Prime Minister Julia Gillard has been blocked from addressing New Zealand’s sitting parliament during her visit to Wellington this week.
The New Zealand Greens Party opposed a plan by the country’s National government for Ms Gillard to talk directly to parliament while in session this Wednesday, saying it would set an uncomfortable precedent.
“In New Zealand, no head of government or head of state has addressed a session of parliament and that’s a principle that we’re quite keen to keep,” NZ Greens co-leader Russel (Russel) Norman told AAP.
“The governor-general isn’t even allowed onto the floor of parliament, our own head of state.”
If it were allowed, it could permit future governments inviting “all sorts of unpleasant people, like (former United States president) George Bush, for example, they had in Australia, that I think a lot of members of parliament would be uncomfortable with”, he said.
In a compromise, Ms Gillard will be allowed to speak in parliament’s debating chamber, becoming the first foreign leader to do so.
(or if you’re going to be really pedantic, sivun…)