Judith Collins: When you raise your voice, you lose the business

News 10/05/2019

A week after her boss screamed the word "slushies" across the floor of Parliament, Judith Collins is calling for calm she told The AM Show on Friday.

One of the things that I've learnt in Parliament is the moment you raise your voice, you lose the business

She was talking about two incidents this week. On Wednesday night her colleague Nick Smith was 'named' and suspended from the House, losing a day's pay. He'd gotten into a clash with Speaker Trevor Mallard, yelling "soft on drugs, like the Government" as he was ordered out.

And on Tuesday party leader Simon Bridges was ejected for making what Mallard called a "a barnyard noise of the sort that would not be accepted in a junior classroom" during Question Time.

Collins, careful not to break any rules herself by criticising the Speaker, said "pejorative words or descriptions like that can actually then escalate a situation" and called on Parliament to chill.

Everyone just needs to calm down in Parliament.

"My view is the moment anyone's blood starts to rise, you start to lose the game. I think that the Speaker has shown some interesting, or made some interesting rulings this week, which I think were probably very difficult for many of us to accept, but we had to because those are the rules."

She said accusing Bridges of making a "barnyard noise" was "pejorative" and would only result in escalating the situation.

"I just say to the guys, calm down. Just imagine if it was a few women in Parliament whose voices were getting raised, I imagine what they'd be saying to us. So I'm going to say it to them."

Calm down guys, get onto the business.

Dr Smith has a history of trouble-making in Parliament. He was reportedly the last person to be 'named' and booted out of the House, way back in 2006. Being named is a more serious punishment than just being kicked out, which happens to MPs regularly.

Only Winston Peters has been named more times than Dr Smith, NZME reported. Then-Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon was once dragged out by Sergeant-in-Arms Carol Rankin, "a relatively small woman" after refusing the Speaker's order to leave, Mallard told Newshub Nation last year.

"The kind of ill-discipline that Nick Smith showed in the House the other day is usually what happens when there is no discipline in the caucus," said Labour MP Kris Faafoi.

He's a recidivist - the last person to get kicked out and named like this was Nick Smith. Go figure.

He joked Collins should assume leadership of the National Party to restore some discipline.

Collins said Mallard should look to National's Lockwood Smith, who "never lost his cool" and received praise from both sides of the House during his time as Speaker.

Mallard is no stranger to causing a ruckus in Parliament - he and Peters accounted for half of all ejections from the House between 2008 and 2015, according to a naughty list compiled by Peters himself.

The AM Show / Newshub reporter Dan Satherley