Nick Smith responds to claims he is New Zealand's worst behaved politician

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Monday, January 8, 2007

Honourable Doctor Nick Smith.

Previously Wikinews published an article where New Zealand politician, Honourable Peter Dunne claimed that the Honourable Doctor Nick Smith was the worst behaved politician in the House, "by a country mile".

Gabriel Pollard (Nzgabriel), accredited Wikinews reporter, asked Hon Dr Smith what he thought of Hon Dunne ranking him the worst behaved politician. Hon Dr Smith did not respond to the e-mail when the story was first published, but now has.

Hon Dr Smith said that Hon Dunne's way of assessing the behaved politicians is flawed. Hon Dunne only takes into account being asked to withdraw and apologise for a statement and for being asked to leave the House, both are enacted by the Speaker. Hon Dr Smith said that personal attacks, like those on Don Brash and Prime Minister, Helen Clark, are not taken into account when ranking the behaviour of politicians. "Nor do one fingered salutes, which the Speaker chose not to punish," referring to the three times when MP, Ron Mark did it.

Hon Dr Smith also has defended the time when he has been asked to leave the House, mainly because when it has happened it was because he had been trying to make the government accountable for various public interest issues. Dr Smith gave an example: "I was thrown out for disagreeing with Margaret Wilson about Dover Samuel’s not having to answer questions on the Whangamata Marina because his public comments were as a previous councillor and not a Minister (yeah right)."

Hon Dr Smith also challenges the speaker of the House, Margaret Wilson, saying that she is biased as the three top offenders on Hon Dunne's list, are from the opposition, National, Dr Smith, Honourable Tau Henare and Gerry Brownlee respectively.

"I make no apologies for taking the fight to the Government," Hon Dr Smith said.

This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.