On the motion of the Speaker, the House named and suspended Winston Peters today. The vote was 115 – 13 in favour with only NZ First against.
I think Hunt called this one correctly. In fact if anything he should have done it earlier. Peters is notorious for making numerous points of order which wouldn’t know a standing order if it got run over by one. He just uses them to relitigate his original questions.
Now all MPs do this to some degree, but Peters is by at least a magnitude the worst offender. And Hunt has often been reluctant to crack down, because he knows Peters will attack him personally if he does. And true to form Peters threatened to move a no confidence motion in Hunt, if he was named.
Both question times so far this week have gone for almost two hours, instead of the scheduled 60 minutes due to mainly Peters. And considering Helen called a snap election in 2002 on the basis of an average seven minutes a day being wasted on points of order, this might have given her an opportunity to try that same trick again!
The suspension only lasts 24 hours if it is the first naming for this session, which I think it is. The second time is for seven days and the third time on is for 28 days. During the suspension the MP not only can not enter the House, but can not vote, serve on a committee or lodge questions.
UPDATE: Having done further research, I have ascertained that Peters is suspended for the entire week, as it is his second naming this session.