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MPs scrap ban on use of Parliament TV footage

MPs have agreed to suspend a rule banning the use of official Parliament TV footage for political advertising.

Trevor Mallard, Speaker of the House Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

The issue came to a head in September, when the Speaker instructed the National Party to take down social media attack ads, following a complaint about an ad showing excerpts of Labour MP Deborah Russell's speech on wellbeing.

All parties have agreed to adopt a temporary standing order that will last the rest of the term, which allows for the use of this footage, provided it isn't used in a misleading way.

The Speaker will have the responsibility of determining whether something is misleading and will have the ability to intervene and refer any issues to Parliament's privileges committee.

This committee will also be required to consider any issue around footage that is referred to it within two working days.

Chris Hipkins Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

Leader of the House Chris Hipkins said it was clear that the existing rule was "behind the times".

"There is broad agreement across the House that the use of Parliament TV material is in need of updating and this should be done before we get into election year next year when I'm sure there is going to be some heightened interest," he said.

Mr Hipkins said a wider review of the rules and permanent changes would be considered next year.

National MP Barbara Kuriger said it was good to have this sessional order in place and this was something "all parties can live with as we work our way into 2020".

Greens MP Chloe Swarbrick said this was a "common sense" move forward and said it was "crucial for accessible politics" that Parliament footage was not used in a misleading way.

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