The political media in this country aren't intrusive, they respect boundaries.

They've got to, they know that to break the rules or to divulge confidences means they're ostracised, they don't get access and without access their job is redundant.

Over the years political families have been off limits, unless like Max Key, they court publicity.

During my time in this place there have been many examples of a discreet media, the suicides of a couple of prominent MPs' children, is a good example.


The media left the stories alone, it was a private matter.

There was also an unwritten agreement between all media outlets to leave Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford to get on with the business of being parents for the first time.

Since Ardern's heavily orchestrated media appearance just before she left hospital with baby Neve almost six weeks ago they've been left alone.

So it was with some shock that the privacy act has been read to the parliamentary press Gallery by close friend of Ardern and Parliament's Speaker Trevor Mallard who in a past life made an art form of breaking the rules.

He was thrown out of Parliament more times than Winston Peters has had hair cuts and at one point got into a bit of biffo in the voting lobby with Peters' sidekick Tau Henare.

This very successful poacher has become an extraordinary gamekeeper, telling journalists if they take snaps of Ardern or her partner Clarke Gayford traipsing around the Parliamentary corridors with the baby, they'll be expelled and the organisation they work for will be penalised in some way.

And if either one of the couple happens to saunter through the background of a video interview, that section of it has to be deleted.

Imagine if it's the elusive classic quote that we all live for.


The rule will also apply to the playground Mallard's having built out the front of his family friendly Parliament, in fact anywhere in the expansive precincts is off limits to snappers.

It's the first time a rule like this has been imposed, even though many women have had children while holding office here.

But like a bull in a china shop, Mallard's insistent the rules will be strictly adhered to, there'll be no exceptions.

And it's somewhat disturbing to think that he's taking the jackboot approach after talking to Ardern who should by now know the media can be trusted if they're asked in a reasonable way.

By the time they're wandering around Parliament, chances are the images of Ardern and the baby will be indelibly etched on the subconscious and the idea of another photo would be about as sought after as Gerry Brownlee in speedos.

But then having a look at the photos they supplied to go with the Ardern back to work interviews yesterday, Mallard would be well advised to lift the Parliamentary ban!