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David Carter elected Speaker of the House

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Latest Political News | Thursday January 31 2013 14:15

David Carter elected Speaker of the House

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David Carter is the new Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Despite a challenge by Labour's Trevor Mallard, which forced MPs into a personal vote on the issue, Mr Carter won.

Mr Carter at least showed where his sporting loyalties lie in his first words as Speaker.

"I see my responsibility being akin to a referee, reffing the inevitable Super 15 final between the almighty Crusaders, and one of the others."

David Carter says he will follow the model established by his predecessor Lockwood Smith, and require ministers to answer questions.

"If the question is clear, and it is eliciting facts that can be answered by the minister, then I expect the minister to deliver those facts to the person who is asking the question."

Before the vote John Key gave his view on what sort of a Speaker Mr Mallard would make.

"Hopeless. I mean, the guy has been thrown out of Parliament, he is the most partisan guy we have.

"We may as well get Gareth Morgan in surrounded by cats."

Newstalk ZB political editor Barry Soper says Trevor Mallard was never really a serious prospect with Labour nominating their man because they felt the Government had not stuck by protocol by informing them of their decision.

LISTEN: Political editor Barry Soper talks to Larry Williams about David Carter's appointment

It is not the first time a nominee has been challenged, as there have been two over the past 17 years.

60-year-old Carter has been an MP for almost 20 years.

And the man who lost the role of Parliament's Speaker has graciously conceded defeat and wished the winner well.

Trevor Mallard had kind words for the man whose job it is to now referee often unruly MPs.

"Mr Speaker, I look forward to working with you inside and outside Parliament."

Political cronyism accusations have marked the departure of former Speaker Lockwood Smith to take up the post of New Zealand's Ambassador in London.

They come from New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters .

He is critical Dr Smith's appointment has been made at a time when many career diplomats have lost their jobs.

"Yet another political appointment by this Government has been made, to supersede these career diplomats [who have made] a lifelong commitment to the service.

"The country is going to suffer because of it."

When he was Foreign Minister, Mr Peters approved the appointment of the late New Zealand First MP Brian Donnelly as High Commissioner to the Cook Islands.

Photo: NZ Herald

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