Who will be the presiding officers?

I put together this table of presiding officers of for the MMP era to show the normal mix of parties. The first order of business for the new Parliament will be to elect a and soon after that a Deputy Speaker and two Assistant Speakers.

The Speaker has always been from the same party as the Prime Minister under MMP. From 1994 to 1996 Labour’s Peter Tapsell was Speaker under a National Government, but that is mainly because back then the party supplying the Speaker lost a vote in the House, and National had a very slim majority.

There is no doubt the Speaker will be from Labour and no real doubt the Speaker will be Trevor Mallard. He’s done enough baby sitting of Neve to guarantee it 🙂

The Deputy Speaker is usually from the Government also, but there has been three exceptions. Anne Tolley was Deputy was 2017 to 2020 and Clem Simich Deputy from 2005 to 2008. Tolley was Deputy as National was the largest party in Parliament, so it was thought appropriate to have a National Deputy Speaker. I think the same rationale may have applied to Simich from 2005 to 2008. The National opposition was only two seats short of Labour.

The one that is a mystery to me is Geoff Braybrooke being Deputy Speaker in 1998 and 1999. Labour only got 28% of the vote in 1996. It might just have been a reflection on him personally that he was well liked and not particularly partisan.

I do not expect the Deputy Speaker to be from National this time. They only will have 33 to 35 MPs out of 120. So I expect Labour to supply the Deputy Speaker. The current Assistant Speaker, Adrian Rurawhe would seem the most logical choice.

Of the two Assistant Speakers, National will supply one. There has never been a situation under MMP where all four presiding officers are from the Government. The other will be Labour. You could have a minor party MP be an Assistant Speaker but generally smaller parties don’t want to lose an MP to be a presiding officer.

So who might be the Assistant Speakers?

Whips often make good presiding officers as they know standing officers. But Michael Wood should become an Minister and Kieran McAnulty may replace him as Senior Whip. Third Whip Kiri Allan has a good chance of being a Minister also.

So a second term MP such as Willow-Jean Prime or Jo Luxton is likely.

On National’s side, I would have though Tim Macindoe would be a good Assistant Speaker but he is sadly gone. Nick Smith certainly has the knowledge to do it, but may not want to.

The Senior Whip for National is Barbara Kuriger and my guess is she might stay there or take a senior portfolio. Junior Whip Matt Doocey is possible, as is Tim van de Molen (third whip).

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