Bridges was asked if the walkout was a National Party stunt.
"Certainly none of this was my intention," he said.
"My intention today has been to ask serious questions about Sroubek, about the estranged wife who feels that she has been targeted [and] that she is a victim of being called by Winston Peters effectively a National Party informant.
"I didn't get straight answers."