24 Aug 2012

Sound problems disrupt debate in House

11:15 am on 24 August 2012

Parliament suffered a major disruption on Wednesday evening when the microphones on the opposition side of the chamber stopped working.

MPs were debating the committee stages of the Regulatory Reform Bill when the problem occurred.

Speaking at the time was Labour's Liane Dalziel, whose microphone cut out, but she continued.

That was not the only glitch. Unbeknownst to the MPs, some microphones were live and being broadcast.

They included that of the minister in the chair, Simon Bridges, who could be heard saying: "Turn the lights off. Turn the lights off as well - then it will be perfect."

Speaker Lockwood Smith was recalled to the House after opposition MPs called for the debate to be suspended.

Dr Smith said that, apart from appearing as though they were about to burst into song after being issued with hand-held microphones, MPs could still be heard by the public and he allowed the debate to continue.