“With the Prime Minister announcing a reshuffle today, she should use this opportunity to confirm she has lost confidence in Trevor Mallard, the Donald Trump of New Zealand politics” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“The problem with Donald Trump is that he has no respect for the democratic institutions that gave him his way of life and his ultimate position. Mallard has the same problem, Parliament’s been good to him, but he’ll happily trash the institution for his own survival.
“When it suits him, he’s the Speaker of the House with unlimited powers. When it doesn’t he’ll hide behind the same privilege at our democracy’s expense.
“Mallard’s behaviour is in stark contrast to the words of the Prime Minister at Harvard, who said ‘the foundation of a strong democracy includes trust in institutions, experts and government – and that this can be built up over decades but torn down in mere years.’
The question for the Prime Minister is, how can she reconcile these words with her continued support for Trevor Mallard in the third highest constitutional position after herself and the Governor General?
“Mallard was always an accidental speaker -he had his valedictory speech ready before he got the last minute call up. Every day he’s an accident waiting to happen, and the longer he goes on, the bigger the mess.
“Enough is enough. This is a man who has falsely accused a staff member of rape, who inflamed the Parliamentary protest with his immature behaviour and who refuses to be held accountable for his actions.
“Mallard may have survived another mallard hunting season earlier this month, but it’s time the Prime Minister bowled out this duck before her Government’s over too. The guy’s the biggest liability to democracy since Muldoon, like Donald Trump he has no respect for the institutions that made his career possible.
“A recent 1News poll shows New Zealanders have lost faith in him and the institution of Parliament is far too important for New Zealanders not to have trust and confidence.
“It’s time for the Prime Minister to show some leadership and have the guts to do what is right.
“Mallard is hands down the worst Speaker New Zealand has ever seen. ACT lost confidence in Mallard a long time ago and now the public has too. Ardern needs to stop playing politics and show true leadership.
“The people’s Parliament is too important to have someone at the top who New Zealanders don’t trust.”