'It's B-B-B-Back!' National MP comes out on top in video stoush with Speaker

Jason Walls, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 19 Feb 2021, 12:06PM

'It's B-B-B-Back!' National MP comes out on top in video stoush with Speaker

Jason Walls, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 19 Feb 2021, 12:06PM

Senior National MP Chris Bishop has come out on top in his latest stoush with House Speaker Trevor Mallard over a video that was ordered to be taken down.

But a group of MPs have ruled that the video could only be re-uploaded if five new words were added, which, they claimed, would change its meaning.

The video in question – mocking newbie Labour MP Anna Lorck's speech which included numerous references to Berocca – was re-uploaded to social media this morning.

"It's B-B-B-Back! The amusing video Trevor Mallard tried to ban you from seeing," Bishop said on Facebook.

Speaking to the Herald, Bishop said the whole thing was a "complete waste of Parliament's time" and Mallard had "massively overreacted" by ordering it to be pulled down.

The video reappeared after Bishop pleaded his case to Parliament's privileges committee last night – a group which acts as Parliament's rule keepers and can dish out punishments.

Minutes of that meeting show that a "majority" of the MPs on the committee said that the video conveys a misleading account of what Lorck said in the House.

The issue was that the original video did not include Lorck making a reference to her grandfather and his use of supplements.

The MPs ruled that if the five words; "And he says to me" were included, the video did not break any rules and, thus, could be re-uploaded.

The MPs on the committee when it met last night were: David Parker, Matt Doocey, Chris Hipkins, David Seymour, Duncan Webb, Poto Williams and Michael Woodhouse.

Barbara Edmonds and Deborah Russell were also there for part of the meeting.

Bishop said that in the video, it was already clear Lorck was talking about her grandfather in the speech.

This time last week, Mallard had ordered the video be taken down and that Bishop front to the committee.

The issue with the video, which likened Lorck's speech to a Berocca infomercial, was that it was allegedly misleading.

According to Parliament's rules, mis-editing parliamentary TV video for political ads is not allowed.

It is understood there were a number of complaints about the video.

Previous videos which have been taken down have edited an MP so their comments were out of context.

But Bishop argued that in National's video, all the cuts are very clear and it does not misconstrue Lorck's context.

"Our view is it's not misleading," he said this week.

That argument clearly worked as the video is back up on Bishop's Facebook page.

When asked about the speech last week, Lorck said it was a "light-hearted contribution" to the debate.

"I read the room and there was plenty of banter," she said.

"I'm full of passion, energy and drive and I aim to always bring that to debates and keeping it real is who I am."

She said she has received a number of positive comments from other MPs in regards to the speech.

"I was given five minutes to speak, so I used it.

"Over the time I continue as a local MP, I will speak on lots of bills – some will be a lot more serious, but I hope that I can always be relatable."