Winston Peters thought trespass notice 'had to be a joke'

Former Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says he initially thought his trespass notice, issued for visiting the Parliamentary protest, was a joke.

Winston Peters on Lambton Quay, Wellington, surrounded by anti-mandate protesters.

"Then I found out they were serious. So I'm taking action on it."

It was revealed on Tuesday that Peters was trespassed for two years from Parliament after his February 22 visit.

Read: Former National MP Matt King banned from Parliament grounds for 2 years

"I thought it had to be a joke," Peters said, after receiving the trespass notice on his door step.

"I walked outside and saw this thing lying on the ground."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has spoken to Speaker Trevor Mallard, encouraging him to talk to other parties in Parliament.

Mallard has since tweeted out the following statement. Following it up by saying only ACT supported the exemption.

Peters said he was in Parliament when the law that was being acted on was passed.

"I've taken legal advice. This sort of dictatorial behaviour has got to be opposed, otherwise our freedoms and our democracy is all going down the drain.

"People have a right to protest in this country.

"This is a very sad event. Nobody takes pleasure in this nor the cost. But you've got to make a stand and you've got to make the stand right here and right now."

National's Chris Bishop called it a "pretty extraordinary situation and it has quite deep constitutional implications".

"We are going to be inquiring with the Speaker as to exactly what legal advice he has taken in regard to this. What the Speaker is essentially saying is that if Winston Peters turned up on the forecourt of Parliament this afternoon he'd be arrested.

"Now Winston Peters, I don't like the guy much, but he has been the Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand on two occasions, one of our longest serving MPs, he just visited the forecourt. He didn't camp out at the protest. My understanding is that he just basically went for a wander and a tiki tour, many members of the media did exactly the same thing during the Parliamentary protest - so we are in quite unconstitutionally uncharted waters."

Ardern talks to Speaker

Ardern said it was "ultimately a decision for the Speaker, but we've spoken this afternoon, I've encouraged him to give the opportunity for all of the parties within Parliament to discuss the issue and see if we can reach some consensus around how the issue of trespass notices, and how they apply to everyone, should be issued".

"We do have a group in Parliament that represent all parties, the Parliamentary Service Commission."

It met this afternoon.

She said it was still Mallard's call, but had encouraged him to involve other parties.

"He does ultimately have the jurisdiction and the responsibilities over these grounds, but it is an issue where he is having to decide whether past Members of Parliament are treated exactly as everyone else."

Ardern said it was clear trespass notices were being issued, but "now the issue the Speaker is having to grapple with is how that applies to past MPs."

A light-hearted exchange in Parliament's debating chamber on Tuesday afternoon between David Seymour and Mallard saw the ACT leader say he hoped "you don't trespass me".

Mallard laughed and said, "the Member does know my rights in here are pretty much absolute".

Seymour said that was not correct and Mallard had to follow the Standing Order rules "like all of us".