New Zealand Speaker Feeds Baby In Parliament Debate

22 August 2019, 15:25

A video of New Zealand's parliamentary speaker feeding an MP's baby after he returned to work from paternity leave has gone viral across the world.

Trevor Mallard, New Zealand's House of Representatives speaker, cradled and bottle fed a lawmaker's baby while he presided over a debate.

The baby, Tūtānekai Smith-Coffey is the son of Labour MP Tamati Coffey and his husband Tim Smith, and was born in July via a surrogate mother.

Mr Coffey brought his baby to the parliament after coming back from paternity leave and let Mr Mallard babysit for him during the debate.

"Normally the speaker's chair is only used by presiding officers but today a VIP took the chair with me," Trevor Mallard tweeted, along with a photo of him bottle-feeding the baby, whose father was sat close by.

Videos show Mr 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.

The Parliamentary Speaker babysat the baby during the debate
The Parliamentary Speaker babysat the baby during the debate. Picture: New Zealand Parliament

People on social media were have been quick to praise Mr Mallard and Mr Coffey.

"Thank you for normalizing the family unit," one person tweeted in response to Mr Mallard's photo. "We need to see more of this. Work places need to adapt to enable this behavior."

Another Twitter user said: "New might be a small country, but you have a huge lesson to teach the world!"

One Twitter user called it: "The best picture of 2019".

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Arden made headlines last year when she and her husband brought their baby to the United Nations Hall.