David Carter has been elected as Speaker of the House following the resignation of Lockwood Smith from the office
The House resumed at 2pm with the Clerk announcing the office of Speaker was vacant.
Prime Minister John Carter nominated David Carter for the position and this was seconded by Bill English.
Labour Leader David Shearer nominated Trevor Mallard and this was seconded by Chris Hipkins.
Motions for debate on the issue and for a secret ballot on the election were objected to and defeated.
A personal vote was conducted and Carter was declared elected as Speaker.
The customary ritual of him being dragged to the chair was made and Carter thanked MPs for electing him the 29th Speaker.
He said he would conduct the house in a non-partisan manner and to protect the interests of all MPs.
“I do not underestimate the challenges before me,’’ Carter said.
There would inevitable tensions and he saw his role as a referee having to make instant decisions without access to a whistle.
Carter acknowledged the work of Smith and said he had quite rightly received accolades for his work and Carter said he too would seek to hold ministers to account.
Key congratulated Carter and outlined his achievements as an MP and minister.
Shearer also congratulated Carter and said while the election was contested Labour would seek work with him in a constructive way.
Both Leaders also praised Smith for his work as Speaker.
Other party leaders made similar comments though Winston Peters said he had to place on record his disquiet at Smith’s appointment as High Commissioner to London when the job should have gone to a diplomat.
Peters also was angry that National had not consulted over the election of a new Speaker and that would make Carter’s job more difficult.
The House then adjourned until February 12
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