TODAY |

Speaker Mallard regrets some of his past behaviour as an MP, after report finds 'systemic' bullying in Parliament

Speaker Trevor Mallard says he regrets some of his behaviour as an MP, after a report found there is "systemic" bullying taking place in New Zealand's Parliament.

The Speaker was asked if he was ever a bully in Parliament by 1 NEWS' Political Editor Jessica Mutch McKay today.

"I think I have acted inappropriately on occasions yes," he responded frankly.

    Your playlist will load after this ad

    Toxic, vicious and brutal are some of the words used to describe the culture of working at Parliament. Source: 1 NEWS

    "I reflect back on some of my behaviour as an MP and I regret it and I have certainly worked harder in recent years to behave appropriately at all times."

    His comments come after a five-month review conducted by Debbie Francis found harmful behaviour by and between staff, managers, MPs, media and the public.

    "The alleged bullying, harassment, sexual harassment and other harmful behaviours that were described to me do not contribute to a healthy and safe workplace in which the dignity and respect of elected Members and staff are consistently maintained," Ms Francis wrote.

    "Unacceptable behaviour" was often tolerated or normalised, and a perceived problem was low accountability, particularly for MPs, "who face few sanctions for harmful behaviour".

    Mr Mallard said he was "committed" to making changes "to ensure the parliamentary workplace is free from harmful behaviour".

    "The issues in the report will not be a quick fix and any solutions will need to have input from those affected and address the systematic issues."

      Your playlist will load after this ad

      The review was conducted by Debbie Francis who spoke to media after it was released. Source: 1 NEWS

      Of those who experienced bullying or harassment, 56 per cent experienced "destructive gossip", 53 per cent said there was a lack of cooperation and support, 41 per cent said they were undermined, 47 per cent experienced demeaning language, 41 per cent experienced aggressive behaviour and 29 per cent said they were isolated or excluded unfairly.

      Overall, 78 per cent of respondents observed or experienced "unreasonable or aggressive behaviour that intimidates or threatens".

      Ms Francis said there was a minority of MPs "whose conduct is unacceptable".

        Your playlist will load after this ad

        When asked if he was a bully himself, Mr Mallard said, "I think I have acted inappropriately on occasion". Source: 1 NEWS


        More From