Stratford Press

Electing new Speaker a special moment

- Steph Lewis, Whanganui MP Opinion

There were many special moments during my first week back in Parliament; between Flynn making the 6pm news while sitting with outgoing Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard, to electing our new Speaker of the House, MP for Te Tai Haua¯ uru Adrian Rurawhe.

Adrian was elected unanimousl­y to the role. He becomes the 31st Speaker of the House and the second Ma¯ ori to hold the position.

It really was a special moment watching my friend become Speaker and also listening to the beautiful waiata sung by his wha¯ nau and friends from Ratana.

Adrian is a hard-working MP. I’ve worked closely with him to support people and issues across Whanganui, South and Central Taranaki.

Now I look forward to watching him thrive in his new role.

The week was also straight back into business.

With Jo Luxton away, I got to sit in the hot seat to chair the Primary Production select committee. We heard from Minister Nash on the Forestry Forests (Legal Harvest Assurance) Amendment Bill, from MPI on the risks of a foot and mouth disease outbreak to NZ, and we had a report back from the Youth MP Primary Production Committee on their findings from Youth Parliament.

It was also my first week on the

Petitions Committee. This committee was created this Parliament to review and consider petitions made to the House of Representa­tives.

We read the petitions and can seek further written or oral advice from government department­s, organisati­ons, subject matter experts. In some cases we might transfer a petition to another committee.

Once we finish looking at a petition we write a report back to Parliament, sometimes that might include recommenda­tions for improvemen­ts.

I found an opportunit­y to call a meeting with our Taranaki region Labour MPs to discuss various local issues, including the roads in Taranaki.

If you would like to share with me your personal experience of road damage and delays along State Highway 3, please contact Glen, Angela or myself. Coming up sometime soon in Parliament, I will hopefully be able to progress my Biosecurit­y Amendment Bill through the Committee of the Whole House stage. This is when we debate the bill clause by clause and members from across the House can ask me about the nitty gritty workings of the Bill.

Finally, I want to say a few thank yous. Thank you to those who have messaged their support and words of encouragem­ent after seeing me in Parliament with Flynn. It warms my heart to hear that so many of you appreciate seeing a baby in Parliament.

To everyone who has sent in responses to my survey and community canvas project, thank you. I am really grateful to read and see all the ideas people have for our future here in Whanganui and across the motu.

I’m still welcoming more suggestion­s through my survey at

 ?? Photo / The House on RNZ ?? Steph and Flynn during the Speaker election.
Photo / The House on RNZ Steph and Flynn during the Speaker election.

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