Sir Trevor Mallard's knighthood: A look back at his colourful career in politics

Labour Party stalwart Trevor Mallard has been made a knight for his services as an MP, a minister and as Speaker of the House. 

Sir Trevor is currently the Ambassador to Ireland - a much more relaxing role than his time at Parliament. 

Here's a look back at his very colourful 35 years in politics.

Sir Trevor was sworn in as Hamilton West's MP aged 30, in 1984, serving under Prime Ministers David Lange, Geoffrey Palmer and Michael Moore. 

His affinity for children - which would later become his trademark as Speaker - was evident early on. 

He moved to Wainuiomata and stood there in the 1993 election when National was in Government. 

"This lot who are in now are just so rotten that I don't have any doubt at all that the National Government would be rejected," he said at the time. 

They weren't, and he stayed in Opposition for another six years - working out in Parliament's gym as Labour's sport spokesperson and in the sport of attack politics - like leaking recordings of New Zealand First MP Tuku Morgan over his numerous scandals. 

Labour won the 1999 election and Helen Clark gave Mallard a Cabinet position. 

As Education Minister, he overhauled secondary school qualifications - introducing NCEA. 

It caused protests - including guinea pigs being released at a meeting because teachers and students felt Sir Trevor was using them as such. 

There were celebrations in his sport portfolio - carrying the Olympic flame up Parliament's stairs and launching the Academy of Sport. 

And Team New Zealand found a friend in him, particularly after it was gutted by the Swiss following the successful 2000 Americas Cup defence. 

Sir Trevor was a key driver in securing the hosting rights to the 2011 Rugby World Cup although his plan for a $500 million Stadium New Zealand on Auckland's waterfront didn't get off the ground. 

He loved rugby - and upset overseas rugby bosses with this comment: "They involved Heinekens in particularly uncomfortable places." He got into an uncomfortable place himself when he was caught scalping tickets to students. 

"I have cocked up," he admitted at the time. 

That was a common theme in his career - which saw him in court in 2007, pleading guilty to assault after a punch-up with National MP Tau Henare. 

"Clearly I shouldn't have been involved in the fight to start with," he said at the time. 

One could argue his dancing ability is criminal too - but he does get points for trying.

He tried to score points against then-National leader Don Brash by speaking about an "affair" in Parliament.

Sir Trevor had a love affair for cycling - whether it was in the Makara Hills or on the road encouraging people to cycle to work. And he encouraged people to save too, helping launch KiwiSaver as Associate Finance Minister. 

He was also there when Air New Zealand went bust and needed bailing out. And he even campaigned on bringing moa back from the dead. 

Sir Trevor was a renowned hothead in the debating chamber, being kicked out dozens of times. 

The poacher turned gamekeeper in 2017 though, when then-Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appointed him Speaker of the House. 

"I do expect [the] debate to be vigorous. I do have a bit of experience," he said at the time. 

He made it more family-friendly, becoming known as the baby-whisperer and allowed dogs in too. 

Sir Trevor left two legacies out the front of Parliament - a playground and also the brand-new lawn which had to be re-laid after the month-long anti-mandate occupation turned them into a muddy bog because he turned the sprinklers on protesters. 

It wasn't his finest hour - he blasted them with music too, like Barry Manilow. 

And when NZ First leader Winston Peters mingled with those camped out, Sir Trevor issued him a trespass notice - which was challenged in the court. It was later found to be unreasonable and irrational. 

Peters is now Foreign Minister - effectively Sir Trevor's boss. Newshub asked Peters if he was going to keep Sir Trevor on as the Ambassador to Ireland. 

"Why don't you ask him?" Peters responded. 

Newshub tried - but Sir Trevor didn't respond to messages.