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Outgoing speaker hopes reforms will stay

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Latest Political News | Monday January 28 2013 5:57

Outgoing speaker hopes reforms will stay

The man who's been stuck with the job of managing Parliament's proceedings is hoping some of his methods will be continued.

Lockwood Smith is about to step down to take up his new job as our High Commissioner in London.

Dr Smith raised eyebrows when he was appointed in 2008 by almost immediately setting new standards requiring ministers to answer questions in the House, rather than just address them.

"I think it would be a shame if we were to go back to ministers being able to just ignore questions, I think that would not be in the interest of our Parliament."

Lockwood Smith says he made the changes because he felt Parliament's rules weren't being followed properly during question time.

He acknowledges it took some of his National Party colleagues by surprise, but believes his reforms have now been accepted by his peers

"What's been interesting I think they could see after a while that actually the Government looks good when ministers answer questions because ministers look then on top of their portfolios."

Photo: NZ Herald

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