Henare wants speaker role

  • 11/09/2012

By Adam Ray

National MP Tau Henare says his previous bad behaviour in the House only adds to his claim to be the next Speaker.

Mr Henare has put himself forward for the job, with Lockwood Smith expected to leave Parliament at the end of this year.

Being Speaker of House involves ceremony but it's hard work, too. One of the main roles is enforcing rules to stop MPs misbehaving.

Mr Henare has been one of those wayward MPs and now has his eye on the speaker's chair.

“I thought I could do justice to the job so I put my hand up.”

Mr Henare was most recently ejected from Parliament a few weeks ago. In 2007 he brawled with Labour MP Trevor Mallard in a corridor outside Parliament after trading insults inside the chamber.

“I've played the game so I know how to be bad and I know how to be good.”

Mr Mallard says the poacher-turned-gamekeeper idea has some worth, and Mr Henare can be a wonderful gentleman - on occasions.

“I can't imagine him getting out of the chair to chase me. Doing a round with the Speaker would have a different meaning.”

Mr Henare's other problem is that he doesn't have the Prime Minister's backing. Long-time MP David Carter is thought to be John Key's preferred candidate.

“At all times I've said I'll wait for a proposal from the Prime Minister," Mr Carter says. "If he wants it, I'll consider it.”

But Mr Henare says some had doubts over Mr Key when he became Prime Minister, and that's turned out fine.

When Parliament returns from summer recess next year its first job will be to elect a new Speaker.

Mr Henare has plenty of work to do before then to convince fellow MPs that, as Mr Mallard puts, the poacher can become gamekeeper.

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source: newshub archive