Carter elected Speaker of the House

Last updated 14:53 31/01/2013
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DIDN'T STRUGGLE: Newly elected Speaker of Parliament, David Carter.

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David Carter has been elected Speaker of the House and "dragged" to the chair.

In a tradition dating back to when Kings had people beheaded for disagreeing with him, newly-elected Speakers of Parliament put on a show about not wanting the job.

After a split vote - between Carter and Labour's Trevor Mallard - Carter was declared elected Speaker.

The final vote shows Carter won by 10 votes. He got 62 to Mallard's 52.

Carter nodded to Prime Minister John Key as he went past but didn't appear to struggle much.

Mallard was nominated after Opposition parties became angered at the lack of consultation from he Government.

Carter said he knew there would be challenges in the role but said he would be like a referee in the Super rugby final between the "mighty Crusaders and one of the others".

He paid tribute to former Speaker Lockwood Smith, who will become New Zealand's High Commissioner in London.

Key said Carter was fair, thoughtful and had a passion for the parliamentary process.

"I was delighted when you indicated that you would accept the nomination for Speaker."

NZ First leader Winston Peter said it would be "churlish" not to recognise the role of Smith.

He went on to say he was concerned about Smith's appointment to London given the number of career diplomats losing their jobs.

He also complained about the lack of consultation on the election of Speaker.

And Carter was going to have a "more and more difficult" job, Peters said.

Labour leader David Shearer said the Government "acted arrogantly in the way it has gone about electing the Speaker".

Until Carter visited him yesterday, there had been no approach from National about it.

"None of the National party senior hierarchy has been in touch with us."

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