Do we have enough MPs?

The Beehive (Simon Wong / Newshub.)
The Beehive (Simon Wong / Newshub.)

There are currently 121 members of Parliament.

That's made up of 64 general electorate members, seven members representing Māori electorates, and 50 members selected from party lists.

And with Parliament considering building a new home for some of them to replace the offices they are leasing in Bowen House across the road from the Beehive, it's raised the issue of how many we need to house.

Winston Peters says the number should drop to 100.

"The fact is we don't need 120 parliamentarians - 100 would be sufficient, at which time we would have plenty of room. Former Prime Minister Keith Holyoake used to have five people in his office - Prime Minister John Key has 55.

"Before anyone starts screaming about the need for more space, let's take a look at how bloated the system now is."

But David Carter, the Speaker of the House - the boss of Parliament - says he's dreaming. In fact, he says in the future we'll need even more MPs.

"I think over the next 50 years, I don't think there's any doubt, if MMP is going to continue to work, we will have to see an increase in the number of members of Parliament," he told Newshub.

And that's something they're taking into account when building the new digs - that it'll be there for 50 years and need to house a growing Parliament.

"If we're building something that I expect to be something for 50 years or greater, that will have to be factored in," Mr Carter says.

Mr Peters wouldn't be drawn on whether he'd demand a reduction in numbers if he holds the balance of power at the election.

Newshub.

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