Parliament has been sworn in during a ceremony historic for the fact all three of the branches of the New Zealand judiciary officiating were women.

Today's opening of Parliament began with a proclamation on behalf of Governor General Sir Jerry Mataparae read by Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias.

Accompanying her in her duties as Royal Commissioner were President of the Court of Appeal Justice Ellen France, and Chief Judge of the High Court Helen Winkelmann.

One hundred and nineteen of Parliament's 121 MPs were sworn in today by Clerk of the House Mary Harris with Foreign Minister Murray McCully and Green MP Julie Anne Genter absent.


Of those, 74 opted to swear on the bible while 45 gave an affirmation and 17 gave their oath in Te Reo Maori.

David Carter was re-elected Speaker in a vote prompted by the fact returning NZ First MP Ron Mark was put forward by his Leader Winston Peters.

Mr Mark later indicated his nomination came as something of a surprise.

Mr Carter's re-election was welcomed by Prime Minister John Key but Acting Labour Leader David Parker and Greens Co-leader Russel Norman had some requests for him.

"There will be contentious moments in this House", Mr Parker said in his address to Mr Carter.

"The business of Opposition and the business of Government are both very important roles we are reliant on you giving us a fair go."

Dr Norman said: "It would seem to me that in order for the Opposition to do its duty .,. we need actual answers to questions in question time".

Dr Norman said Mr Carter's predecessor Lockwood Smith had ruled that "straight questions deserve straight answers".


"You reinterpreted that ruling to say they only had to be addressed which is of course what the Standing Orders say."

"I would ask you to reconsider that ruling. I would say the ruling by Dr Smith that straight questions deserve straight answers made a big difference to this House."

Mr Carter said he would do his best to carry on Dr Smith's ruling before adjourning the House until tomorrow morning for a second ceremony, the State Opening which includes a Royal Salute and a fly past of aircraft from film maker Sir Peter Jackson's collection vintage warplanes.