Parliament is known to be a bear pit. MPs and officials alike can tell stories of bruising encounters within its walls.

There's the debating chamber, where few holds are barred, especially during the general debate. There's a roaming pack of press gallery journalists who can smell blood a mile away and are ready to put an unprepared MP on the spot.

The environment is deemed so toxic at times that Speaker Trevor Mallard has an investigation under way into bullying and harassment of staff at Parliament.

Speaker Trevor Mallard with Labour MP Willow-Jean Prime's baby Heeni during a debate in 2017. Photo / Parliament TV
Speaker Trevor Mallard with Labour MP Willow-Jean Prime's baby Heeni during a debate in 2017. Photo / Parliament TV

But Mallard is also working on other ways to make it a kinder, gentler

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