Constitution Act

Or, rather, some speculative ruminations on what will happen if Winston Peters holds the balance of power and won't commit to supporting either bloc in the House. 

Imagine, if you will, a scenario on September 21 where the provisional election results deliver a Parliament where National cannot form a majority even with ACT/United Future/Maori Party support, Labour cannot form a majority with Green/Mana-Internet Party support and Colin Craig's Conservatives fall short of the threshold.

The Speaker says Hone Harawira has to say the magic words that make you an MP in the right way, and he only gets one chance to do it each time. Is this taking legal formalism just a bit too seriously?

Since being dragged to the Speaker's chair after the 2008 election - a quaint tradition going back to the days in which Speakers of the UK House of Commons legitimately had reason to fear the Sovereign's wrath, so MPs genuinely didn't want the job - Lockwood Smith has done some good things to the House.