David Carter has been voted in as Speaker in Parliament this afternoon, despite Labour's last-minute nomination of MP Trevor Mallard.
Mr Carter received 62 votes to Mr Mallard's 52.
The new Speaker said he would try to match Dr Smith's fairness in the House.
"I would like to assure members that I will strive to master that transition from a partisan political player to a Speaker who upholds the democratic traditions of Parliament, and respects the right of every one of you elected to this House to express their views.''
He said he did not underestimate the challenge he faced.
"I see my responsibility being akin to a referee, reffing the inevitable Super 15 final between the almighty Crusaders and one of the others.''
"And as a referee, having to make an instant decision, and of course not having access to the whistle.
"But I will have access to yellow and red cards, though I hope they are used infrequently.''
Earlier today, the Labour Party accused the National-led Government of acting arrogantly in its election of Carter as Speaker and put forward Mallard as an alternative option.
Labour leader David Shearer said National had not engaged with his party on the issue and had failed to treat Parliament as "the people's house."
He said John Key had falsely claimed that National had been in contact with the Labour regarding its choice of Speaker.
Mr Shearer did not meet with National MP David Carter, who is tipped to be the new Speaker, until yesterday.
"That was the first approach we had by Government about the appointment of the Speaker," he said.
As a result, Labour put forward its own candidate at the election at 2pm today.
Mr Shearer said all Opposition parties backed the choice of Mr Mallard as a Speaker.
"Trevor Mallard is a passionate observer and participant in Parliament. He knows standing orders back to front and he is keen on having that job."