WELLINGTON — The newly elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Rt Hon David Carter, is the second St Bede’s College old boy to hold this office.


bishop_pompallier_cross_200x200One of his predecessors was Sir Gerard Wall, a St Bede’s old boy and a Labour Party MP, who was speaker from 1985 to 1987.

Mr Carter, who attended St Bede’s in Christchurch from 1965-69 and is a National Party MP, told Parliament of the link after being elected on January 31.

He said Speaker Wall was highly regarded by MPs, but had a propensity to deal with disorder by expelling MPs from the house.

“On two separate occasions he expelled both the then Prime Minister, David Lange, and the then Leader of the Opposition, Jim Bolger, from the House on the same day,” Mr Carter told Parliament.

“I certainly do not want to be in a position to emulate that record.

“Above all, I intend to strive to maintain the dignity of this House, and in an unbiased fashion.”

Mr Carter said that between 2005 and 2008, there were six members of Parliament who had been educated at St Bede’s.

He told NZ Catholic that “as I read the prayer before the start of Parliament each day, it will be a meaningful privilege to me as a person with a strong Catholic background”.

“My parents were strong practising Catholics and therefore the Catholic philosophy was fundamental to our family way of life,” Mr Carter said.

“I was the middle of five children and we all attended Catholic primary and secondary schools.

“When I think about the ethos of my Catholic education, it only reinforced the basic principles that were the foundation of my family life.

“A work ethic was paramount, treating people fairly and with dignity, knowing what was right and what was wrong, and being prepared to live with the consequences of your actions: These became second nature for us all.”

Mr Carter said his years at St Bede’s were a time he recalls with “satisfaction and fondness”.

“St Bede’s extended my horizons and helped me transition as a young adult with my life before me, that I had full responsibility for.”

In a personal vote in Parliament last year, Mr Carter voted for Jacqui Dean’s bill to liberalise Easter trading in Waitaki district, which was defeated at first reading.

He also voted for a bill to legalise same sex “marriage”, at the first reading. It has been considered by the Government Administration Select Committee, which reported back to the House last month.


n Prayer read by the speaker of the House at the beginning of each days proceedings.


Almightly God, humbly acknowledging our need for thy guidance in all things, and laying aside all private and personal interest, we beseech thee to grant that we may conduct the affairs of this house and of our country to the glory of thy Holy Name, the maintenance of true religion and justice, the honour of the Queen, and the public welfare, peace and tranquility of New Zealand, through Jesus Christ Our Lord.