Nelson MP Nick Smith has been suspended from Parliament for 24 hours and will have his pay docked after Trevor Mallard "named" Smith, prompting the senior National MP Gerry Brownlee to suggest Mallard was a "bully".

The dispute happened in the last question of the day in Question Time when Smith accused Mallard of being " soft on drugs, like the Government."

Smith had been questioning Police Minister Stuart Nash in relation to the death of Matthew Dow, 23, who was killed at Appleby near Nelson on New Years Eve in 2017 by a driver high on meth and cannabis.

Smith asked Nash if he stood by his statement to TVNZ last December when he had said a discussion document on roadside drug testing had been approved by cabinet and would be made public early in 2019.

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Karen Dow, the dead man's mother, interjected from the public gallery after Nash said he could not discuss what went on in cabinet.

She said she was that child's mother and she saw Mr Nash making that statement on national television.

Nash said he did not recall making that statement on television - public records show he did say it – but work was being done in that area.

Smith: "Will the minister apologise to the mother of Matthew Dow, who would have turned 25 today if not killed by a reckless drug-driver, given that he misled her in saying that Cabinet had approved a discussion document and that it was to be released earlier this year.

Nash said while he had sympathy for the Dow family and could not imagine their loss, he would not apologise for something he had absolutely no responsibility for.

Smith then sought leave of the House to give priority next members' day to a bill that would have introduced drug-testing for drivers.

But Mallard, in a highly unusual move, did not put the leave motion (in which the objection of any MP can block a move).

Speaker Trevor Mallard ordered Nick Smith back into the House to face a naming motion. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Speaker Trevor Mallard ordered Nick Smith back into the House to face a naming motion. Photo / Mark Mitchell

When asked why by Smith, Mallard said that he himself would not grant leave for it.
Smith accused Mallard of opposing moves to keep drug-drivers off the road. Mallard said he was very unhappy with Smith's approach.

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Smith: "For standing up for my constituents?"

Mallard ordered him out of the House and when Smith yelled out "soft on drugs like the Government, Mallard ordered him to return and moved a motion naming Smith.

All parties of Government, Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First supported it.

National and independent MP Jami-Lee Ross opposed it. No vote was cast for Act.

Once Smith had left the chamber, Brownlee asked if he could make a late submission on the Speaker's inquiry into bullying in Parliament. No, was the answer.

Outside the House, Smith said he was gob-smacked at what had happened.
He was incensed that Mallard had refused to put leave on his bill.

"I've been in Parliament for nearly 30 years. It's for the Speaker to put it to the House to make a decision to object to that Bill being introduced, not for him to override it."

Smith later accepted Karen Dow's petition to Parliament seeking urgent legislation to introduce random roadside drug testing "to reduce the escalating road toll from drugged drivers, which resulted in 79 fatal crashes in 2017 and exceeds the number caused by those impaired by alcohol".

The incident happened when Nick Smith was questioning Stuart Nash, above, about the death of Matthew Dow, who was killed by a driver high on meth and cannabis. Photo / Mark Mitchell
The incident happened when Nick Smith was questioning Stuart Nash, above, about the death of Matthew Dow, who was killed by a driver high on meth and cannabis. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The suspension of Smith follows Mallard kicking out National Party leader Simon Bridges from the House in Question Time yesterday.

Bridges had moaned in response to an answer from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and Mallard accused him of making barnyard-like noises.

Last week Mallard compared Hamilton East MP David Bennett to a primate he had recently seen in Rwanda (a gorilla).

Bridges clashed a second time with Mallard yesterday and was kicked out when Bridges called him "unprofessional".

Parliament's Speaker named Nick Smith for
Parliament's Speaker named Nick Smith for "grossly disorderly conduct". Photo / NZME

• Naming a member is a lot more serious than simply being ordered out of the chamber.

It involves the Speaker seeking the censure of the whole Parliament for conduct he considers so grossly disorderly, that booting an MP out would not be enough.

It is a rare event and did not occur at all during the term of the last Government.

The Office of Clerk does not keep a record of them but Clerk David Wilson believes the last time an MP was named was in 2006 - and it was Nick Smith again.

Smith says the only person who has been named more often than him is New Zealand First Winston Peters. He has been named at least four times.

Suspension is for 24 hours, or for seven days if is the second time in a parliamentary session, or 28 days on the third occasion.

If a member physically fails to leave the House – and Smith did - the Serjeant-at-Arms is called by the Speaker to enforce to ruling.

The punishment of a suspended means the MP cannot:

• enter the debating chamber.
• cast a vote of a proxy vote.
• sit on a select committee or be replaced on the committee.
• lodge oral or written questions.

Under section 14 of the Members of Parliament (Remuneration and Services) Act 2013, Smith pay will be docked to the tune of $327.92