18 Oct 2019

National agrees to take down parliamentary TV videos

3:50 pm on 18 October 2019

The National Party has agreed to take down any videos breaching the current rules around the use of parliamentary TV footage, as all parties try to reach consensus.

Simon Bridges pictured 21 May 2019

Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

Speaker Trevor Mallard ordered National to take down attack ads containing such footage at the end of September, while the rules were reviewed.

But in an act of mass defiance, the whole caucus reposted one of the more infamous ads, mocking a speech given by Labour's Deborah Russell, right on the deadline.

Now National leader Simon Bridges says his party will continue to argue for the right to use the footage on an ongoing basis, but for the rules to be modernised.

He said the Speaker had indicated that would progress more quickly if the videos were taken down, which he has agreed to do by 5pm today.

One of the main issues was the restriction on any footage being used for anything deemed to be a political advertisement.

Earlier this week, Mr Mallard limited the number of questions Mr Bridges could ask in the House as a punishment for the National Party for not pulling down their attack ads, saying the number of questions would continue to decrease each week as long as the attack ads remained online.

In a statement today, Mr Mallard welcomed the move and said it meant the rules would likely be revised in early November.

"This removes an impediment to the speedy resolution of the review of rules that many members have felt for some years are badly drafted and out of date," Mr Mallard said.

"A stand-off between the leader of a major party and the Speaker is not healthy and I'm pleased it has been resolved."

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