24 International Documents Room
View of the International Documents Room in the Parliamentary Library. The original Speaker's chair is to the right.
The Speaker's chair at the head of the debating chamber represents the Speaker's authority over the House of Representatives.
There have been several Speakers' chairs. This one, the first, is an ordinary armchair. It stayed in Auckland when Parliament moved to Wellington but since 1955 has been loaned to Parliament.
The new Parliament House of 1918 had a new plain chair for the Speaker. His successor wanted more dignity in the House, so he had an expensive high-backed chair made. Labour Speakers in the 1930s banished it to the basement.
Today's chair dates to 1951 - a gift from Britain. It is made of English oak with green leather upholstery and features a headboard with New Zealand's coat of arms.