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Deputy Speaker Anne Tolley chairing group to fight bullying in Parliament

Vera Alves, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sunday, 21 July 2019, 12:45PM

Deputy Speaker Anne Tolley is the chair of a working group designed to stop bullying in parliament.

Tolley has confirmed she is the chair of a working group which has been established to develop a Parliamentary Workplace Code of Conduct.

The Deputy Speaker says the recent incident which led to her apologising to Youth MP Lily Dorrance will make her "all the more aware of the issues".

The working group, which is still being set up, is led by Tolley and includes representatives from the political parties, the press gallery and the unions (PSA and E tū).

Tolley made headlines earlier this week when she interrupted Dorrance's speech on mental health, telling her to stop reading from her notes.

The Youth MP said she felt "humiliated" and burst into tears after the incident.

"When she interrupted me it was awful," Dorrance told the Herald the following day.

"As soon as I sat down I burst into tears and had to leave … It was just humiliating."

Tolley, a National MP and former minister, apologised to Dorrance as well as to Speaker Trevor Mallard and to former Speaker David Carter.

Tolley on Thursday told Newstalk ZB she had sent staff to check on Dorrance straight after the incident, before leaving the debating chamber herself.

"I never intended to upset her, and I'm just so sorry if I really upset her," she said.

"It's a wonderful experience to come to Parliament and be Youth MP and I hope that I haven't ruined it for her."

Tolley, Parliament's Deputy Speaker, admitted she had made a mistake in how she handled the situation and wanted to own up to it.


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