Trevor Mallard

Trevor Colin Mallard[2] (born 17 June 1954) is a New Zealand politician. He was formerly the Member of Parliament for the Hutt South electorate, and is currently a list MP and Speaker of the House. He was a Cabinet minister in the Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand holding portfolios including Environment, Labour, Broadcasting, State Owned Enterprises, Rugby World Cup and Education. He was also Associate Minister of Finance. In the 51st Parliament, he was the Labour Party spokesperson for Internal Affairs, and Sport and Recreation.

Trevor Mallard

30th Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives
Assumed office
7 November 2017
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
DeputyAnne Tolley
Preceded byDavid Carter
41st Minister of Education
In office
Preceded byNick Smith
Succeeded bySteve Maharey
5th Minister for the Environment
In office
Preceded byDavid Parker (acting)
David Benson-Pope
Succeeded byNick Smith
Assistant Speaker of the House of Representatives
In office
21 October 2014  7 November 2017
Preceded byRoss Robertson
Succeeded byAdrian Rurawhe
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Labour party list
Assumed office
7 November 2017
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Hutt South
In office
1996  23 September 2017
Succeeded byChris Bishop
Majority709 (1.83%)[1]
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Pencarrow
In office
Preceded bySonja Davies
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Hamilton West
In office
Preceded byMike Minogue
Succeeded byGrant Thomas
Personal details
Born (1954-06-17) 17 June 1954
NationalityNew Zealand
Political partyLabour Party
Spouse(s)Stephanie (divorced)
Jane Clifton
RelationsBeth Mallard (daughter)

Early life

Mallard was born in Wellington, and attended Onslow College.[3]After gaining a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration degree from Victoria University of Wellington in 1974, he trained as a teacher at the Wellington College of Education, gaining a Diploma in Teaching in 1976. He subsequently held a number of teaching jobs in Wellington and the King Country.[4] While teaching, Mallard became involved in the PPTA, the national secondary school teachers' union. He was secretary of the PPTA's King Country branch from 1979 to 1984. In 1984, he gained a Diploma in Continuing Education from the University of Waikato.[4]

Member of Parliament

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
19841987 41st Hamilton West Labour
19871990 42nd Hamilton West Labour
19931996 44th Pencarrow Labour
19961999 45th Hutt South none Labour
19992002 46th Hutt South 12 Labour
20022005 47th Hutt South 12 Labour
20052008 48th Hutt South 8 Labour
20082011 49th Hutt South 14 Labour
20112014 50th Hutt South 9 Labour
20142017 51st Hutt South none Labour
2017present 52nd List 33 Labour

Mallard joined the Labour Party in 1972, while still at university. He held a number of internal party positions until the election of 1984 when he was elected as the party's Member of Parliament (MP) for Hamilton West. Although he was re-elected in the 1987 election, he lost his seat in the election of 1990. Returning to the Wellington area, he contested the seat of Pencarrow in the 1993 election and was successful. He retained the seat until 2017. It is now known as Hutt South.[5]

Mallard served in a variety of Ministerial positions during the Fifth Labour Government including education and state services (1999-2005), sports (1999-2007), and associate Minister of Finance (1999-2008).[4]

Fifth Labour Government (1999–2008)

When Labour won the 1999 election, Mallard was appointed to Cabinet. He became Minister of Education, Minister of State Services, and Minister for Sport and Recreation. In connection with his Education role, he also became Minister Responsible for the Education Review Office, and in connection with his Sport role, he also became Minister for the America's Cup (New Zealand held the America's Cup at the time). In 2004, Mallard also became Co-ordinating Minister for Race Relations, and Minister of Energy.

In an October 2007 cabinet reshuffle, he was reassigned to be the Minister for the Environment, the Minister of Labour, the Minister of Broadcasting, the Minister for State Owned Enterprises and the Associate Minister of Finance.[6]

Minister of Education

Mallard's handling of the education portfolio was strongly criticised by teachers' unions, including the PPTA. In his first term as minister, he was strongly criticised by teachers during a long-running strike action over salaries.[7]

In his second term, he was criticised for a program of school closures, that involved almost 90 schools across the country.[8] The program was eventually stopped after it faced heavy criticism from parents and teachers.[9][10]

Minister of Sport and Recreation

In April 2002, Trevor Mallard made crude comments about inserting beer bottles into "uncomfortable places" of International Rugby Board chairman Vernon Pugh and Australian Rugby boss John O'Neill during a radio interview about following the withdrawal of co-hosting rights for the 2003 Rugby World Cup. He later apologised saying he mixed up his passion for rugby with his role as Minister of Sport.[11]

