OPINION: Parliament's highest ranking officer is the Speaker, Trevor Mallard.
It's one of the top jobs in the country. He effectively controls the entire Parliament, how it operates, behaves and is perceived.
Yet history shows Mallard is always near the centre of controversy, or a dust-up.
- Former National MP Tau Henare lets rip on bullying in Parliament after review release
- 'Power imbalance': Sexual assault, bullying claims revealed in Parliament
- MPs accused of treating staff like servants in bullying review
Look at the decking of Tau Henare. Unlike others who would find themselves out of work and out of luck for smacking a colleague, Mallard crept back in with a slap on the hand with a warm flannel, provided by an underpaid parliamentary staff member.
That one event sums up Parliament's attitude to bullying.
Mallard was spared and later promoted when so many others around New Zealand would have been frogmarched out.
This report doesn't surprise me. It totally confirms the sham, the club, the bubble MPs work in, where they take no blame, use their power to intimidate and control and when it goes belly up, use taxpayers' money to send staff on their way - because, to take them on requires courage.
Only MPs have a voice, and Mallard still protects the club.
He should be naming and shaming our worst MPs and, if he's on the list, own it - call yourself out.
Instead, we slam the door shut.
This inquiry is no better than the behaviour itself. Mallard must lift the lid and stop protecting the bullies, otherwise, he's only encouraging them.
Duncan Garner is host of The AM Show.