Tears, laughter and global headlines: 2019's most memorable moments in Parliament

There's only one week to go before MPs depart Wellington's halls of power for the summer holiday - and they're leaving behind a memorable year, from a baby cameo, to powerful speeches, and MPs in hysterics. 

When a baby made a cameo

The moment House Speaker Trevor Mallard cradled a Labour MP's son in Parliament made world news, so it's safe to say it was one of 2019's most memorable moments. 

Mallard grinned as he held and fed baby Tūtānekai, the son of Labour MP Tāmati Coffey and his husband, Tim Smith. It made world headlines from CNN, the BBC and The Guardian.

House Speaker Trevor Mallard holding baby Tūtānekai.
House Speaker Trevor Mallard holding baby Tūtānekai. Photo credit: Parliament TV

When MPs made world news

Baby Tūtānekai's cameo wasn't the only moment in New Zealand's Parliament that captured the world's attention.

The world watched as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern delivered her speech to the House following the March 15 Christchurch terror attack.

"He is a terrorist. He is a criminal. He is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless," the Prime Minister said. 

An article in The Guardian described Ardern as "showing the world what real leadership is", saying she has shown "sympathy, love and integrity" in the wake of the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch.

Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick also made waves when she brought one of the internet's biggest buzzwords to Parliament, telling an Opposition heckler: "OK, Boomer."

The 25-year-old MP's quick quip made headlines on CNN, Bloomberg, The Guardian, and NBC News. It also sparked a flurry of opinion pieces from rage to high praise, and companies trying to trademark the phrase.

Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick making the "OK, Boomer" remark.
Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick making the "OK, Boomer" remark. Photo credit: Parliament TV

When MPs got kicked out

It wouldn't be a memorable year in Parliament without a few MPs getting kicked out of the House - and 2019 was no exception.

Even the Deputy Prime Minister wasn't immune from the Speaker's wrath. Winston Peters was temporarily booted from the Chamber in June after "he continued to argue".

The Opposition leader was no exception. Simon Bridges was kicked out of the House last month for accusing the Speaker of having better hearing in his right ear.

Backbench MPs didn't go unnoticed. National's Andrew Bayly was kicked out in September over his questions on Ihumātao, and Labour's Kieran McAnulty was booted that same month for making fun of the Opposition leader. 

National MP Andrew Bayly before he was booted from the House.
National MP Andrew Bayly before he was booted from the House. Photo credit: Parliament TV

When MPs held back tears

It was also an emotional year in the House, with tears shed during speeches on sensitive topics such as abortion law reform, and the controversial Zero Carbon Bill.

National MP Simeon Brown, self-described as "pro-life", held back tears in opposition to the proposed abortion law reforms.

Green MP Julie Anne Genter was brought to tears during James Shaw's speech on the Zero Carbon Bill when he delivered a message to the next generation.

And National MP Judith Collins held back tears in a speech defending farmers from proposed changes in fines over livestock polluting waterways.

National MP Judith Collins held back tears in Parliament.
National MP Judith Collins held back tears in Parliament. Photo credit: Parliament TV

When MPs were in hysterics

There was plenty of laughter in the Chamber in 2019. Most recently, MPs cracked up when Winston Peters displayed a meme of Paula Bennett showing two images made to look like she'd consumed a huge bag of cannabis.

The Speaker sparked laughter in the House last month when he told the Opposition leader he reminds him of outspoken former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika. 

"I'm frankly getting sick of the interjections and the facial expressions from the Leader of the Opposition."

Simon Bridges was the subject of another episode of laughter in the House in February when Winston Peters made fun of his pronunciation of 'China'.

"I'll tell you about China, but not 'Choina'."

Winston Peters displaying the meme of Paula Bennett.
Winston Peters displaying the meme of Paula Bennett. Photo credit: Parliament TV

When MPs didn't hold back

The leader of New Zealand First is famous for his off the cuff comments in Parliament - and in 2019 he didn't disappoint.

Following an interview Simon Bridges gave Chinese state media, Peters described it in the House as "obsequious, subservient grovelling, kowtowing, palm-kissing nonsense".

The Deputy Prime Minister wasn't finished. Earlier this month, he described Tim Macindoe as a "dysfunctional geriatric" after the National MP called Peters a "rat". 

But Peters' side of the House isn't leaving 2019 unscathed. Who could forget National's Judith Collins' regular grilling of Phil Twyford during his tenure as Housing Minister?

There's also the memorable moment Simon Bridges yelled "slushies" at the top of his lungs, and called Defence Minister Ron Mark a "muppet".

But amidst all of the emotional speeches and name-calling, 2019's most memorable moment in Parliament this year was - arguably - Labour's Iain Lees-Galloway imitating a dinosaur

"Strike Force Raptor, Rah!"

Iain Lees-Galloway impersonating a dinosaur in Parliament.
Iain Lees-Galloway impersonating a dinosaur in Parliament. Photo credit: Parliament TV

Watch the video to relive the moments.

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