Labour MP Tāmati Coffey attended parliament for the first time since his paternity leave with baby Tūtānekai Smith-Coffey, in tow.
During the session, the representative for Waiariki handed over babysitting duties to father-of-three Trevor Mallard, who fed the little boy from the speaker’s seat.
Mr Mallard tweeted: “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’.
Mr Coffey and his partner, Tim Smith, conceived via a surrogate, with MrCoffey tweeting after the birth that he and Mr Smith were “overwhelmed at the miracle of life”. Tūtānekai Smith-Coffey is the biological son of Mr Smith.
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
Green Party MP Gareth Hughes later shared a picture of Mr Coffey holding his baby in parliament, with the caption: “Lovely to have a baby in the House, and what a beautiful one @tamaticoffey.”
In the House of Representatives, the baby’s appearance seemed to garner cross-party support, with Mr Coffey telling Newshub that he felt “really supported by my colleagues from across the House”.