New Zealand Speaker Holds And Feeds MP's Baby During Parliamentary Debate
You can usually expect to turn on a parliamentary debate to a room full of middle aged MPs presiding over the countries most important issues, but the New Zealand Parliament invited a much younger guest into the chamber this week: a new born baby.
On Wednesday, MP Tāmati Coffey - labour representative for Waiariki - brought his newborn son Tūtānekai Smith-Coffey into the House of Representatives, and it's fair to say he was a welcome guest.
But while his dad took his place in the docks, speaker Trevor Mallard helped out with babysitting duties as he chaired the debate.
In sweet scenes from the debate, Mr Mallard - a father of three himself - can be seen holding, rocking and feeding the sleeping baby with a bottle.
Mr Mallard later tweeted congratulating Mr Coffey on his new 'VIP' arrival.
"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," he said.
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
In response to the post, which has been shared 1,500 times, New Zealand is being hailed for its liberal approach to parenting and work.
"You might be a small country, but you have a huge lesson to teach the world! Great photo!" tweeted one person.
"Great gesture Mr Speaker. That's what makes your country so special. Please protect your values, ethos and practices from evil thoughts and actions of those who do not approve of such decency and civility," said another.
Lovely to have a baby in the House, and what a beautiful one @tamaticoffey pic.twitter.com/EP6iP9eQES
- Gareth Hughes (@GarethMP) August 21, 2019
"Lovely to have a baby in the House, and what a beautiful one," tweeted fellow MP Gareth Hughes.
Born via surrogate on 9th June, baby Tūtānekai is the biological son of Mr Coffey's partner, Tim Smith.
At the time, the proud dad said: "He's here. and he came into this world surrounded by his village. #modernfamilies Mum doing awesome. Dads overwhelmed at the miracle of life."
:rainbow::baby: He's here. and he came into this world surrounded by his village. #modernfamilies :two_men_holding_hands:Mum doing awesome. Dads overwhelmed at the miracle of life.
:tv: @SundayTVNZ will tell our story this Sunday night at 730pm. Give it a watch. pic.twitter.com/nRm2YNoBug
- Tāmati Coffey (@tamaticoffey) July 9, 2019
In September 2018, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was praised for bringing her baby daughter Neve to the United Nations.
Can we all be more like New Zealand, please?
Featured Image Credit: Twitter