The Speakership: A New Zealand Perspective

Article 5 / 12 , Vol 34 No 4 (Winter)

The Speakership: A New Zealand Perspective

Due to elections and retirements half of the Canadian provincial and territorial Speakers have changed since October 2011. While there are differences in the role and standing orders of each jurisdiction there are many more similarities across Canada and indeed throughout the Commonwealth rules. This article looks at how question period, points of order and other issues are dealt within the New Zealand House of Representatives.

The role of the Speaker is inextricably entwined with the evolution of parliamentary democracy, which was so hard fought for over so many centuries in England. King John did not affix his seal to the Magna Carta at Runnymede in 1215 because he had some great vision of democracy. He desperately needed extra taxes for his failed military campaigns and the Barons had had enough. They were not going to pay any more without something in return.