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New Speaker: A chance to look to the future

19 December 2012

New Speaker: A chance to look to the future

With the position of Speaker of the House now vacant, it is the perfect time to reflect on the role in an MMP environment, the Green Party said today.

“The Green Party wants to thank Dr the Rt Hon Lockwood Smith for his tenure as Speaker and for his dedication to the role,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“Dr Smith and I have not always seen eye to eye, but he has always engaged and listened to the issues. We wish him all the best for his new role.

“Looking forward, it’s important that whoever next fills the position of Speaker is fair, broadminded, and respectful of the MMP environment.

“We’ve had MMP elections since 1996, yet in many ways our parliament still operates in a First Past the Post mind-set.

“Other parliaments with similar electoral systems to ours provide good options for how our parliament could adapt, including secret ballots for the election of the Speaker and cross-party representation across the Speaker and deputies.

“We think these are good ideas, but the people of New Zealand need a chance to have a conversation about what best fits in the modern New Zealand context.

“A Speaker in the 21st Century also needs to ensure that parliament becomes genuinely accessible to all New Zealanders, and continues to increase the transparency of parliament to the public.”

ends

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