TODAY |

NZ's Parliamentary Press Gallery celebrates 150 years since creation

New Zealand's Parliamentary Press Gallery is today celebrating 150 years since its creation in the 1870s.

New Zealand's Parliamentary Press Gallery with Speaker Trevor Mallard - 2020. Source: Supplied

Former Prime Ministers including Sir Bill English, Sir John Key, Helen Clark, Jim Bolger and Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Opposition leader Judith Collins, MPs, and past and present press gallery journalists are set to attend a black tie event to mark the occasion.

"Having so many current and former politicians attending shows what an important role the fourth estate plays in politics," press gallery chairwoman Jo Moir said.

"Particularly exciting is having so many life members of the press gallery attending and Tom Scott, who has clocked up close to 50 years, will be the keynote speaker for the evening," Moir said.

'Here's to another 150' - Jessica Mutch McKay on the Parliamentary Press Gallery anniversary

Pushed back a year due to Covid-19, the 150-year milestone celebration falls on its 151st birthday.

According to NZHistory, the press gallery became an independent group of journalists in New Zealand by the 1870s.

The first broadcast was made from Parliament in 1936, where the swearing in of the Government was played on radio across the country.

Women were reporting on politics and Parliament since the 1880s, but were not allowed to be a member of the press gallery until Fran Collett was granted entry in 1965.