New Zealand's speaker feeds colleague's baby during debate

New Zealand Speaker Feeds MP's Baby In Parliament

New Zealand Speaker Feeds MP's Baby In Parliament

Speaker Trevor Mallard appeared delighted as he held and fed Tūtānekai while presiding over the debate.

Mallard took to Twitter on Wednesday to share a picture of himself feeding MP Tamati Coffey's baby boy in the Speaker's seat, the BBC reported.

About a dozen MPs have had infants in a parliamentary baby boom, and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern past year became New Zealand's first premier to take maternity leave and the world's second elected leader to give birth in office.

Meanwhile, the cuteness level rose tenfold when Speaker Trevor Mallard took on the role of babysitter.

The baby is the son of Tamati Coffey, a Labour MP and former television host, and his husband Tim Smith.

Video from the chamber shows him rocking the baby as he warns an MP his speaking time has expired.

Normally the Speaker's chair is only used by Presiding Officers but today a VIP took the chair with me.

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"Mum doing awesome. Dad's overwhelmed at the miracle of life". "Congratulations tamaticoffey and Tim on the newest member of your family".

Coffey told Newshub that he felt "really supported by my colleagues from across the House".

"What I've found is that it adds to the positive atmosphere of the workplace", he said, adding that he regularly encountered babies in the halls of power and even the indoor parliamentary swimming pool.

Fellow MPs praised Mr Coffey for bringing the baby into the chamber with him.

And in the UK, Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson cradled her baby on Parliament's famous green benches in January - in what was thought to be a first during a Commons debate.

After New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern brought her baby daughter - Neve - to her debut speech at the United Nations in NY, politicians are increasingly following her lead and proving that parenting and politics can go hand-in-hand.

The newborn joins many other babies in the legislature after Mallard relaxed rules in 2017 to make parliament more child-friendly.

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