North Shore National MP Maggie Barry has issued an apology to Parliament and to Assistant Speaker Ruth Dyson for an aggressive outburst against her during debate on the End of Life choice Bill last week.

Dyson received the apology last Friday after Barry had shouted at her from a close distance in the debating chamber.

"I am writing to apologise to you for my actions during the debate and voting on the End of life choice bill on Wednesday night," Barry wrote.

"For me it was a highly emotionally charged situation and I acknowledge now that I was overzealous in expressing my disappointment with the way things were progressing.


"In the heat of the moment I said things that I accept showed disrespect to you as the chairperson of the committee of the whole.

"I unreservedly apologise to you for the way I spoke to you and I have also written today to the Right Honourable Trevor Mallard to acknowledge and apologise for any offence caused to you or to the House."

Assistant speaker Ruth Dyson believes that Maggie Barry's apology was genuine. Photo / Glenn Taylor
Assistant speaker Ruth Dyson believes that Maggie Barry's apology was genuine. Photo / Glenn Taylor

Barry also apologised to the House on Tuesday night this week.

"I apologise to the Hon Ruth Dyson for my actions during the debate and the voting on the End of Life Choice Bill last Wednesday night," she said after the dinner break.

Dyson told the Herald she had been chairing the debate from the floor of the House, as the bill was in committee stages.

She had accepted the second motion to close the debate on Part 3 of the bill, before 10pm.

Barry, a fierce opponent, was upset that debate on that part was ending.

Barry was one of the tellers so she had to come to where Dyson was sitting to get the clipboard to record votes.


"She stood and started yelling then and yelled pretty much down to the table, and then just carried on yelling at me, standing right next to the table," Dyson said.

"She was saying things like 'this is a disgrace! This is outrageous! You are closing down the debate! Nobody is getting a chance to talk!' It was like over and over and over again."

Dyson said she thought it was over-the-top and unacceptable behaviour but decided to just go ahead and get the voting underway.

But Labour whip Kieran McAnulty told her he was going to complain to the Speaker about her behaviour - which could have been referred to the privileges committee.

Dyson said she thought the apology was genuine.

Barry is one of the leading opponents of the End of Life Choice Bill, sponsored by Act leader David Seymour.

Seymour said perhaps Barry, a former television gardening show presenter, needed some gardening leave.

It is not the first time Barry has been accused of aggressive or bullying behaviour.

It was revealed in 2018 that Barry had twice been accused of bullying by staff – including by yelling and swearing at them, discussing their sexuality and belittling them - although she denied all the allegations and said the Parliamentary Service had made no findings of bullying or harassment.

Maggie Barry has been approached for comment.