8 Dec 2008

Lockwood Smith elected Speaker of the House

5:34 pm on 8 December 2008

National MP Lockwood Smith has been elected as Speaker of the House unopposed during the swearing in of 122 MPs at Parliament on Monday.

The State Opening of Parliament will be held on Tuesday.

Governor-General Anand Satyanand appeared on Monday afternoon for a ceremony to confirm the Speaker. A National MP will also hold the deputy position.

Dr Smith told MPs on Monday that he was honoured to take up the role and will endeavour not to make too many mistakes while in the Speaker's chair.

Mr Satyanand will return on Tuesday to read the Speech from the Throne, which outlines the National-led Government's legislative programme for the next three years.

The House will go into urgency mid-week, with the National-led government seeking to pass legislation crucial to its programme before Christmas.

This includes tax cuts on 1 April, and changes to KiwiSaver and the current bail laws.

Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee said Parliament will be sitting for long hours for the next two weeks as the Government presses on with new legislation.