Veteran MP blasts 'Nazi establishment' after being escorted from House

Author
Jason Walls, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 26 Jun 2020, 11:22AM

Veteran MP blasts 'Nazi establishment' after being escorted from House

Author
Jason Walls, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 26 Jun 2020, 11:22AM

Veteran National MP Nick Smith was forced to leave the House under escort late last night – the first time such an event has occurred in decades.

Smith – who had already been removed from the House a number of times yesterday for arguing with the speaker – was escorted out of the debating chamber by the Serjeant-at-Arms.

He did not physically resist but, as he was removed from the House, yelled: "What sort of Nazi establishment is running the place?"

It is understood last night was the first time the Serjeant-at-Arms has removed an MP since Robert Muldoon was removed, in the days after he was prime minister.

These days the Serjeant-at-Arms is mostly a ceremonial position, but the role is to keep order in the House – they are essentially the Speaker's enforcer.

Late last night, while Parliament was sitting under urgency, Smith snuck back into the House.

Labour MP Michael Wood raised a point of order, telling the Speaker that Smith was not allowed in the House.

The Speaker, who at the time was Deputy Speaker of the House and Labour MP Adrian Rurawhe, asked Smith to leave but the National MP refused.

"When you send us to prison, we're told how long [we're there] for," Smith complained.
Earlier in the day, Speaker Trevor Mallard kicked Smith out of the House but did not say when he could return.

Smith said this was not fair and he attempted to clarify with the Speaker's office a number of times as to when he was allowed back in the House.

When Smith was kicked out of the House in Question Time, he said he was only arguing that the rules of the House should be applied fairly. He said he was only trying to defend his National Party colleague Nikki Kaye from attacks by Winston Peters.

But Rurawhe was not moved by Smith's defence and called for the Serjeant-at-Arms to remove the unruly MP.

Smith persisted: "I'm asking to be told when I'm allowed to return – it's not an unreasonable thing."

The Serjeant-at-Arms then escorted Smith out of the House.

Wood was not impressed by Smith's behaviour.

"We know that he is feeling under pressure in his seat of Nelson this year, but staggering about in the dead of night, ranting about Nazis and having to be forcibly removed from the chamber is not the way to behave as an MP."

Wood said Smith's behaviour was unlikely to endear him to local voters, who want an MP focused on representing them.