Assistant Speaker Trevor

October 23rd, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

From Hansard:

Hon GERRY BROWNLEE (Leader of the House): As I move this next motion I hope the last discordant moment is not some sort of a portent of what is about to happen. I move, That the Hon Trevor Mallard be appointed Assistant Speaker. I did not think that I would ever be in this House moving a motion like this. If it were not for the fact that I have been reminded by the honourable gentleman over there that this is a parliamentary occasion, I may well have quipped that should he be successful, the Hon Trevor Mallard may be the first Speaker in the Chair to remove himself from the House.

But appreciating the comments Mr Peters has made to the House, I will simply say that I have worked with Mr Mallard on the Business Committee and in his role as shadow Leader of the House over a number of years, and I know that he is, at heart, a true parliamentarian. I think—[Interruption] Well, his colleagues opposite, of course, may find it hard to believe that anyone on their side of the House has a heart, but the reality is that Mr Mallard is a gentleman who does appreciate the procedures of Parliament and does respect the procedures of Parliament. But certainly over his political career he has enjoyed the theatre of Parliament as well. I think his broad experience in that regard will equip him very well as an assistant to you in your role, Mr Speaker, and we look forward to supporting him.

For my 2c I think Trevor will be a very good Assistant Speaker. He has an excellent understanding of Standing Orders, and as Gerry said, he has played a very constructive role on the Business Committee and the review of Standing Orders.

But he will have to restrain himself not to interject when he is not in the chair – or even when he is!

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Setting up Parliament

December 9th, 2008 at 12:26 pm by David Farrar

The order paper reveals some useful things:

  • Lindsay Tisch is to be Deputy Speaker
  • Assistant Speakers will be Eric Roy and Rick Barker. A pity Ross Robertson is not carrying on, as he was good in that role.

The full list of Select Committee memberships has not yet been revealed, but they do propose the Committee to review the ETS, and it is:

  • National – Craig Foss, Nicky Wagner, Paul Hitchison, Hekia Parata (4)
  • Labour – David Parker, Moana Mackey, Charles Chauvel (3)
  • ACT – Rodney Hide (1)
  • Greens – Jeanette Fitzsimons (1)
  • United Future – Peter Dunne (1)
  • Maori Party – yet to be named (1)

It will be nice to hope there will be a some broad agreements on the best way forward, but I do note that National has a majority with any two of its three support partners.

The proposed terms of reference for the committee do not include an explicit review of the science, however as they look at issues such as mitigation vs adaptation, demerits of the science will no doubt be considered as the robustness of the scientific scenarios will influence decision making.

The House is underway now. Michael Cullen tripped Gerry Brownlee up on some procedural issue. While I am sure Labour liked tripping Gerry up, I have to say the absolutely patronising and condescending tone from Cullen was him at his worst, and would probably knock Labour down 5% in the polls if more people saw it. Cullen can be the funniest wittiest MP in the House, but he can also be the most offputting.

In response Gerry made the point that he did stuff up, but he can admit his mistakes, and the reason Labour is now on the Opposition benches is because they never could admit their mistakes. So true.

The House is adjourned until 2 pm when the address in reply will start.

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Goff on Speakers

November 21st, 2008 at 1:07 pm by David Farrar

NZPA report:

Mr Goff today repeated criticism of National leader John Key’s decision to nominate as Speaker Lockwood Smith, whom he believes is too partisan to be fair.

This is nonsense, especially coming from the party that appointed Jonathan Hunt and Margaret Wilson to the Speakership. Someone should challenge Goff to explain how Smith would be more partisan than Hunt or Wilson?

He also said National intended to appoint Lindsay Tisch as deputy speaker.

He must read my blog, as that fact went unreported until I highlighted it from the video of the press conference :-)

Both Dr Smith and Mr Tisch missed out on Cabinet roles and Mr Goff said the appointments were to placate the long-serving MPs rather than choosing the right person for the job.

