New Zealand has been praised for stepping away from tradition and embracing the modern world after Speaker Trevor Mallard was captured cradling and feeding an MP’s baby in parliament this week.
Photos of the 65-year-old have sent the internet wild after he was filmed cradling Tāmati Coffey’s new baby on social media on Wednesday evening following a parliamentary sitting. Coffey had only recently returned from paternity leave and Mallard took it upon himself to take the pressure away from the new dad by taking on some babysitting duties throughout a debate.
Later Mallard took to Twitter to share the adorable snaps of himself, writing in a post: “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.”
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
The beautiful photos have garnered a lot of attention online with many commending the speaker and the New Zealand government as a whole for embracing family and looking after each other. “This is something wonderful that is just a pleasure to see happening in our parliament,” one person commented on Twitter.
Another added: “Keep this up and all the new parents of New Zealand will be dropping our babies off to parliament! I’ve already put you on my list of people who look like a steady pair of baby-minding hands when I need them. Congratulations @tamaticoffey I’m so thrilled for you.”
While a third said: “Everyone in the chamber seemed to be less tense while you fed Tamati’s lovely baby. There were smiles all round. I love this which doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world. Thank you.”
Elsewhere the Studio 10 hosts discussed the topic with all of the presenters praising the speaker for his caring nature and approach to family. Kerri-Anne Kennerley was the first to weigh in on the topic saying: “As long as there is no disturbing what’s going on then I think it’s lovely.”
The speaker of New Zealand parliament took on babysitting duties for a minister who had just returned from paternity leave. Adorable! 😍 pic.twitter.com/McAe992tbe
— Studio 10 (@Studio10au) August 21, 2019
Her comments were echoed by Angela Bishop who joked that it was time to buy New Zealand. The host exclaimed: “I think we should take a leaf out Donald Trump’s book and buy New Zealand. One way to get the Bledisoe Cup because I don’t think there is another way we’re going to get it. Just a thought.”
Meanwhile, Joe Hildebrand added: “I seriously do want to buy New Zealand. Bring the whole thing together. They are super woke. Not only is the speaker feeding a baby in the speaker’s chair, not only was it a male MP that brought a baby into work, it’s a same sex marriage.”
This isn’t the first time Mallard has shown off his parental instincts, with photos of the speaker shared online two years ago cradling another MP’s child in his chair. Snaps of the politician were shared online back in 2017 showing him cuddling Willow Prime’s little one while in parliament.
— Grant Robertson (@grantrobertson1) November 8, 2017
Labour MP Grant Robertson shared the picture on Twitter at the time writing: “The times are changing. The speaker with @WillowPrime little Heeni during PPL Bill this evening.”
“Love this image. Viva la revolution!” one person commented on the post. While another added: “Can’t help but smile when Trevor does something cute! A very beautiful photo and an indication of the kind of government this country will have for a term and hopefully many more to come!”