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New Zealand Parliament

House of Representatives in session.

House of Representatives in session. Source: Parliament TV.

2 July 2009

What is a Maiden Statement?

Most newly elected members make their first or “maiden” speech during the Address in Reply debate following the opening of Parliament. When vacancies arise during the course of a Parliament and new members are sworn in, those new members do not have any convenient debate in which to deliver the personal and wide-ranging address that is normally associated with a maiden speech.

A member who has not (for whatever reason) made his or her maiden speech during the Address in Reply debate is permitted to make the equivalent address to the House as a maiden statement. A member’s intention to make a maiden statement, at a time approved by the Speaker or the Business Committee, is notified on the Order Paper. A maiden statement may interrupt a debate.

The member has up to 15 minutes for the maiden statement, the same time as the member would have had if he or she had been delivering a maiden speech in the Address in Reply debate.