David Carter

National's decision to collapse a select committee meeting to make some sort of point may or may not be good politics. But it is bad for our parliamentary processes and long term constitutional culture. 

On Wednesday something happened in Parliament that was on its face a clever but petty political move designed to capture headlines, yet at a deeper level ought to concern anybody interested in how New Zealand governs itself. Forgive me while I set the scene with some bureaucratic jargon before I tell you why I think what happened matters.

Parliament's powerful Privileges Committee (P3C!) is going to have to decide the boundary of fair criticism of the House's Speaker. This should be fun!

According to Phil Lyth on Twitter (hey - it's how you know News is new!), Andrew Little and Chris Hipkins have been referred to Parliament's Privilege's Committee (or, as I've had cause to call it before

If Parliament's rules say you aren't even allowed to refer to the existence of a particular court case, then how can the Speaker enforce those rules without letting everyone knows that the court case exists?

The following interchange with the Speaker took place today in the middle of Andrew Little's reply to the Prime Minister's statement to the House.

DPF is very, very concerned about how Labour is selecting its Invercargill candidate. Where was that concern back in 2008?

I don't really know anything (and I guess I really should stop this post right there) ...

The Speaker has found that Peter Dunne could not have commited a contempt of Parliament. Told you so.

Peter Dunne has a press release up on scoop.co.nz claiming that the Speaker has exonerated him from lying about any role he may have had in leaking the Kitteridge report on the GCSB: