Speaker Trevor Mallard steps up security around parliament

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 30 January 2019, 9:55AM
Photo / NZ Herald

The Police Minister says new security measures at Parliament are not a sign of any MPs being under threat.

Speaker Trevor Mallard has stepped up security, including restricting access to the National Party's offices on the ground floor of Parliament House.

Currently the National Party controls who can access its offices on the second and third floor of Parliament House, but MPs and journalists are not restricted from entering a section of corridor on the ground floor that has access to National MPs' offices.

Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross and other non-National MPs will lose access to the offices.

Stuart Nash told Mike Hosking the previous measures were fine, and the Speaker is just being cautious.

"I have never felt threatened or intimidated during my time at parliament. It is often a place of hustle and bustle, you have to have a tough skin and be prepared at all times.

"You need to be robust, and at times say you are not commentating and other times make yourself available."

National MP Mark Mitchell says with his experience, MP's are often more than happy answering questions from the media and he doesn't believe any changes need to be made.

"I respect the office and the decisions the Speaker makes, but at the end of the day it is a strange one. In relation to media access it is important they can stop us and ask questions, they are the fourth estate after all. My experience walking around is you often have MP's hoping they get asked a question.'

Trevor Mallard and the Parliamentary Service general manager are responsible for the welfare of all people working in the parliamentary complex.

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