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Openness and security focus of Commonwealth Speakers

Openness and security focus of Commonwealth Speakers’ gathering

The Speaker, Rt Hon Trevor Mallard, and the Clerk of the House of Representatives, David Wilson, will represent the New Zealand Parliament at the 25th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC) in Ottawa, Canada this January.

The conference brings together Speakers from across the Commonwealth to share developments in parliamentary procedure and practice. This year’s programme has a focus on openness, transparency, accountability, and security. During the conference, the Speaker will present a paper entitled “Getting off the high horse: Bringing Parliament to the people”. He will share how the New Zealand Parliament has changed and how it might evolve in the future to remain relevant and foster meaningful engagement with citizens.

Mr Speaker said, “This is a valuable biennial opportunity to get together with Speakers from across the Commonwealth, to take stock of recent initiatives and be inspired to do more. Like most Westminster parliaments, the New Zealand House of Representatives has been on a long journey towards openness and genuine accessibility.

“Parliamentary democracy is not something we can take for granted. I see it as the role of the Presiding Officers to make sure our institutions continue to develop as the needs and expectations of our citizens change.”

The Speaker and the Clerk will also take part in sessions focused on trends in parliamentary security, cybersecurity, parliamentary privilege, and social media.

“There is a delicate and important balance between accessibility and security. I look forward to exchanging ideas with counterparts, from parliaments small and large, to hear how they are approaching safety and security while limiting any resulting restrictions to engagement,” said Mr Speaker.

The conference runs from 6 to 9 January 2020.

ENDS

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