Topic: Politics

Parliament opens: Trevor Mallard new Speaker of the House

By Talisa Kupenga

The Commission opening of New Zealand's 52nd Parliament marks the start of the new three-year Parliamentary term, a new Government and Labour’s Trevor Mallard as the new Speaker of the House.

Mallard’s political career spans 30-years and features a colourful past including a political punch-up and lycra fashion while out cycling.

A full house of politicians take their oaths before nominating a new Speaker of the House.

After a short delay from the National opposition, Trevor Mallard is elected unopposed.

"The Speaker's Office has tremendous authority. I will use that authority to preserve and enhance our democracy,” Mallard says.

Mallard, who in the past had a punch-up with former MP Tau Henare, is known for his lycra wearing-ways.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern paid homage to the latter in her speech, referring to Mallard as a MAMIL.

“A Middle Aged Man In Lycra. I know that you love cycling and I know that you love whisky; your cycling experience will help you I'm sure as Speaker, you know how to keep the pace high, how to use the brakes sparingly and how to never back pedal" 

Mallard’s new role though will see him keep the order ensuring only verbal blows cross the debating chamber.

National Leader Bill English says it would be interesting for Mallard to reflect on the “robustness of [his] own debating and procedural style” in the house.

"I would have to say over that time you would certainly be in the top ten greatest hits of parliamentary performers in a whole lot of different ways."

The state opening of Parliament will be tomorrow.