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New Zealand Parliament

Alister Thomson seated on a 1901 Hansard Reporter

Ian Templeton Scholar Alister Thomson from the Hawke’s Bay Today newspaper tries out a 1901 Hansard Reporter’s chair during a study week in Parliament. Photo: Parliamentary Service Collection.

19 August 2009

Getting a shorthand view of Parliament

The Parliamentary Press Gallery is hosting an Ian Templeton Scholar, Alister Thomson, from the Hawke’s Bay Today newspaper. During his week-long sojourn, he will be introduced to how Parliament works and study the role of the different news agencies who work within the parliamentary precincts.

A graduate of Victoria University in history and politics, Alister Thomson believes people want to understand what happens in Parliament.

“The hardest thing is explaining why things matter and to inform discussion on decisions made in Parliament that affect people’s lives.”

“People get passionate about issues of concern to the country.”

An advocate of “good, honest, reporting through diligence and hard work,” Alister is spending time with the Office of the Clerk and Parliamentary Service being introduced to how Parliament operates. He is also working with the various media teams within the Press Gallery.

Ian Templeton’s political reporting career with the Press Gallery spans more than 50 years. He first started in Parliament as the Auckland Star’s correspondent in 1957. The scholarship was named in recognition of his contribution to parliamentary reporting over the years.