New Zealand speaker cradles MP’s baby during parliament debate

Cheryl Sanders
August 22, 2019

A baby joined New Zealand's Parliament Wednesday.

Trevor Mallard tweeted a photo of himself feeding MP Tāmati Coffey's baby boy in the speaker's seat. "Congratulations @tamaticoffey and Tim on the newest member of your family", he wrote.

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

"New might be a small country, but you have a huge lesson to teach the world!", one Twitter user said, while another added: "That is the most attractive thing I've seen in years".

On Wednesday, Coffey attended a parliamentary debate with his baby for the first time after returning from paternity leave.

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

Green Party MP Gareth Hughes said: "Lovely to have a baby in the House, and what a attractive one".

Mr Coffey is now looking to push for change in surrogacy laws, telling TVNZ1's Seven Sharp last month it was "strange" he and his husband had to adopt Tūtānekai, given Mr Smith is the biological father.

Weeks ago - footage circulated of Zuleikha Hassan, a Kenyan lawmaker, also being kicked out of parliament for bringing her baby to work.

Green MP Golriz Ghahraman tweeted: "Who needs to see this today?"

"Lovely to have a baby in the House, and what a attractive one @tamaticoffey", Hughes wrote.

"He's here and he came into this world surrounded by his village", Mr Coffey said on Instagram last month.

"Babies have a way of calming down the intense environment of Parliament and I think we need more of them around to remind us of the real reason we are all here", he said.

In September, Ms Ardern brought her baby daughter - Neve - to her debut speech at the United Nations in NY.

But not all countries are so relaxed about allowing babies in parliament.

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.

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