Minister of State Owned Enterprises

In 2006, Mallard announced that the government would introduce a policy that encouraged state owned enterprises (SEOs) to expand into new business areas and diversify in order to build wealth for the country.[12]

In 2007, Mallard said that the government was likely to be more stringent on state owned enterprises in relation to social responsibility. Mallard explained that social responsibility is one of the core functions of SEOs but not enough was being done. The announcement was made following a number of incidents by SEOs, including a power disconnection by Mercury Energy that resulted in the death of Folole Muliaga, an individual who relied on a oxygen machine.[13]

Minister of Labour

In 2008, Mallard implemented a new tool to help small businesses manage hazards. The goal of the project was to improve workplace health and safety.[14]

Minister of Broadcasting

In July 2008, Mallard was critical of a TVNZ report into an assault by sports broadcaster, Tony Vietch, saying that the report lacked key details, such as not mentioning that an assault took place.[15]

Fifth National Government (20082017)

Although Labour was defeated in the 2008 general election, Mallard retained his seat. In Opposition, he served as Shadow Leader of the House and Opposition spokesperson on Education, Labour, and Sport and Recreation.[5]

In July 2016, Mallard announced that he would not contest Hutt South but would run as a list-only candidate with the intention of becoming Speaker of the House.[16] During the 2017 general election, Mallard was elected to the 52nd New Zealand Parliament on the Labour Party list.[17]

Sixth Labour Government (2017present)

Following the formation of a Labour-led coalition government with New Zealand First and the Green parties in October 2017,[18][19] Mallard was elected as Speaker of the House on 7 November following some contention from the opposition National Party over whether several of the new MPs had been sworn in.[20][21] He also serves as Chairperson of several committees including the Business and Officers of Parliament select committees, and the Parliamentary Services Commission.[5]

In November 2017, Mallard announced that the New Zealand Parliament would be becoming more "baby friendly" while posing for a photo with fellow Labour MP Willow-Jean Prime's baby Heeni.[22][23][24] Such policies have included opening an atrium near the parliamentary chamber accessible to MPs' children, giving carers and spouses the same security clearances as MPs, opening the Parliamentary swimming pool to the families of MPs and staff, updating the family room to have baby-feeding and changing facilities, and a proposed play area on Parliament's lawn.[25][26][27] On 22 August 2019, Mallard attracted media attention in New Zealand and abroad when he fed Labour MP Tamati Coffey's infant son Tūtānekai Smith-Coffey during a parliamentary debate.[28][29]


Mallard has been involved in a number of controversial disputes during his political career.

In September 2006, Mallard was implicated in the resignation of National Party leader Don Brash after interjecting with an allegation in the House that Brash had engaged in an extramarital affair.[30]

In October 2007, Mallard punched National Party MP Tau Henare in a scuffle that took place outside the debating chambers. It is speculated that this was a result of comments Henare made regarding a new relationship Mallard had formed. Mallard quickly apologised for his part in the altercation.[31] He also publicly revealed that the woman with whom he had entered a new relationship was former world champion rower Brenda Lawson.[32] Police declined to investigate but Graham McCready launched a private prosecution. Mallard pleaded guilty to fighting in a public place and agreed to pay $500 to the Salvation Army's Bridge drug and alcohol programme.[33]

In May 2008, Mallard was warned by New Zealand's Chief Electoral Officer Robert Peden that signage on his electorate vehicle breached provisions of the controversial Electoral Finance Act and ordered him to update the signage to include an authorisation from party officials. However, the Chief Electoral Officer did not refer the matter to the New Zealand Police to prosecute as the matter was considered inconsequential.[34]

In February 2012, Mallard was accused of ticket scalping on Trade Me when he sold four tickets to the Homegrown music festival for a $246 profit. The MP had in 2006 initiated legislation, the Major Events Management Act 2007, prohibiting ticket scalping for major events (although Homegrown wasn't classified as a "major event" so wasn't covered). He later offered to refund the money he received for the tickets.[35]

In December 2019, it is claimed by Martin Matthews that MPs from the Officers of Parliament committee, including former Speaker David Carter and current Speaker Trevor Mallard, had acted out of "political convenience". Effectively undermining the office of the Auditor-General.[36]

Personal life

Mallard announced his separation from wife Stephanie in June 2007 after 33 years of marriage.[37] He has three children, one of whom is a Black Fern, Beth Mallard.[38] On 29 December 2014, Mallard married journalist Jane Clifton.[39] He is interested in outdoor recreation, including rugby and mountain biking.


