cartoon via The BFD

In a media statement, Chris Bishop, the shadow Leader of the House, said the behaviour of Parliament’s Speaker, Trevor Mallard, in recent days has been “unedifying, embarrassing and childish” and said it had “appalled” New Zealanders. 

“Actions like crowd-sourcing songs for a Spotify playlist to play to protesters and turning on the sprinklers have made people wonder what on earth Mr Mallard was doing,” Bishop said.

“You can disagree with people without disrespecting them, and Mr Mallard’s petulant behaviour has only inflamed an already tense situation.”

Bishop said the step wasn’t taken lightly, but “it is clear Mr Mallard’s actions have made the situation worse, not better”. The MP said it was important to note that Mallard’s actions “were done without the support of the New Zealand Police”.

The motion reads:

“That the House has no confidence in the Rt Hon Trevor Mallard as Speaker of the House of Representatives due to his childish, provocative and embarrassing behaviour during the occupation of and protest at Parliament grounds in February 2022, which was counterproductive to resolving the situation and done without the support of the New Zealand Police.”

Trevor Mallard told the NZHerald in an interview that he had no qualms about using sprinklers and only regretted using recorded music as it gave police officers present headaches.