Loosen Up

October 29th, 2012 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Andrea Vance reports:

A row has broken out over school children being allowed to sit in MPs’ chairs.

Speaker Lockwood Smith wrote to all political parties yesterday saying there had been complaints about unruly behaviour during private tours. MPs often show school children and other guests around the debating chamber when is not sitting.

In the edict, Dr Smith said he had “a number of issues and concerns raised by the Parliamentary Service about the behaviour of members’ guests”.

He wants party whips to remind MPs: “No staff, members’ guests or visitors are to sit in the seats in the chamber at any time . . . desk phones are not to be used and guests should not handle the microphone.”

But Labour whip Chris Hipkins has hit back, saying the ban was “unnecessarily draconian”.

I agree with Chris. Since I was a child, kids and others have been unofficially allowed to sit on MPs Chairs – so long as they are respectful. I recall the thrill at sitting in the PM’s Chair, and even trying the Speaker’s Chair out for size. And when many years later I was a staffer and did private tours, I would allow guests to do the same – again so long as they were respectful.

Strictly speaking, the rules say guests should not sit in MPs’ chairs. But Mr Hipkins said: “It’s a nice thing to be able to do.

Yeah it is officially against the rules, and Lockie is just reinforcing the rules. But it would be a good rule to loosen up, or in the interim turn a but of a blind eye to – unless there is some serious harm being caused.

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14 Responses to “Loosen Up”

  1. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    …without even getting started on the “Speaker’s Club”….

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  2. Lance (2,656 comments) says:

    This is very strictly enforced in the Aus Parliament.

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  3. dime (9,977 comments) says:

    lighten up lockwood

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  4. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Hipkins is the child. Man I had that snotty-nosed-whining-never-had-a-real-job-hack MP.

    I agree with the Speaker. Perhaps the PMs chair is OK because he’s the popularly elected leader. But Parliament isn’t a jungle gym. It’s Parliament. It’s the same reason MPs shouldn’t wear a rugby jersey or gumboots in there. Show some respect.

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  5. kowtow (8,512 comments) says:

    In a secular society with absolute “equality” as the goal,there are no longer any standards,nor should there be.Anything goes……unless it upsets the “equalityites”.

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  6. MT_Tinman (3,202 comments) says:

    Assuming the complaints were legitimate I suspect Speaker Smith had no option.

    Now who’s guests were unruly?

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  7. dave53 (91 comments) says:

    Having sex in the Speaker’s chair after the press gallery Christmas party used to be an annual event.

    Parliament is so boring now….

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  8. mara (788 comments) says:

    I would have no objection to having “kiddies” in the joint if teachers were equipped with tasers and were prepared to use them after one warning. Faint hope, I know …

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  9. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    Come on ‘Lockie’, chill out you old roister-doister, you.

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  10. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Think what they could catch:

    Pissheadness and short mans disease from Winston’s

    Homoitis from Kevin Hague’s and Chris Finlayson’s

    Foot in mouth from David Shearer’s

    Christ knows what from Darian Fenton’s

    Fuck wittisim from Andrew Williams’s and lots and lots of others

    why would expose kids to the place?

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  11. MH (762 comments) says:

    Is this whilst Parliament is in session?
    Some of those childish MP’s shouldn’t be allowed to sit down on them also. In the UK they have little room to have cubby holes to read their newspapers as the Kiwis have. Looks like a unit titles development with leaky homes syndrome.Cram them up and rent out the rest to lobbyists.

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  12. Liberty (267 comments) says:

    “”I agree with Chris. Since I was a child, kids and others have been unofficially allowed to sit on MPs Chairs”” –
    The reason why Labours child MP is getting upset. Would be because he can no longer latch on to school trips that are visiting the debating chamber. Where he can sit where the important people sit. And dream an impossible dream.

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  13. Liberal Minded Kiwi (1,571 comments) says:

    I don’t know Kowtow.. we let you comment here don’t we? We all know you’re not mentally there all the time but we see past that and allow you to comment.

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  14. dave_c_ (219 comments) says:

    Somehow I think that the children would have better manners and behave better than a lot of our elected representatives who prequent the chamber every sitting !

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