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Second call to dismiss Speaker of the House

Second call to dismiss Speaker of the House

The Speaker of the House of Representatives / Te Mana Whakawā o te Whare for the 53rd Parliament of New Zealand is The Rt Hon. Trevor Mallard. 

He is known as The Right Honourable Trevor Mallard.

The Speaker is essential to the running of the House and has to command the respect of all MPs.

“On the 14th February I wrote the following statement in relation to a call to dismiss the Speaker of the House of Representatives:

The problem that I have is that in my opinion, Trevor Mallard has proved himself to be neither Right nor Honourable and in fact I fail to understand how he can possibly command the respect of all MPs as required by his role.

Given that part of his role is as chair of the Parliamentary Service Commission, I fail to see how Mr Mallard can possibly continue in the role of Speaker of the House given his total disregard of the truth and his lack of remorse in failing to either retract his statements about or to apologise to one of the parliamentary staff, until he had no other option.

Yes he apologised but not as soon as he knew he was wrong and when he should have. If nothing else does so, this action (or lack of action), is fatal to his role as Speaker whose job it is to oversee the rules and behaviour of the House of Representatives for New Zealand.

Surely he has set, what can only be described as a terrible example, when it comes to following the rules and exhibiting good behaviour.

Labour’s Defence of Mallard has shown that they are less concerned about honesty or decency than they are about themselves and protecting their own.

Here we have a speaker that ejects a Maori Party member from the house because he is not wearing a tie but the same speaker ignores the ethical option when it comes to his own personal conduct in naming this person and then failing to admit his wrongdoing.

Yet still our Prime Minister states that this is not reason to remove him from the post of speaker.

Well in my opinion she is right. It is not enough to remove him from the post.

No it is enough that he should be totally removed from government.

The Prime Minister has removed other Ministers from their portfolios for making mistakes or breaching rules, but here we have a Speaker who has carried on trying to defend himself from his wrongful allegations even after he knew that they were in fact wrong. Surely that must come under the heading of misleading the Prime Minister & parliament (or did the Labour Party already know that he had made a statement that was untrue).

So it is time that the Prime Minister should remove him from at least the office of Speaker of the House and in fact should ask for his resignation from parliament as well.

He no longer, in my opinion, has any social licence to remain in the role of Speaker, due to his failures to act in this matter, or in fact to remain as a serving Minister of Parliament.”

There are now claims being made that;

“It appears Mr Mallard continued to threaten the person he falsely alleged was a rapist even after he knew it was untrue.

According to Court documents, Mr Mallard (through his lawyer, Linda Clark threatened to attack the victim’s reputation (and claim the allegation was true) months after Mr Mallard has now said he knew the claim to be false.

That turns the defamation from a ‘mistake’ into a deliberate act of bullying and victimisation of the junior Parliamentary employee.

Mr Mallard has either deliberately misled Parliament (while being questioned by a Select Committee on 22 December 2020) or threatened to mislead the High Court (by telling the victim he would plead ‘truth’).  Either way, that’s not the ethics we expect from the third highest constitutional office holder – behind only the Prime Minister and Chief Justice.

The New Zealand Taxpayers Union has issued the following media release today (24th March 2021);

MEDIA RELEASE
SPEAKER’S POSITION NOW UNTENABLE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
24 MARCH 2021

Responding to revelations being reported by Newstalk ZB that the Speaker threatened to plead truth and bad reputation against the victim of his false rape allegation – after the Speaker has acknowledged he knew the claim to be false – the Taxpayers’ Union says it leaves the Prime Minister no choice but to find a new Speaker.

“Most New Zealanders would agree that someone who threatens to lie to a Court is not suitable to be an MP, let alone the Speaker,” says Jordan Williams, a spokesman for the Taxpayers’ Union. “This matter has changed from one involving a defamation, to one striking the heart of Mr Mallard’s honesty, integrity, and suitability to be an MP.”

to revelations in Parliament this afternoon that the Speaker threatened to plead truth and bad reputation against the victim of his false rape allegation, the Taxpayers’ Union says it leaves the Prime Minister no choice but to find a new Speaker.

“Most New Zealanders would agree that someone who lies to a Court is not suitable to be an MP, let alone the Speaker,” says Jordan Williams, a spokesman for the Taxpayers’ Union. “This matter has changed from one involving a defamation, to one striking the heart of Mr Mallard’s honesty, integrity, and suitability to be an MP.”

“It appears Mr Mallard has sought to threaten the victim – that he would repeat the allegation he is a rapist, knowing it to be untrue, if the victim took legal action to protect his reputation. It is difficult to imagine more disgraceful conduct from someone in a position of power.”

“Putting aside the issue of the ‘threat’, the key question is did Mr Mallard in fact plead truth in pleadings to the High Court?  Given his admission to Select Committee that he knew the rape allegation to be wrong ‘within 24 hours’ Mr Mallard was clearly threatening to mislead the Court. Alternatively he’s misled Parliament – which for a Speaker is arguably even worse.”

“To falsely claim something is true would have caused the damages amount payable to skyrocket.  It is simply not credible for the Speaker to continue to rely on taxpayers to pick up the tab.”

“A defamation insurer underwriting Mr Mallard would have required Mr Mallard to take all steps to minimise the damage, or he’d lose cover. Here Mr Mallard has done the opposite and doubled down – taxpayers should not be on the hook.”

New Zealanders are encouraged to sign the petition calling on Mr Mallard to pay back taxpayers for the monies used to settle Mr Mallard’s outrageous defamation: www.taxpayers.org.nz/trevor

Questions the Prime Minister should be asking Trevor Mallard and his lawyers:

  1. Did he in fact follow through on the threat?  Did he plead truth in any Statement of Defences filed?
  2. When did he inform his lawyers that he knew the rape claim to be false?  Why did he not inform them immediately upon realising the claim was false?
  3. Why did it take 18 months to issue the apology?  How much more in damages did his subsequent behaviour (including the refusal to apologise, and the ‘threat’ after the initial publication) cost the taxpayer?
  4. Was the Prime Minister aware that Mr Mallard knew the rape claim to be false but was threatening the victim to claim it was true anyway?
  5. Did former Deputy Speaker Anne Tolley know that Trevor Mallard was defending the court case with defences he knew to be dishonest when she made the decision to approve taxpayer funding of Linda Clark / Kensington Swan’s fees?  If not, how will that decision be reviewed in light of these new revelations?

ENDS

In the light of all of the above I repeat my statement from the 14th February 2021:-

It is time that the Prime Minister removed him from at least the office of Speaker of the House and in fact should ask for his resignation from parliament as well.

He no longer, in my opinion, has any social licence to remain in the role of Speaker, due to his failures to act correctly in this matter, or in fact to remain as a serving Minister of Parliament.”

 

Andy Loader

Co-Chairman P.L.U.G.

Primary Land Users Group