Speaker’s rules fair

National deputy leader Paula Bennet walked out of the house during Question Time today, in protest of Speaker Trevor Mallard’s rules. 

Mallard has a system where if one side of the house interjects too much, supplementary questions are taken off them.

After a rowdy round of questioning which saw multiple supplementary questions taken off National, Paula Bennet said that the taking away of supplementary questions hurt their ability to hold the government to account.

After having a point of order disallowed by the Speaker, Bennet walked out of the house.

I personally don’t think Bennet’s argument stacks up.

If supplementary questions are taken off National or any party, well then that’s their fault. They weren’t behaving in a way that was acceptable to the speaker.

Secondly, as was noted by both the Speaker and the Clark of the House, National has had 22 more supplementary questions than they would have had if Mallard’s approach had not been implemented.

Quite frankly, Bennet was in the wrong to walk out of the house.



  1. Raoul Ketko

    I watched this happen and I believe the Speaker was acting within the bounds of Speakers’ Rulings and Standing Orders. I can also understand the frustration and feelings of humiliation on the part of senior opposition members who have held ministerial or leadership positions over the past 9 years. I think they are finding it difficult to be in the opposition party.

  2. Zeyde

    If the speaker has dictatorial powers, and can shut down a discussion or debate because he/she deems it unacceptable, then that speaker. can deem any thing anything and there goes democracy, poof!


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