Shannen Findlay


Why this photo of a politician feeding a baby has gone viral

Why this photo of a politician feeding a baby has gone viral

A House Speaker from the New Zealand Parliament has been pictured feeding milk to a newborn toddler from his official chair while presiding over a debate. 

The image has since gone viral online, and pictures Trevor Mallard holding the baby of a fellow parliamentarian, Tāmati Coffey. 

“Normally the Speaker’s chair is only used by Presiding Officers but today a VIP took the chair with me,” Mr Mallard said in tweet with cute photos of baby Tūtānekai Smith-Coffey attached.

“Congratulations [Tāmati Coffey] and Tim on the newest member of your family.”

Mr Coffey, a Labour MP for the New Zealand seat of Waiariki and Smith, welcomed his son into the world last month - making him and his husband one of the only gay couples in the country to have found a surrogate and gained access to IVF. 

The images gained over 11,000 likes online with warm responses and a flurry of praise to both the speaker and the Kiwi parliament for supporting the new father. 

"Thank you for normalising the family unit," one person wrote.

"We need to see more of this. Workplaces need to adapt to enable this behaviour."

This is not the first time the New Zealand speaker has shared his important chair with a newborn. 

In November 2017, the three-month-old baby of Labour MP Willow-Jean Prime got to have a cuddle with Mr Mallard as well. 

New Zealand’s attitude towards babies in parliament is a stark contrast to those in other countries. 

Kenyan MP Zuleika Hassan was ordered to leave the parliament after she brought her five-month-old baby into the chamber.