Ian McKelvie takes on new Speaker Role


Ian McKelvie takes on new Speaker role

Ruapehu Bulletin, King Country Ohakune   23 March 2022

Ian McKelvie, local MP for Rangitikei and Ruapehu, talks about his new role at Parliament: The impact of Covid-19 on the Parliamentary process has provided an opportunity for a new temporary role for me.

The House is still sitting, though some MPs are now participating remotely to cut down infection risk. This meant there was a risk Parliament could potentially be short of people to fill the Speaker's chair. Long story short, I was privileged to be appointed as an assistant speaker.

While this is likely a temporary role and I occupy the Speaker's Chair in Parliament for about five hours a week I must say I am really enjoying it. It's a very intense five hours! Simon Bridges' decision to leave Parliament may have come as a shock to many but I do think it's the right one for both him and his family. His contribution to New Zealand's political landscape over the past few years is significant, including his leadership of the National Party during one of the more testing times in our recent political history. Simon is an extremely talented individual and he will make a difference wherever he goes. I wish him all the best.

I have been particularly busy with my three portfolio roles over the past couple of months, which are Seniors, Racing and Forestry. I am also chair of the Governance and Administration Select Committee. This Committee carries a pretty hefty weight, being responsible for business related to parliamentary and legislative services, Prime Minister and Cabinet, State services, statistics, internal affairs, civil defence and emergency management and local government.

I must say I have found operating in the Covid environment quite challenging as my preferred style is person to person engagement. The past two years have made that difficult; while the constant changing of the conditions we operate under has made planning for the future very tricky, particularly in our rural electorates.

Here's hoping the Government sees sense and implement National's "Getting New Zealand Back to Normal" plan.