Video: New Zealand parliament speaker soothes baby as debate rages

New Zealand, parliament, Speaker Trevor Mallard, Parliamentary speaker

The speaker took it upon himself to take on babysitting duties while presiding over the debate.


Published: Fri 23 Aug 2019, 8:49 AM

Last updated: Fri 23 Aug 2019, 7:07 PM

The man who presides over New Zealand's parliament has been called a baby whisperer.
He was in action again this week, gently rocking, bottle feeding and burping a colleague's infant as a lawmaker ranted about gas prices.

Speaker Trevor Mallard held baby Tutanekai for about 15 minutes during a fiery general debate Wednesday after spotting lawmaker Tamati Coffey with his 6-week-old son.
Mallard said Friday he's been trying to make parliament a more baby-friendly place by adding baby chairs, family rooms and soon, a slide. He's also increased the flexibility around family leave for lawmakers.
It isn't the first time a baby has sat in on legislative proceedings in the country. 
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in 2018 became just the second elected world leader in modern history to give birth while holding office after having daughter Neve.

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