New Zealand has ejected one of the leader of the Maori Party, Rawiri Waititi, for his refusal to wear a tie, a major requirement for Male MPs to ask questions during a debate in the chamber.
Speaker of the Chamber, Trevor Mallard, restricted Waititi from asking questions in two different occasions.
While exiting the chamber, Mr Waititi argued that “It’s not about ties, it’s about cultural identity mate.”
He has been quoted to describe ties as “a colonial noose” and replaced it with a greenstone pendant instead.
After being stopped for a second time, Mr Waititi continued with his question until Mr Mallard ordered him to leave the chamber.
Mr Waititi faulted the Speaker’s treatment of him, stating that it was unconscionable as he was wearing the Maori business attire.
Co-leader of the Maori Party, Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, who was herself wearing a tie, pleaded her colleague’s case but to no avail.
This is just the latest tie-based spat between the MP and the speaker.
Late last year, Mr Waititi had been cautioned about his habit of not wearing a tie and the had been threatened to be ejected from the House if he continued in the act.
In his first speech to parliament, he said, “Take the noose from around my neck so that I may sing my song.”
Mr Mallard said he also wanted a change of rule concerning the use of tie in the House but clarified that he could not overturn the wish of the majority of the MPs, saying the majority had earlier written to him to maintain the requirement.
Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, said she does not object to people refusing to wear ties, but that there are bigger things to be focusing on.
“I don’t think New Zealanders care about ties,” she said.