Trevor Mallard, the Speaker of New Zealand’s parliament, has become an internet sensation.
And what is the reason?
Mallard tweeted a photo of himself in the speaker’s seat, presiding over a parliamentary debate while cradling and feeding MP Tamati Coffey’s one-month-old baby boy, Tutanekai Smith-Coffey.
Coffey is the labour MP for Waiariki and had earlier announced the birth of his son in July. He was attending his first parliamentary debate post his paternity leave. The baby is the biological son of Coffey’s partner Tim Smith and was born through surrogacy.
A father of three himself, Mallard took on the role of a babysitter quite effectively.
He put up the following message: “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.”
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
And within hours, the photo went viral, with many across the world applauding Mallard for his heartwarming gesture.
Here are some messages in response to the picture.
— Gareth Hughes (@GarethMP) August 21, 2019
What a powerful and soulful picture!!!
A lawmaker @tamaticoffey in New Zealand brought his baby to the parliament after coming back from paternity leave. The House speaker @SpeakerTrevor babysat for him during a debate. pic.twitter.com/KaqMyIYhdv
— Rema Rajeshwari IPS (@rama_rajeswari) August 21, 2019
We believe that this was a fantastic gesture by the speaker. What do you think?