Nick Smith was removed from the house last week after complaining about Parliamentary procedure not being followed. Photo: Mark Mitchell / NZ Herald.

Nelson MP explains outburst and ejection

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Nelson MP Nick Smith regrets referring to parliamentary procedure as a ‘Nazi regime” last week but says his treatment in the house was an “abuse of power”.

Smith was forced to leave the House under escort late last Thursday night – the first time such an event has occurred in decades.

He did not physically resist but, as he was removed from the House, yelled: “What sort of Nazi establishment is running the place?”

Earlier in the day Speaker Trevor Mallard kicked Smith out of the House but did not say when he could return.

Smith says he was bringing up a point of order invoking a long-standing rule that the Government could not use one of its questions to attack the opposition.

He says Winston Peters was doing just that when he complained.

Several hours later, when he tried to find out when he could return, Smith says he was stonewalled.

It was close to midnight when he finally returned, believing that he was permitted to.

Labour MP Michael Wood raised a point of order, telling the Speaker that Smith was not allowed in the House.

The Speaker, who at the time was Deputy Speaker of the House and Labour MP Adrian Rurawhe, asked Smith to leave but the National MP refused.

“When you send us to prison, we’re told how long [we’re there] for,” Smith complained.

The Serjeant-at-Arms then escorted Smith out of the House.

Smith says he “regrets” the “Nazi regime” comment but believes that the ejection was due to him asking a question in writing of Mallard about the legal costs associated with defence of a defamation case.

Mallard faces legal action after last year saying that a rapist was working at Parliament.

The Parliamentary worker, who was stood down last May after Mallard’s comments, is alleging the Speaker defamed him.

Mallard then released that information to media saying the case had cost the taxpayer $80,000.

However, Smith says releasing that to media before answering an MP’s question is in breach of the correct procedure.

“It’s just too cute that he released the information not through the written question system, and when he has removed me from the parliamentary precinct.”

– With NZ Herald