'Smart-ass': Speaker Trevor Mallard calls out Simon Bridges during Question Time

Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard has come down hard on Simon Bridges for remarks he made during Question Time in the House of Representatives. 

Mr Mallard called the National leader's comments "smart-ass" on Tuesday, and said he wants to "reinforce the fact that I have had more than enough of points of order that are nothing but disorderly". 

The ordeal began when National MP Tim Macindoe stood to address ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway on issues of motor vehicle levies. As he stood to ask Mr Lees-Galloway a question, he was interrupted by Mr Mallard who called for order. 

It appears Mr Mallard's call for order was directed at Mr Bridges. 

But the drama didn't stop there; Mr Mallard called for order again, this time singling out Grant Finance Minister Grant Robertson, who was asked to stand, withdraw and apologise for causing disruption. 

"I think we've had some really poor examples of two senior government members in the House today," said Mr Mallard. 

Before Question Time could resume, Mr Bridges then questioned Mr Mallard about attacking him and Mr Robertson. He asked why Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters hadn't been called out for an earlier interruption. 

"He was lucky not to be singled out in the way Mr Robertson was, and I used to the time to indicate a general level of dissatisfaction with the senior members of the Government," Mr Mallard told Mr Bridges. 

"Having, frankly, comments that are smart-ass from the leader of the Opposition, by way of a disorderly point of order... are not at all helpful."

National MP Gerry Brownlee then criticised the Speaker for using "inappropriate" language, after last month calling for an independent external review into bullying and harassment of staff.

"Mr Speaker, it is surprising to hear you use language like that, directed at the leader of the Opposition, when you are at the same time calling for more order and decorum in the House," said Mr Brownlee. 

"Frankly, it's inappropriate."

Mr Mallard apologised for making the "smart-ass" comment. 

He then then singled out Mr Bridges and ACT leader David Seymour as the "two worst offenders" in terms of using points of order inappropriately the most. 


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