To tie or not to tie? Kiwis split on Parliament tie stoush

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 10 Feb 2021, 12:25AM
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

To tie or not to tie? Kiwis split on Parliament tie stoush

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 10 Feb 2021, 12:25AM

New Zealanders' opinions are split when it comes to the dress code of MPs in Parliament.

At the time of writing, more than 3,200 people had voted in an informal poll on the Herald's Facebook page on whether ties should remain compulsory.

Of those 3,200 people, 45 per cent believe MPs should continue wearing ties, while 55 per cent don't think ties need to remain part of the Beehive's dress code.

Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi was today booted out of Parliament after a dress code scuffle with Speaker Trevor Mallard.

Waititi refused to wear a tie, which he has described as a "colonial noose".

Late last year, Waititi was warned that he faced being ejected from the House if he did not wear a tie, after refusing to wear one, and in his maiden speech to Parliament he said in te reo: "Take the noose from around my neck so that I may sing my song."

In the comments on the informal Facebook poll, many believed the tie is a sign of respect for the role, while other Kiwis agreed that the dress code is outdated and unnecessary, as it is no reflection on an MP's professionalism.

"Clothes don't dictate professionalism. The most unprofessional person in the world doesn't suddenly become the best the second they put on a suit. As long as the work is done and your actually clothed, then why should it matter? It's like trying to say women in offices just wear skirts and heels. Archaic and not needed," someone commented.

"Think this is a red herring to take the heat out of the fact Mr Mallard has cost 'you me taxpayer' over $300,000 in legal bills and compensation," one person commented. "But as a side issue the majority of MPs' voted to keep ties as part of the dress code."

"Yes and they should be debating and making laws on things other than what they wear in Parliament!! We are paying for this," someone else said.

Many expressed the idea that the clothing is not important, as long as MPs represent the interests of their people.

"As long as the work gets done, I couldn't care less if they were in stubbies and red bands," one person said.

"I don't care just as long as they're doing their jobs," another Facebook user agreed.

"Ties are archaic and should not be compulsory. Taonga are a cultural heritage explicitly protected by our founding document te Tiriti o Waitangi," someone else said.

A number of Kiwis argued that if MPs drop their dress code, it might be time to rethink school uniforms as well.

"If they can relax their dress code rules my kids would like their state schools to relax their uniform rules. Smart casual will work," a Facebook user commented.