14 Oct 2010

Speaker to penalise Carter for non-attendance

5:16 pm on 14 October 2010

The Speaker is taking action against newly independent MP Chris Carter for being absent from Parliament.

Mr Carter - who was kicked out of the Labour Party this week - has been absent from the House for question time and debates on legislation, since his return from sick leave.

He was was seen by Radio New Zealand at a gym in Auckland on Thursday.

MPs are required to be present in the parliamentary precinct while the House is sitting and can be fined $10 for each day they're not.

The Speaker, Lockwood Smith, says that he can't certify Mr Carter's absence this week is due to illness or is otherwise unavoidable, and that deductions will therefore be made.

Dr Smith says he recognises the penalty is small and says a review of the rules is under way.