New Zealan’s parliament just made news after, Trevor Mallard, speaker in the country’s House of Representatives, posted an image on his Twitter page of him feeding MP Tamati Coffey’s newborn son while in the speaker’s chair. He captioned the snap: “Normally the Speaker’s chair is only used by Presiding Officers but today a VIP took the chair with me. Congratulations tamaticoffey and Tim on the newest member of your family.”
There are also videos on the internet showing Speaker Trevor Mallard feeding the baby with a bottle. In contrast to some countries who bar babies from their chambers, New Zealand MPs led by Trevor Mallard made some significant changes to make Parliament a more family-friendly space since Mallard took over as Speaker of the House. Mallard allows babies to enter the debating chamber when they need to be fed and is happy to take babies off MPs if they need a break. Mallard today happily fed MP Tāmati Coffey’s baby son Tūtānekai Smith Coffey as debate continued around him. Coffey and partner Tim Smith welcomed Tūtānekai, born by surrogate, in July.