A video has surfaced online where Trevor Mallard, speaker of New Zealand’s parliament, is seen feeding a colleague’s baby while presiding over a debate during plenary.
In the now viral video, Mallard assumed the role of babysitter while presiding over the house.
The speaker had taken to his Twitter page on Wednesday to share images of him feeding and cradling MP Tamati Coffey’s newborn son while on duties.
“Normally the Speaker’s chair is only used by Presiding Officers but today a VIP took the chair with me. Congratulations @tamaticoffey and Tim on the newest member of your family,” he wrote.
Normally the Speaker’s chair is only used by Presiding Officers but today a VIP took the chair with me. Congratulations @tamaticoffey and Tim on the newest member of your family. pic.twitter.com/47ViKHsKkA
— Trevor Mallard (@SpeakerTrevor) August 21, 2019
The pictures have begun to gain attraction on social media platforms and also garnered over 6,000 likes as of the time this report was filled.
Coffey had announced the birth of Tutanekai Smith-Coffey, his son, six weeks ago. The boy was birthed via a surrogate mother and is the biological son of Tim Smith, Coffey’s partner.
Some members of the parliament also took to the microblogging service to express their delight over little Tūtānekai’s presence in the house.
— Gareth Hughes (@GarethMP) August 21, 2019
Who needs to see this today? Every single last one of us, that’s who. Here’s a brand new papa holding his new born in our House of Representatives right now 😭❤️ pic.twitter.com/NU00SHfKFT
— Golriz Ghahraman (@golrizghahraman) August 21, 2019
More than two weeks ago, Zulekha Hassan, a Kenyan lawmaker, was asked to leave the floor of the national assembly for coming with her baby.
Chris Omulele, the speaker, who gave the order, said her actions were unprecedented. He added that “as much as she might want to take care of her child, this is not the place for it.”
Some users have taken to the social media platform to draw comparison between what happened in Kenya’s national assembly and New Zealand’s parliament.
Here is what some Twitter users had to say:
A legislator in Newzealand brought his baby to the parliament and as he attended sessions, house speaker babysat the child for him.
Kenyan woman MP ejected from the parliament after walking into the chamber with a baby; Speaker terms move unprecedented. pic.twitter.com/PN8Rwy5Yyj
— Ahmed Kosar (@AhmedKosar1) August 21, 2019
While our Kenyan politicians are kicking babies out of Parliament, a politician in New Zealand showed up in the House with his toddler and the Speaker temporarily took up babysitting duties. pic.twitter.com/XChrjI5Pl7
— Wanjiku Kang'ethe (Shi) (@Shikoohz) August 21, 2019
Contrast that picture of the speaker of New Zealand’s parliament, feeding the baby of another MP, while both were at work, with the decision by Kenya’s parliament to send back an MP who deigned to bring her child to work!
— Ifeanyi UDDIN (@IfeanyiUddin) August 22, 2019
While we are kicking babies out of Parliament, a politician in New Zealand showed up in the House with his toddler and the Speaker temporarily took up babysitting duties. pic.twitter.com/rMAWAzdOd6
— Citizen TV Kenya (@citizentvkenya) August 21, 2019
— Salano Elvis (@ElvisSalano) August 21, 2019
A lawmaker in New Zealand came with the baby after the paternity leave. During the debate, the speaker of the house babysat for him the baby. Here in Kenya our speakers are so conservative and rigid chasing women legislators from the house @Ken_Lusaka @SpeakerJBMuturi pic.twitter.com/oLvlPoVRSp
— Aaron Delvis (@delvis_8) August 21, 2019
A kenyan MP recently did the same in the Kenyan parliament coz she couldn't find someone to leave her baby at home and she was KICKED out almost immediately with the approval of all the other parliamentarians!! What a stark contrast!! New Zealand V Kenya! #RepZulekhaHassan
— Omar Billow (@OmarBillow1) August 21, 2019
A lawmaker in New Zealand brought his baby to parliament after coming back from paternity leave. The House speaker babysat for him during a debate. In Kenya the likes of Duale will skin you alive. #MukamiOpinionCourt #WASCOgames2019 pic.twitter.com/6nMQy5IJhX
— Mukami Wa Embu 🇰🇪🔞 (@MukamiWaEmbu) August 21, 2019
I like this! The world is advancing & leaving Kenya behind on this! While our House Speaker evicts an MP for bringing her baby to chambers, one in New Zealand allows a father, & goes ahead to babysit. We need such tolerance in our environments. @OfficialJMbugua @aphrc @Wekesah https://t.co/U7LKIIUJSf
— Dr Elizabeth Kimani-Murage (@Liz_Kimani) August 21, 2019
New Zealand's Parliamentary Speaker feeding a baby on duty 👌, Kenyan Parliamentary Speaker ordered the removal of baby & mother 🤔. @KENYAPARLIAMENT #kenya #african @newzealand #NewZealand https://t.co/jxI99oAbu9
— Roy Chikwem 🇦🇨🇳🇬 (@rchikwem) August 22, 2019