National’s boycott makes no sense

National MPs were not at the latest business committee meeting, making it look like they boycotted the meeting.  

The business committee is where important decisions about how the house is run are suggested to the house itself, and almost always come into effect.

The reason for the boycott, according to an unnamed stuff source was:

A senior National Party source, who wished not to be named, said Mallard should be well aware of National’s concern with the way question time has been run, which had led to them not attending.

Despite Gerry Brownlee saying that the meeting wasn’t compulsory, it looks fishy when the speakers office has no reason for their absence, and all of the National MPs on the select committee weren’t there.

I have no problem calling this a boycott.

National does themselves no favours with this.

First, it just looks plain petty, to boycott a meeting because of question time.

Second, all of a sudden the rest of the committee has a green light to pass things without National’s opposition.

Not a good look for National.


  1. Barrie Fowler

    The boycott, even if it is just for the one meeting, has had the effect of drawing the public’s attention to their gripe with the Speaker. Hopefully the Speaker will now step back and take a good hard look at himself and give thought as to how he is perceived by the public. Every Speaker is different and it is a hard act to follow Lockwood Smith’s example.

  2. Raoul Ketko

    I watch Parliament’s Question Time regularly and I can understand the Opposition’s angst about some of the Speaker’s rulings. However, I do not believe that the best way to deal with this is to “draw the public’s attention to their gripe”. I have worked in Parliament and I consider that the more constructive approach would be to ask the Speaker to agree to receive a deputation from them. Most Speakers would have been willing to respond to such an approach and I believe that Trevor Mallard would do likewise.


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