Parliament’s mace is 100 years old
Parliament’s mace was used for the first time on 7 October 1909 - 100 years ago. It was donated by the Prime Minister, Sir Joseph Ward, and his Cabinet. The mace is a formal symbol of the authority of the House.
The Hansard for the 7 October sitting of the House records that in June of that year Speaker Guinness had written to the Prime Minister, who was about to visit England, asking him to procure a new mace.
As Sir Joseph told the House, “On my arrival in England I gave the necessary instruction to have a mace prepared similar to that in the House of Commons, with the addition of a suitable emblem representative of New Zealand, and the result you see in the mace which is now on the table of the House of Representatives. It differs only from the mace of the House of Commons in that on one of the panels are represented the Southern Cross and the initials of New Zealand. … It is now my pleasure, on behalf of my colleagues and myself, to ask the House to accept the mace, which has been used by the Serjeant-at-Arms for the first time to-day.”
A resolution was moved expressing the House’s thanks to the Prime Minister and his colleagues for their “very handsome, elegant, and valuable gift”.
The current mace is the third mace used in the NZ Parliament. For further information see “What is the significance of the mace?”