Five trespass orders have been dropped after Speaker Trevor Mallard issued the bans for people who attended the 23-day occupation of Parliament’s grounds.
One of the people trespassed was former Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters.
Peters this afternoon said he did not yet know if he was one of the five, but another former MP who had attended the protest had contacted him to advise that his had been withdrawn. Peters would check when he got home.
There were five former MPs at the protest: Peters had gone with Darroch Ball. Others were former Act MP Stephen Franks, former Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox and former National MP Matt King.
Peters said if his trespass order had been withdrawn, he would have the personal grounds to continue with a judicial review action over it.
“I’m glad [the Speaker] has come to his common sense on it, albeit as a result of a judicial review action.”
However, he said if it was only the former MPs who had their trespass notices retracted “it does not change my serious concern that now we seem to have two rules being applied to different people.”
Mallard today said 151 trespass notices were issued in relation to the occupation. Of those, 144 were for people police arrested.
And then another seven bans were issued to “persons of interest”. Now five of those seven notices have been withdrawn.
This was because those five people were now thought unlikely to seriously offend or incite others to commit serious offences, the Speaker said.
“As has been reported, a meeting last night of the Parliamentary Service Commission established a general consensus that former MPs should be treated on the same basis as other members of the public,” Mallard added.
The Speaker’s move came after increasing pressure from MPs including the Prime Minister for Mallard to take a more lenient stand on the trespass orders.
“I know the Speaker is doing some work around the application of those trespass notices rightly,” Jacinda Ardern said this afternoon.
“The question has to be asked over whether or not some people’s behaviour was more egregious than others,” the PM added.
Ardern had previously said she had expressed her view to Mallard that a more discretionary approach could be taken.
That would take into account issues such as the reasons someone was on the grounds and their actions while there.
Mallard today said further trespass notices for other people were still possible.
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