Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi enters Parliament without tie

Maori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi has been kicked out of the House by speaker Trevor Mallard after a disagreement about his attire.

Waititi entered Parliament without a tie today.

Speaker Trevor Mallard had told Waititi early in question time that he would not be allowed to speak if he was not wearing a tie.

Waititi said he was standing in the House wearing cultural attire. But Mallard said he was not convinced by the argument.

During the last question of the day, Waititi attempted to ask a question but was told to sit down.

Mallard said he had made his ruling on ties clear.

But Waititi was not happy with the rule and again attempted to ask a question.

Despite Mallard cutting him off, Waititi continued and was subsequently kicked out by Mallard.

Mallard had ruled that male MPs need to wear a tie in Parliament.

Waititi had said he did not plan on abiding by these rules and would attempt to change Mallard’s mind.

In his point of order, Waititi said his case was based on the fact his attire was cultural.

He was wearing a traditional Māori necklace in place of a traditional tie.

Earlier this month Mallard rejected a plea for dress standards to be relaxed in the House.

Greens co-leader James Shaw had asked for the dress code to be loosened and to abolish the antiquated rule that men must wear ties, which Waititi described as a “colonial noose”.

Waititi was rejected from Parliament last year after refusing to wear one and in his maiden speech to Parliament said in te reo: “Take the noose from around my neck so that I may sing my song.”

At the end of last year Mallard invited MPs to write to him with their thoughts on the change.

“A significant majority of members who responded opposed any change to dress standards for the Debating Chamber,” the Speaker said then.

“Having considered those views, I have decided that no change in current standards is warranted. Business attire, including a jacket and tie for men, remains the required dress standard.”

Mallard said the 2017 review of the standing orders supported MPs dressing in formal wear of the cultures they addressed with.

“I do not propose any change.”

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