The Speaker's office

The Speaker’s office is on the first floor of Parliament House. The room contains a number of items significant in Parliament's history.

The Speaker's office. Enlarge image

Office of the Speaker

Source: Parliamentary Service 2014

Carefully stored in the Speaker's office is the parliamentary mace. The mace is the symbol of the Speaker's authority, as the presiding officer of the New Zealand House of Representatives. It is carried in procession of the Serjeant-at-Arms when the Speaker enters Parliament to commence each day's sitting. The mace is placed on the Table of the House until the end of the day's sitting when it again returns in procession to the Speaker's office. The current mace dates from 1909, the original mace having been destroyed in the 1907 fire.

The Speaker's office was originally the Cabinet Room and later the meeting room of the executive council which usually meets each week and is attended by the Governor-General. Since the major refurbishment of Parliament Buildings in 1996 the room has now become the Speaker's office. The desk in the room was originally used by Richard John Seddon , Premier of New Zealand from 1893 – 1906. The wall panelling is Canadian birds eye maple and walnut, presented by the Canadian government as a gift to the New Zealand Parliament in 1921. Note the two wigs on stands on the small table against the wall. The wigs were worn regularly by the Speaker until 1999 and are now only worn by the Speaker on very formal occasions.

Watch an interactive panorama of the Speaker's office at 'Panorama: Speaker's office at Parliament' (Ministry for Culture and Heritage, November 2014).