House Speaker Trevor Mallard's tribute to Tova O'Brien

  • 15/12/2021

House Speaker Trevor Mallard has given a rare tribute to a journalist - Newshub's outgoing political editor Tova O'Brien. 

"I want to acknowledge the media. I think they act with incredible integrity... probably with a couple of exceptions," Mallard said in his final speech in Parliament for 2021. 

"I do want to acknowledge Tova O'Brien leaving. Tova's first big hit as a television journalist was set in Naenae and involved some tickets to Homegrown being resold. She got a very good hit and I got pretty embarrassed."

O'Brien revealed in 2012 that Mallard, who helped pass a law to stop ticket scalping of big events, found himself the subject of ridicule after scalping four festival tickets and making a tidy profit.

"But the thing that I really want to acknowledge is that in her time here, Tova had the choice of probably the biggest parliamentary story possible, or a member's mental health, and she chose not to go for the hits and the sound bites," Mallard said. 

"She decided to do the right thing and I want to thank her for doing that. 

"It's not easy and it's not the way the media works and I just want to acknowledge a truly professional and compassionate journalist - even if I disagree with her on a few issues."