Story: Parliament

The first Māori speaker of the House

The first Māori speaker of the House

Showing the customary reluctance, newly elected Speaker Peter Tapsell is escorted to his chair by fellow members of Parliament (top), and later presides over the House (bottom). Tapsell, who won the Eastern Māori seat for Labour in 1981, became speaker under a National government in 1993. As well as being the first Māori speaker of the House, he was the first speaker from the opposition since the 1920s. A traditionalist who upheld standards of behaviour and dress in Parliament, he was always impeccably dressed, with a flower in his lapel.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Dominion Post Collection (PAColl-7327)
Reference: EP/1994/1397; EP/1994/1397A

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

John E. Martin, 'Parliament - Impact of MMP', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/33717/the-first-maori-speaker-of-the-house (accessed 1 April 2020)

Story by John E. Martin, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 1 Feb 2015