Nelson MP Nick Smith has been suspended from Parliament for 24 hours and his pay docked after Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard "named" him. Mallard had ordered him out of the House and when Smith yelled out "soft on drugs like the Government", Mallard ordered him to return to face a naming motion.

What is 'naming?'

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

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.

Read more:
What happened in Parliament: Nick Smith suspended

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Who supported it?

Today, all parties of Government - Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First - supported the naming of Smith. National and independent Jami-Lee Ross opposed it. No vote was cast for Act.

The suspension of Smith follows Speaker Trevor Mallard kicking out Simon Bridges from the House in Question Time yesterday. Photo / Mark Mitchell
The suspension of Smith follows Speaker Trevor Mallard kicking out Simon Bridges from the House in Question Time yesterday. Photo / Mark Mitchell

How common is it?

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 Winston Peters. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Smith says the only person who has been named more often than him is Winston Peters. Photo / Mark Mitchell

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

What does it mean for the MP?

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 suspendion means the MP cannot:

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

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