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David Garrett In Hot Water Again

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Aug 7 NZPA - Prime Minister John Key says there is no place for violence in New Zealand's Parliament.

He was commenting on allegations David Garrett, an MP in government confidence and supply partner ACT, had sought a fight with Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove during a closed session of Parliament's law and order select committee.

Another member of the committee, Carmel Sepuloni, tried to table in Parliament a complaint she made to the Speaker Lockwood Smith about the incident but she was refused permission. Her colleague Chris Hipkins told Parliament that Mr Garrett had threatened an MP.

NZPA reported last week an incident where Mr Garrett told prison officers, who had criticised private prisons to the committee, that they had damaged their job prospects. Both Labour and National members assured the prison officers they had the right to speak their mind before a parliamentary select committee and not fear repercussions.

Today Mr Key, speaking from Cairns where he attended the Pacific Islands Forum leaders' meeting, said if Mr Garrett had told Mr Cosgrove let's "take this outside", as some reports said, then that would be unparliamentary behaviour.

"As a broader comment there's no place for violence in the New Zealand Parliament, of even the suggestion of violence and I think if that was the case Parliament should take a very hard line," he said.

"We're the lawmakers and frankly we're meant to be role models to, particularly young, New Zealanders."

"In the end the management of the people in the ACT party is the responsibility of (leader) Rodney Hide and certainly from what I've seen in the past is he's taken that responsibility seriously and acted promptly where he's had information."

(SEEKING COMMENT FROM RODNEY HIDE)

NZPA

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