New Zealand Parliament invited a special guest –a newborn baby– onto the chamber floor Wednesday.
The country’s parliamentary speaker Trevor Mallard held and fed the one-month-old son of lawmaker Tāmati Coffey while presiding over a debate.
Mallard tweeted, “Normally the speaker’s chair is only used by presiding officers but today a VIP took the chair with me.” The photo shared had him bottle-feeding the baby, whose father had just returned from paternity leave and was sat close by.
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. pic.twitter.com/47ViKHsKkA
— Trevor Mallard (@SpeakerTrevor) August 21, 2019
Videos show Mallard rocking the baby as he listened to the debate. At one point, he warns a lawmaker that their time had run out, followed by a gurgle of agreement from the baby.
Social media was in awe and had all praise for lawmaker Coffey and speaker Mallard.
A user wrote: “New Zealand…you might be a small country, but you have a huge lesson to teach the world!”
Last year, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made history becoming the first world leader in nearly 30 years to have a child while in office. She later returned to her job, while her partner, Clarke Gayford, became a stay-at-home dad. She continued to make headlines when she and Gayford brought their baby to the United Nations assembly hall last September.
Bringing babies into government buildings may still be unusual in many countries, and outright forbidden in others. An elected representative in Kenya who brought her baby into the debating chamber was reportedly forced to leave earlier this month.
Source : Various