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Why David Carter will struggle to be bipartisan Speaker

A “very keen and honoured” David Carter’s biggest challenge taking on the role of parliament speaker will be to become apolitical.

The outgoing primary industries minister and Canterbury farmer was approached formally by Prime Minister John Key last week and asked to take on the role.

He will be accepted into the role on Thursday, but not without niggling from a miffed Labour leader.

Departing speaker Lockwood Smith is next high commissioner in London.

Labour leader David Shearer has criticised National’s choice, saying Labour was not consulted.

“There’s a convention which says if he wants our support for his speaker, then it would be a good idea for the prime minister or the speaker to come and speak with us.”

However, Mr Shearer admits he will not be making the approach himself.

“We’re not being ridiculous about that but we just think we need to start the year off with a new speaker in the right way and this is the right way to do it. I‘m waiting for David Carter to approach us.”

Mr Carter has already met with Green party’s co-leaders at their request and would be happy to meet with Mr Shearer if asked.

The Labour leader also believes Mr Carter does not have any grasp on the rules, but Mr Carter says he has spent the Christmas break studying them.

“The prime minister did not have to twist my arm to take this job. It was a matter of him formally asking me. I said I’d be absolutely honoured and delighted to do it.”

He expects to bring a different style to the role but says Lockwood Smith has been a superb speaker in his time and will be a very good role model for Mr Carter.

He admits one of his greatest challenges will be to become bipartisan.

“Having been a very politically active player for 18 years, the transition I have to make as speaker is to be completely without bias, completely a-political. That is a big ask and I’ll do it to the best of my endeavours.

“A good speaker must be parliament’s man, he must be apolitical and he must operate without bias.”

 bcunningham@nbr.co.nz

More by Blair Cunningham

Comments and questions
7

Perhaps he can look at our Aussie cousins across the ditch for guidance on how "credible and ethical" the Speaker must be?

Ohh, hang on...

Don't try and be a reinvented retread, Mr Carter. Be as partisan as you like to National's favour because you can bet the farm that Labour and the Greens will not be taking up the same effort to be ethical, as their populist rhetoric and union propaganda proves...

Don't worry about any yardstick they attempt to measure you by because their morals and ethics were lost long before their MPs had naked teenage boys escaping the deputy leader's house at 3am, fleeing naked to a police car for rescue...

With that valiant attempt at recycling rubbish you qualify for honorary membership of the Green Party.

Goodness, next thing David Shearer will be throwing his toys. Talk about a spoilt brat. David, you say you will be the next prime minister. If that is unfortunately so then please remember everything you spat the dummy about. We will.

"The Labour leader also believes Mr Carter does not have any grasp on the rules, but Mr Carter says he has spent the Christmas break studying them."

Kind of delightful . Sort of swotting up the night before the exam. In between mince pies. Rather suspect he will prove to be an entertaining disaster. But then, I was wrong about the man with the perfect teeth. He was far better than I ever expected...

That David Carter is considered Speaker material is basically cringemaking. What has happened to New Zealand...?

The irony is Shearer isn't a very good speaker...er...errr......eerrr....errrrr....err

If Carter is to have any hope of being bipartisan he will need to ignore the promptings of John Key; will be instructive to see how he does!
liberte