In an exchange in New Zealand's Parliament from 2017, the following record has been kept:

Hon STEVEN JOYCE: Grumpy old prick.

Grant Robertson: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I know there is a robust exchange in the House, but the Minister of Finance did use an extremely unparliamentary term to describe the leader of New Zealand First.

Mr SPEAKER: I heard the interjection; I did not hear where it came from, but now that it has been identified, I require the Minister to stand, withdraw—[Interruption] Order! The member is not yet in this position; he might be at some stage in the future. I require the member to stand, withdraw, and apologise.

Hon STEVEN JOYCE: I withdraw and apologise.

Mr SPEAKER: Thank you.

So clearly the Speaker intervened in that case in response one MP calling another "grumpy old prick", and basically forced an apology.

Have there been any examples in which (extremely) unparliamentary language was not withdrawn and so has led to some other, more serious consequences?

2 Answers 2


Have there been any examples in which (extremely) unparliamentary language was not withdrawn and so has led to some other, more serious consequences?

Naming (parliamentary procedure)

Naming is a procedure in some Westminster parliaments that provides for the speaker to temporarily remove a member of parliament who is breaking the rules of conduct of the legislature. Historically, "naming" refers to the speaker's invocation of the process by calling out the actual name of the member, breaking the convention of calling on members by the name of their constituency.

Processes to name a member are present in the lower houses of the British, Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand parliaments, and the legislatures of some Australian states and Canadian provinces. The implementation of the procedure varies by parliament, but usually requires the speaker to name a member, and then await another member to move that the offending member be disciplined according to the appropriate rules of order.

House of Representatives (New Zealand)

There are ten "namings" given. Of the seven available on-line, none appeared to contain (extremely) unparliamentary language. Most were for arguing with the Speaker, some for grossly disorderly conduct.

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    Based on the last case mentioned there, it seems the ejection lasts 24 hours. (And interestingly, it was the same MP who was ejected in the last two instances, even though the are 13 years apart.) Interestingly, the MP is also being ejected from a select committee, which is a longer-lasting sanction. It's not clear from the article how automatic was the latter sanction. Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 8:00

It's not likely to be the kind of consequences you're thinking of, but in 2007 Trevor Mallard punched Tau Henare after Henare "made a remark in the debating chamber about the minister's private life". A member of the public then launched a private prosecution against him for assault, to which he plead guilty and agreed to pay $500 to charity.

There's some video of the events immediately before and after available from TVNZ, where it's described as "National MP Tau Henare goading Labour's Trevor Mallard over the fact he had recently separated from his wife".

Interestingly, Mallard became speaker of parliament a few months after the events mentioned in the question.

In another instance of unparliamentary speech leading to consequences, TV3 was banned from filming in parliament for 3 days after showing footage of Ron Mark giving the finger to (the ever-popular) Tau Henare.

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