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Speaker grows in new role by collaborating

Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives

For release: 21 December 2017

Speaker grows in new role by collaborating with Commonwealth counterparts

The Speaker, Rt Hon Trevor Mallard, and the Clerk of the House of Representatives, will represent the New Zealand Parliament at the 24th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth in the Seychelles from 8 to 11 January 2018.

During the Conference, Speakers from Africa to North America will have the opportunity to discuss developments in parliamentary practice and procedure in their respective parliaments. This kind of inter-parliamentary dialogue and collaboration serves to deepen international cooperation, strengthen relationships between parliaments at the highest level, and enhance the parliamentary knowledge of all those involved.

The Speaker is looking forward to learning how experienced Speakers manage the responsibility of the multi-faceted role “it’s my job to chair Parliament fairly—making sure all members, no matter their political persuasion, have the opportunity to participate. This involves being an impartial referee by allowing robust debate yet upholding the dignity and mana required in the House.

“A strong parliament is essential for democracy and this Conference provides a rare opportunity for Commonwealth Speakers to pool knowledge and experiences to strengthen parliaments whilst ensuring they remain relevant and adaptable to the modern world” said Mr Speaker.

Emerging security issues facing parliamentarians and utilising new technologies to directly engage citizens in democratic processes will be on the agenda, along with ensuring parliamentarians are appropriately resourced to hold the Government to account.

The Speaker will be stopping in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on his way to the Seychelles for a day of bilateral meetings with senior Ministers from the National Council of the UAE and New Zealand business representatives living in the UAE.

ENDS

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