Parliament's fiery start to election year has been delayed a day in order to honour former Prime Minister Mike Moore, who died on February 2.
The Prime Minister's statement, which is normally delivered on the first day back and followed by a fiery debate, has been delayed until Wednesday while MPs pay tribute to Moore.
Speaker Trevor Mallard will then adjourn the House for the day, a custom that has been followed for other Prime Ministers.
Mallard worked for Moore when the former PM was Opposition leader, after Mallard lost his Hamilton West seat in 1990.
Speaking about what lies ahead this year, Mallard said he was expecting an intense year.
After three decades in the House and entering his third year in the chair, he should know.
"It's just the intensity. I've seen the pattern regularly. Elections are important to people," he said.
Mallard has spent time reflecting on the way he's refereed Parliament over the past two years, and says he's planning a few changes to lift his game.
Among the biggest will be giving MPs - particularly senior members such as Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, Leader of the House Chris Hipkins, and shadow leader Gerry Brownlee – a bit more room to argue their points about process.
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Peters and Brownlee have had more than their fair share of terse exchanges with Mallard about decisions in the House over the past two years.
"My biggest bit of self-criticism in the last bit of last year was not letting members have their say on points of order and coming to judgments a bit quickly," Mallard says.
"It doesn't necessarily mean I got the judgments wrong, but I think members feel better if they feel like they've been listened to."
Mallard says he's also been looking back to the style of Kerry Burke, the Speaker from 1987 to 1990, for inspiration.
"It was an awful time politically … but the place seemed to still tick over pretty well, pretty smoothly because of Burke not being quite as strict on the rules as he may have been," Mallard said.
But this Speaker has no doubt he'll face plenty of tension.
"More often members of the Opposition will disagree publicly, and possibly even more frequently, ministers or Government backbenchers will come and see me in my room after and tell me why I was wrong," he said.
"That's part of the deal."
Mallard also said he was inspired by Justice Minister Andrew Little's speech in te reo Māori at Waitangi to work on his own Māori pronunciation during the Parliamentary Prayer.
"He's convinced me to do some more work on that."
Mallard's most visible change to the way the House runs has been a system of deducting supplementary questions from parties over misbehaviour.
The system seemed to take a back seat in 2019. But Mallard says it's still the rule, he is just using a system of subtle hand gestures - rather than it being voiced across the House.
"When I make a public comment about it, people are more likely to complain."
A parliamentary committee is year also reviewing the standing orders, the rules for how politicians act in the House and during committees.
The House will sit for the last time on August 6, before being dissolved on August 12.
The Prime Minister's statement on Wednesday at 2pm will be followed by up to 13 hours of debate stretched over several days.
Mallard confirmed he has put his hand up for Labour's list again in the September 19 election but that will be a decision for the party's list selection committee to make.