Speaker Trevor Mallard forced into sheepish apology after getting 'gender mixed up'

Speaker Trevor Mallard was forced into a sheepish apology after mixing up the genders of MPs, then their names, as he tried to control question time in Parliament today.

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The House Speaker had a rough time keeping track of who said what during today's question time. Source: 1 NEWS

During today's sitting, National MP for Waimakariri Matt Doocey grilled Health Minister Andrew Little about the transparency of mental health service data in New Zealand.

With a supplementary question, Doocey asked if Little was confident that no one in his office had any contact with Ministry of Health officials regarding the decision to remove data in an annual report and the decision to delay the report's release.

"Yes, absolutely," Little bluntly replied.

The response was met by a cheeky "we'll see" from the National side, which immediately got Mallard's attention as he demanded the person who said the interjection speak up.

Doocey eventually took responsibility, leading Mallard to tell him to stand, withdraw and apologise.

Mallard's ruling was then met with a "why?" from a member of the opposition, although unlike the first interjection, he had much more difficulty finding out who said it.

Mallard thought the interjection came from list MP Nicola Willis, much to the confusion of National’s MPs.

"Well, sorry, which member was it? If it wasn't Nicola Willis, which female member on my left was it?" Mallard asked.

Mallard's assumption the interjection came from a "female member" proved to be the issue as, after some awkward discussions, it was revealed the culprit was actually National's Dr Nick Smith.

"I apologise for being, uh," a sheepish Mallard started before trailing off.

"Dr Smith will leave the chamber."

Mallard then tried to apologise for the bizarre moment, but made it only more amusing with more errors and confusion.

"I do apologise for getting the gender mixed up," he said to some giggles from the chamber.

"And I apologise in particular to Nicola Smith, I mean Nicola Willis, who I named."

Realising he was fighting a losing battle, Mallard moved on to the next question.