Asia-Pacific

Why this photo of the NZ Speaker feeding a baby during debate went viral

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A photo of the Speaker of New Zealand's Parliament feeding a legislator's baby while carrying out his duties has been shared all over the world.

Tāmati Coffey brought his son - Tūtānekai Smith-Coffey - into the House of Representatives, on his first day back at work since taking paternity leave.

In an interview with New Zealand's Newshub, Mr Coffey said he felt "supported by my colleagues from across the house".

Speaker Trevor Mallard appeared delighted as he held and fed Tūtānekai while presiding over the debate.

Other MPs were also delighted by Tūtānekai's presence.

Many on social media praised the New Zealand Speaker, who is a father-of-three.

Just months ago, the Speaker of Denmark's Parliament told another legislator "you are not welcome with your baby in the parliament's chamber".

Weeks ago - footage circulated of Zuleikha Hassan, a Kenyan lawmaker, also being kicked out of parliament for bringing her baby to work.

Increasingly, more politicians are following the lead of New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern - and proving the parenting and politics can go hand-in-hand.

NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern holds her daughter Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford..
NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern holds her daughter Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford.
AFP

In September, Ms Ardern brought her baby daughter - Neve - to her debut speech at the United Nations in New York.

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