Which MPs embraced the new tie-optional rules in Parliament?

Author
Jason Walls, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 11 Feb 2021, 3:19PM
Labour MP for Te Atatu Phil Twyford tie-less in the House during Question Time today. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Labour MP for Te Atatu Phil Twyford tie-less in the House during Question Time today. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Which MPs embraced the new tie-optional rules in Parliament?

Author
Jason Walls, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 11 Feb 2021, 3:19PM

Just six male MPs decided to break with a more than 160-year tradition this afternoon, opting not to wear a tie in Parliament.

This is despite Speaker Trevor Mallard for the first time giving men the option to go bare-necked in the chamber.

And one minister revealed to media that he didn't want to wear a tie, but that was what his mum expects of him so he will be wearing one every day in the House.

Phil Twyford was the only male minister not wearing a tie this afternoon but he was one of two Labour MPs to break with the tradition, along with newbie Shanan Halbert.

Greens co-leader James Shaw and fellow MP Teanau Tuiono were both tie-less today, as was new Act MP James McDowall.

All National MPs in the house today were wearing a tie.

Greens co-leader James Shaw tie-less in the House today. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Greens co-leader James Shaw tie-less in the House today. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi wasn't wearing a Western-style tie either.

He was again wearing hei tiki – this was the source of much controversy over the last couple of days.

Waititi was kicked out of the House on Tuesday as he was not wearing a Western-style tie on Tuesday.

But last night, after a meeting with the Standing Orders Committee, Mallard decided that he would make ties optional in the House.

"The committee did not reach a consensus but the majority of the committee was in favour of removing the requirement for ties to form part of 'appropriate business attire' for males.

"As Speaker, I am guided by the committee's discussion, and therefore ties will no longer be considered required as part of 'appropriate business attire'."

Speaking to reporters before going into the House this afternoon, Health Minister Andrew Little said he still regards "business attire" is wearing a tie.

"The tie is on for now, but these things are subject to review."

Act leader David Seymour said he was a "tie guy" but he believes in freedom of choice so had no issue with anyone not wearing one in the House.

Justice Minister Kris Faafoi was wearing a tie today and said he would be wearing one for the rest of his parliamentary career.

He said he does not like ties, but wearing one is "what my mum expects of me".

"If mum saw me on TV without [a tie] I would be in trouble."