Leader of the House Chris Hipkins is blaming National for the shambolic commotion in Parliament yesterday, saying that he had to move quickly to find a compromise because he did not expect a challenge for the election of the Speaker.
Yesterday the Commission Opening of Parliament ground to a halt when Labour nominated Trevor Mallard as Speaker.
National's shadow leader of the House Simon Bridges called a point of order when he realised that the Government was missing five MPs, whose votes could not be cast in their absence because they were yet to be sworn in.
Eventually Hipkins walked over and brokered a deal. National would not contest the Speaker position, and Labour would support National's wish to have 109 select committee positions - an issue that the parties had been clashing on all week.
The Government still had 58 votes against the Opposition's 56 - but Labour did not want the vote contested.
"It's not a good look for the whole Parliament and it is embarrassing for the whole Parliament - no question there," Hipkins told Newshub's The AM Show.
He said he responded to the "Opposition threat".
"The Prime Minister was very clear that she did not want a vote, and so I had to move quickly. So, yes, we did have to compromise."
Hipkins said he thought there had been an understanding in which National would not contest the Speaker position and Labour would not contest the Deputy Speaker position.
He was taken by surprise when National indicated that they might challenge the nomination.
"That's a matter for the Opposition. They chose to disrupt. That's their call.
"We didn't have all of our MPs sworn in. They will all be sworn in fairly shortly, and then it will never be an issue again, because we will have our full voting strength."
This morning is the State Opening of the 52nd Parliament. Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy will read the Speech from the Throne, outlining the Government's intentions for the parliamentary term.