Peters kicked out of Parliament after clash with Mallard

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 Jun 2019, 3:27PM

Peters kicked out of Parliament after clash with Mallard

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 Jun 2019, 3:27PM

NZ First Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has been kicked out of the House for challenging the Speaker Trevor Mallard.

But, speaking to reporters outside the House, Peters said he was kicked out because he was "taking a stand for the teachers".

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was not in the House, so Peters was acting Prime Minister – it is quite rare for the acting Prime Minister to be kicked out of the House.

Speaking outside the House, Peters said he was announcing in Parliament that the dispute between the teachers union and the ministry of education was over.

There has not, however, been any official confirmation that this was the case.

The President of the PPTA, Jack Boyle, would not comment when approached by the Herald.

"The unions are taking the latest round of negotiations to their members and the key part of that is pay parity," Peters said.

"That's how relevant it was and I'm not going to stand back and have a Speaker not knowing what I know and know knowing the reason why I asked it."

After Peters was kicked out, most of his NZ First caucus followed him.

He said the whole caucus came out with him because they wanted to make it clear "we don't accept those sorts of rulings".

Asked if his comments in the House constituted an an official announcement that the dispute with the teachers is over, Peters said yes.

This morning, Boyle said secondary teachers have cancelled the regional rolling strike action that had been planned for the week beginning 17 June 2019.

"As you know, a Ministerial forum took place last week to break the impasse in negotiations for teachers' collective agreement negotiations.

"Those talks were very productive and we are pleased to be in a position to call off the strikes."

Education Minister Chris Hipkins was not in the House this afternoon but said in a statement afterwards: "Cabinet has had further discussions on the teacher and principal claims. The unions are in the final stages of negotiations with the Ministry of Education. I hope to have more to say on this soon."

When asked by media if he was unfairly kicked out of the House, Peters said "What do you think? Take a wild guess".

"This is not Tiddlywinks; you did not know what I was trying to tell the House, no one knew but the people inside the Cabinet."

He said Hipkins was speaking "as we speak" on this very issue.

Mallard declined to comment when asked if it was unfair to kick Peters out of the House.

In the House, Peters asked acting Education Minister Kelvin Davis if the Government "intended to rectify the grievous wrong done by the previous Government and restore pay party for teachers".

This upset Mallard, who said he had already ruled a similar question out of order.

"For him to continue it [that line of questioning] was just not showing the kind of leadership that one expects from the most experienced member of the House."

Peters continued to push back: "To quote Tana Umaga: we're not playing Tiddlywinks here".

He said that "this was politics, and people needed to hear it".

Mallard then kicked him out of the chamber.