Note: This story was first published on Tuesday May 15
Winston Peters may have amused Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard when he made a wisecrack about the opposition in Question Time today, but the National Party's leaders seemed less than impressed.
The Deputy Prime Minister rose to his feet to interject during a debate between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National Party leader Simon Bridges.
"Does the Prime Minister accept though that there may be a cause for downwards wage adjustment for poor professional performance such as is coming from the opposition at the present time," Mr Peters said, just hiding a wry smile.
The comment led to laughs from his side of the House before the Speaker chimed in.
"No. no, it's a very good question but it's not within the Prime Minister's responsibility," Mr Mallard said, which led to a cry of dissent from National's Paula Bennett.
"That's not a very good question!" Ms Bennett replied.
Question Time continued after the brief pause.
Maori Public Health boss Lance Norman told politicians today that 35 per cent of Maori still smoke, along with 25 per cent of Pasifika and 12-13 per cent of all other ethnicities.