Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard says ACT Leader David Seymour's comments calling Green Party MP Golriz Ghahraman a "real menace to the freedom in this country" in an interview was bullying.
The statement comes after a review into bullying and harassment in Parliament was released yesterday revealed a work culture described as toxic, vicious and brutal.
When asked by TVNZ1's Breakfast host John Campbell if the comments made by Mr Seymour on radio show Magic last week were bullying, he responded "yes".
"In my opinion that did step over the line," Mr Mallard says. "It's not a breach of privilege because it didn't happen in the House. It's not a criminal offence but I think it showed poor judgement."
He said bullying needed to be called out, and said it was leaders and senior staff who needed to step up against bullying.
"All MPs in the place, senior staff, have to all reflect on our own behaviour and very deliberately take care in that way, but also we've got to call it out and we've got to support people much better that we have," Mr Mallard says.
"The problem at the moment is that the senior staff or MPs tend to be believed, they tend to be supported, tends to be quick notice arrangements.
"People leave very quickly often with what's been described as a hush payment and while that continues, we won't stop the behaviours. It's just too easy to solve. It's easier to solve the individual cases, but the culture doesn't change unless it's properly addressed."