Speaker Trevor Mallard is not backing down from his reprimand of a Massey University Professor, who is now contemplating laying a formal complaint.

But Professor Claire Robinson, an academic expert in political advertising, would have to lay the complaint about Mallard to Mallard himself.

Mallard took exception to Robinson's submission yesterday to the Standing Orders committee, which is reviewing the rules around the use of official footage from Parliament TV.

The review follows a complaint by Labour about one of National's ads that featured footage of Labour MP Deborah Russell talking about philosophy and the wellbeing Budget. Mallard said the ad breached the standing orders, and this led to a review about whether the standing orders were still fit for purpose.


Why photo of Speaker Trevor Mallard feeding a baby during debate went viral
Tempers flare over Parliament's video rules: Trevor Mallard clashes with university professor
House Speaker Trevor Mallard cracks down on MPs using Parliament's footage for attack ads
Barry Soper: National Party calls Trevor Mallard's bluff over attack ads

Robinson, during her submission to the committee yesterday, criticised Labour's position on what the rules should be, including Labour's call for a ban on any music, commentary or text laid over video footage.

"Labour is being dangerously undemocratic in seeking to censor the ways political
parties can critique each other's statements and ideas and communicate with their
voters," Robinson told the committee.

"Labour may not like the way it is being attacked by National at the moment ... Labour may consider itself above that form of attack. But this is insufficient reason to revise the Standing Orders simply to suit Labour.

"I have to admit to being I think slightly embarrassed for NZ politics that we are even having this discussion in 2019."

Mallard responded angrily.

"I'm exceptionally unhappy with your characterisation of this inquiry, which is done at my behest and not the Labour Party's behest.

"Your frankly offensive description of me ... I was offended by it. The decision to have this inquiry was mine."

Massey University Professor Claire Robinson. Photo / Derek Cheng
Massey University Professor Claire Robinson. Photo / Derek Cheng

After her submission, Robinson said that Mallard was out of line.

"I was responding to the Labour Party's submission. I wasn't attacking the Speaker. I wasn't attacking the inquiry."

This morning Mallard doubled down.

"I'm not making any further comment other than the fact that I regret directing that she be invited as an expert, because it became clear during her submission that she did not understand parliamentary process."

Robinson said she was considering laying a formal complaint, which she would be make to the Speaker; Mallard might refer it to the Deputy Speaker.

"Regardless of whether the Speaker agreed with my submission or not, tearing strips off any submitter is behaviour unbecoming of the role, mana and power of the Speaker as Chair of the Standing Orders Committee," Robinson told the Herald.

Both National and Labour told the committee yesterday that they wanted the rules to be loosened.

Standing Orders are normally reviewed every three years, but the committee may decide at any time to change Standing Orders, and when those changes may apply.