Carter wants Speaker job, Key insists
Wednesday 30 Jan 2013 9:00 a.m.
Prime Minister John Key says Speaker-to-be David Carter does want the job, despite claims to the contrary.
Speaking to Firstline this morning, Mr Key said he wouldn't back someone for the job of refereeing Parliament if they didn't want to do it.
"I hear people saying he doesn't want to, but look, last year I spoke to a number of people who might be interested or had expressed an interest to me to be the Speaker, David was one of those," said Mr Key.
"He said initially, 'I'm happy to do whatever is required of me,' but later on came back and said, 'Yeah look, I've thought about it, I think it would be a great opportunity. I am keen to do it.'"
Mr Key said Mr Carter, currently Minister of Primary Industries, is seen as a "very sensible, a very sound member of Parliament".
"He's not overly antagonistic. I think he'll make a good Speaker."
The Opposition however, disagrees. Labour MP Trevor Mallard said Mr Carter had "never shown interest in parliamentary matters" or "shown any interest in involving opposition members in policy matters".
Labour leader David Shearer said he hasn't had any discussions with Mr Carter, but Mr Key said that wasn't true.
"We did have some discussions with Labour, despite what they say," he told Firstline.
"I'm a bit disappointed they're not voting for him, but it's not my expectation that Opposition parties will vote for him. I think it's more political than anything else."
Winston Peters said his party also wasn't consulted on the choice, and won't be voting for Mr Carter.
"Ask Parliament first rather than just ramming it down our throats,” Mr Peters said yesterday.
The Greens were initially believed to support Mr Carter's nomination, but yesterday revealed they wouldn't back him either.
Mr Carter has admitted taking on the new role will be a challenge.
"Having been a very politically active player for 18 years, the transition I have to make as speaker is to be completely without bias, completely apolitical," he told the National Business Review.
"That is a big ask and I’ll do it to the best of my endeavours."