Parliament urged to ditch the tie and embrace diversity

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 10 Feb 2021, 2:40PM
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Parliament urged to ditch the tie and embrace diversity

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 10 Feb 2021, 2:40PM

A political commentator says change is long overdue, when it comes to the rules around wearing ties in Parliament.

Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi was kicked out of the House yesterday for wearing a hei-tiki around his neck instead of a tie.

Talks are now underway to change the rules.

But commentator Claire Robinson told Kate Hawkesby if Parliament wants to reflect New Zealand society, it should reconsider whether a neck-tie is even needed in the first place.

"The rules around what goes on in the House change all the time, and change with the times.

"It's the time to really be looking at that dress standard."

She says that white men, who are more likely to wear a tie, are in the minority - and there are other forms of expression to show importance. 

The tie is an "relic of a very Victorian, male era", Robinson says, and women don't have to wear one to show authority. 

"It's that the most diverse parliament ever actually became reflective of that diversity."

Robinson says that they don't know how many people responded to Speaker Trevor Mallard's call for feedback on the issue. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she's relaxed about the wearing of ties, but won't waste time getting involved in the debate.

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