Now here Goff is on stronger ground than the nonsense about Lockwood being too partisan. It is a political reality that there not being room for them in Cabinet is a strong factor in why they are the nominees for Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

But this does not mean they will not prove to be sound choices. Doug Kidd was made Speaker in 1996, basically because they needed room in Cabinet for new Ministers. But Kidd went on to be an excellent Speaker.

And let us remember Labour made Ann Hartley Deputy Speaker, and she was a disaster.

He said the roles were being treated as “a dumping ground for those that can’t get into Cabinet” and thought MPs like Eric Roy and John Carter were better choices.

Eric and John would be very sound choices, and there are factors such as Cabinet inclusion at work. But those in glasshouses should not throw stones. Here is who Labour is putting up for Assistant Speaker:

Labour would have nominated Rick Barker for the role.

Asked why Mr Robertson was not considered, Mr Goff said while he was fond of the role he had other talents, had been appointed as spokesman in several areas and was a useful local MP.

Now could anyone claim Barker would be better than Robertson who is widely respected? Of course not. So Goff is guilty of exactly what he accuses National of.

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Are Labour shafting Ross Robertson?

November 19th, 2008 at 12:39 pm by David Farrar

I’ve heard from a fairly reliable source that the highly respected Ross Robertson will not be nominated by Labour as an Assistant Speaker, but instead Sue Moroney is favoured.

This is not confirmed. Moroney seems a competent sort, but Roberston is held in high regqard by most MPs as a very fair Assistant Speaker. It has been suggested to me some MPs are angry with him for not retiring and letting new blood come through, so they will punish him by taking his prized role off him.

I guess we’ll find out by early December when the roles are elected.

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Lindsay Tisch to be nominated Deputy Speaker

November 18th, 2008 at 4:43 pm by David Farrar

This really annoys me. Not that Lindsay Tisch is to be nominated Deputy Speaker, but that I only found about it by listening to the audio/video (thanks Scoop) of John Key’s press conference.

It wasn’t in the official media release, but John Key announced it early on at his press conference. Now there were 30 or so journalists in the room, so why didn’t a single one of them actually report it? Hell why attend the press conference, if all you are going to do is write stories based on the press releases, and overlook any new material from the actual press conference.

Anyway it looks like Lockwood for Speaker and Lindsay Tisch for Deputy. There are two Assistant Speakers, with one traditionally being from the Opposition – presumably Ross Robertson. I’d guess Eric Roy may be the other Assistant Speaker.

It hasn’t been a tradition, but it would be nice if the Deputy Speaker (rather than the Assistant) was from the Opposition. Clem Simich did very well as Deputy Speaker.

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Who will be Speaker?

November 15th, 2008 at 11:27 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports four contenders for Speaker. They are:

  1. Lockwood Smith
  2. John Carter
  3. Eric Roy
  4. Richard Worth

They each have their own claims for the job. Lockwood is National’s longest serving MP. John Carter has been a Whip for many years, knowing Standing Orders well. Eric Roy was a very popular Assistant Speaker and Richard Worth would being a first class legal talent to the role.

This may dismay some, but I think Michael Cullen would also be a damn good Speaker. But I think his latest game playing over Treasury accounts has killed off any chance that he could be seen to make the transition from partisan player to referee.

As for the four candidates, it will presumably go to a National Caucus decision and then the preferred candidate checked with coalition partners.

But wouldn’t it be nice if it was left to the House as a whole to decide? If all parties would agree not to apply the whip and allow a free vote, then they could have a preferential ballot as allowed for in Standing Order 19. It would be fascinating to see all MPs vote from their seats.

I presume two of the unsucessful candidates will probably become Assistant Speakers and that Labour’s Ross Robertson will be Deputy Speaker.

UPDATE: Mallard is against Lockwood being Speaker. That probably helps Lockwood immensely.

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Hobbs to be new Assistant Speaker

March 2nd, 2008 at 6:36 pm by David Farrar

No Rught Turn as usual beats the media to reporting that the new Assistant Speaker will be Marian Hobbs.

I guest she must be bored, to volunteer to do the job for just six months.

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