SCP HOUSE: Mallard Apologises In Spouse House Stoush
This is a paraphrased account of Mr Mallard’s apology and is not a transcript of what was said in the house. The official record of Parliamentary proceedings is Hansard, which is not finalised till some days after the event.
Trevor Mallard: Peter Davis is a good friend of mind. Last week he was attacked. I was incensed. I made some comments which were inappropriate. Members who have seen my briefing note will know that some of my information was not accurate. I made comments about Mary English which were incorrect. I know that her heart is in the right place. I apologise. I hope that we can de-escalate this business. And I hope we can return to a situation in which people like Dr English and others will be allowed to do their jobs.
Richard Prebble: I regard personal explanations as important. Here we have a senior minister making a number of political statements. I would like you to rule this as an abuse of the process.
Michael Cullen: The minister hasn’t yet finished his explanation. I would beseech the members opposite to listen carefully.
Bill English: We understand the point of this process. But if the Minister will insist on using it to make a political point about my wife being in the same position as Peter Davis, a point the PM has also been making to the media, then it will not acceptable.
Speaker: I think Mr Mallard has made a proper apology with regard to Mrs English.
Trevor Mallard: I also made comments about Ms Bradford which were inaccurate, and for that I apologise. (Later after an interjection from Mrs Shipley) I also mentioned the name of Mrs Shipley’s sister. For bringing her into this house I apologise.
Bill English: As long as the Minister is in the process of extending apologies. Will he also apologise about accusing me of withdrawing my children from private school because of a fall in family income?
Trevor Mallard: I did not make that allegation. I invite the member to look at the Hansard.
Jenny Shipley: Will he clarify whether he is confining his apology to his comments in the house, or does it extend to written material distributed outside the house.
Trevor Mallard: I sent a copy to Mr Soper of my notes. For that I apologise as well.
Bill English: The fax from his office was sent at 2.18. His question was answered at 2.46pm. This material was distributed before the question was asked.
Trevor Mallard: All that shows is that there is a timing problem on a fax machine. I was asked by Barry Soper when I left the house to give him the material. I did so later.