As of November 2011, this website is no longer being kept uptodate. It contains NZ Parliament debates from November 2005 to November 2011. TheyWorkForYou.co.nz is volunteer run, and has been in operation since November 2006.

Points of Order

Māori Language / Te Reo—Accuracy of Interpretation and Voting

Tuesday 22 March 2011 (advance copy) Hansard source (external site)

HideHon RODNEY HIDE (Leader—ACT) Link to this

I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. It shoots to the heart of the integrity of our Parliament and it is this: what assurance are you able to give this House that the Māori interpreters who operate in this House under your jurisdiction will not repeatedly mislead Parliament, as happened on Wednesday last week?

SmithMr SPEAKER Link to this

I can assure the member that the interpreters will give an accurate interpretation. I take it the member is referring to a vote that occurred in the House. The member will recollect I made it very clear at the time, when I was recalled to the House, that voting is a very serious business, and that where members do not vote according to the Standing Orders, their vote will not be counted. The interpreters have been instructed to make sure that they do interpret what is said by members during voting. If members do not comply with the Standing Orders, their votes will not be counted.

HideHon RODNEY HIDE (Leader—ACT) Link to this

I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Thank you for that. Will the House—and if so, when—get an honest interpretation of what it was that Hone Harawira actually said when the vote was being taken? So far we have not had it.

SmithMr SPEAKER Link to this

This particular issue was dealt with at the time by the House, and that is the end of the matter. It was not a case of what the member has just alleged. I dealt with the matter at the time. I was recalled to the House. The Chair of the Committee of the whole House had already dealt with the particular issue. I dealt with the wider matter when I was recalled as Speaker, and that is the end of the matter.

HideHon RODNEY HIDE (Leader—ACT) Link to this

I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I do not wish to contradict you in any way, shape, or form; however, what you dealt with was that it was the obligation of a member who stands up in Parliament to vote to vote according to the rules, which are the Standing Orders of Parliament. The issue I am raising is, in fact, a more serious one, and it is that when a member speaks in Māori and the interpreter provides for the House something entirely different, which is what happened repeatedly—

SmithMr SPEAKER Link to this

I will not let the member carry on in this vein. The matter has been dealt with. The interpreters have been instructed that they are to interpret exactly what the member says, so that the Chair can assess whether the Standing Orders of this House have been followed, and that is the end of the matter. That is the instruction that has been given to the interpreters. I am not going to entertain any more points of order along that line. I have dealt with that matter.

HideHon RODNEY HIDE (Leader—ACT) Link to this

I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Will this House get an interpretation of what it was—

SmithMr SPEAKER Link to this

I have told the member that the matter has been dealt with. If he continues to raise points of order, I will have to deal with him. I do not wish to do that. But the matter has been dealt with. The Chair at the time interpreted what he was advised by the interpreters in terms of the voting intention of the member, I was recalled, I made it clear how issues were to be dealt with in the future, and that is the end of the matter. The vote was recorded as the member had intended, and that is the end of the matter. The matter will not arise again, so there is no further point of order.

HideHon RODNEY HIDE (Leader—ACT) Link to this

I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. It is the Hansard; my question is whether the will accurately reflect what Hone Harawira said.

SmithMr SPEAKER Link to this

The convention of the House is the Hansard records only the votes cast. It does not record particular words during voting. It records only the votes cast, and there is no change to that.

HughesHon DARREN HUGHES (Senior Whip—Labour) Link to this

I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Coming from that exchange you have just had, one issue that arises is that when members vote in Māori, the vote is not translated over the television or radio broadcast at that time. Given that the issue has come up, I wonder whether you would take that into account. It is under your control for that to happen, so that people who are watching the proceedings of the House are aware of which way parties have voted. It seems that now is a time to bring that up—while this issue about members’ understanding of te reo being used is before you.

SmithMr SPEAKER Link to this

If the member wishes to pursue it with me further, my understanding is that the interpretation of the voting taking place would be the same as during debates, so the procedures to achieve the interpretation during debate should deliver the same interpretation during voting. If that is proving not to be the case, I would appreciate the member—

HughesHon DARREN HUGHES Link to this

I am sorry; I should have been clearer with you, Mr Speaker. I was referring to viewers who are following it. For us in the House—

SmithMr SPEAKER Link to this

No, I mean viewers of television. The procedures that viewers need to follow to pick up the English interpretation when Māori is being used during debates should pick up the interpretation of voting, as well. But if that is not happening, I am very happy to check the matter out further, because it should be happening.

Mar 2011
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
281234
7891011
1415161718
2122232425
282930311