  1. At 2014 election
  2. "New Zealand Hansard – Members Sworn [Volume:651; Page:2]". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  3. "Trevor Mallard Hansard report". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 11 February 2009.
  4. "Rt Hon Trevor Mallard". New Zealand Labour Party. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  5. "Hon Trevor Mallard". New Zealand Parliament. 18 June 2018. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  6. "Ministerial List for Announcement on 31 October 2007" (Press release). New Zealand Government. 31 October 2007. Archived from the original (DOC) on 1 October 2008.
  7. "Mallard confident teachers will accept deal despite strikes". The New Zealand Herald. 22 May 2002. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  8. "Six more schools face closure". TVNZ. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  9. Tunnah, Helen (24 February 2004). "Mallard calls halt to school closures". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  10. "Teachers applaud Mallard pledge on rural closures". The New Zealand Herald. 28 September 2005. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  11. "Mallard apoligises for threats". 19 April 2002. Retrieved 17 July 2008.
  12. "Change of policy for State Owned Enterprises | Scoop News". Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  13. "SOE social responsibility scrutinised". TVNZ. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  14. "Department of Labour launches online tool to help small businesses improve workplace safety". Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  15. "Veitch an embarrassment says chair". TVNZ. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  16. Boyack, Nicholas (25 July 2016). "Labour MP Trevor Mallard vacates Hutt South electorate to apply for Speaker position". Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  17. "2017 General Election - Successful Candidates". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  18. Chapman, Grant (19 October 2017). "Full video: NZ First leader Winston Peters announces next Government". Newshub. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  19. Hurley, Emma (19 October 2017). "An 'historic moment' for the Green Party – James Shaw". Newshub. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  20. Ewing, Isobel (7 November 2017). "Trevor Mallard sworn in as Speaker". Newshub. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  21. "MPs sworn in, Mallard elected Speaker". Scoop. 7 November 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  22. "Parliament becoming more family-friendly". New Zealand Parliament. 15 November 2017. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  23. Walters, Laura (9 November 2017). "New Zealand's new baby-friend parliament". Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  24. Walters, Laura (9 November 2017). "New Zealand's new baby-friend parliament". Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  25. Nissen, Wendyl (5 February 2019). "Babies and the Beehive: Trevor Mallard's big plans for a child-friendly Parliament". New Zealand Woman's Weekly. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  26. Bramwell, Chris (5 June 2018). "First look: Parliament lawn to feature playground". Radio New Zealand. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  27. Walters, Laura (5 June 2018). "Parliament to add a playground for kids to its grounds". Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  28. Roy, Eleanor Ainge (31 August 2019). "Babies in the Beehive: the man behind New Zealand's child-friendly parliament". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  29. "Why photo of Speaker Trevor Mallard feeding a baby during debate went viral". New Zealand Herald. 22 August 2019. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  30. Young, Audrey; Eames, David; Berry, Ruth (14 September 2006). "National MPs question Brash's future". The New Zealand Herald.
  31. "Mallard sorry for punching Henare". TVNZ. 25 October 2007. Retrieved 26 October 2007.
  32. "Mallard accepts demotion likely after punch-up". The New Zealand Herald. 26 October 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
  33. Oliver, Paula (19 December 2007). "Saying sorry: Mallard starts to clean up his act". The New Zealand Herald. NZPA. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
  34. "Mallard's Cruiser Caught Out". 14 May 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2008.
  35. "Trevor Mallard sells festival tickets online at a profit". The Dominion Post. 16 February 2012. Archived from the original on 29 December 2015. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  36. "Former Auditor-General Martin Matthews seeks redress over resignation".
  37. Cook, Stephen (25 August 2007). "Trevor Mallard's marriage splits up". The New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  38. Hepburn, Steve (7 October 2008). "Otago pair selected for Black Ferns". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
  39. Tapaleao, Vaimoana; Tapaleao, Moana (29 December 2014). "Trevor Mallard and Jane Clifton tie the knot". Retrieved 7 November 2017.
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Mike Minogue
Member of Parliament for Hamilton West
Succeeded by
Grant Thomas
Preceded by
Sonja Davies
Member of Parliament for Pencarrow
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Hutt South
Succeeded by
Chris Bishop
Preceded by
David Carter
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Political offices
Preceded by
Nick Smith
Minister of Education
Succeeded by
Steve Maharey
Preceded by
Ruth Dyson
Minister for the Environment
Succeeded by
Nick Smith
Party political offices
Preceded by
Margaret Austin
Senior Whip of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Jonathan Hunt

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