On Tuesday, Roire Waititi appeared without a tie because the dress code was still from the colonial era, as the politician with traditional face tattoos wrote on Facebook: “I took off the colonial tie, as a sign that they continued to colonize the repressed rights of Maori…”
Instead, he showed himself with Hei-Tiki, the typical carved Maori ornament worn around the neck. Parliament Speaker Trevor Mallard kicked him out for losing his tie from the room.
“It’s ridiculous when he asks me to leave Parliament because I want to wear a hei tikki as a business cultural outfit,” Waititi wrote on Twitter. “Hei-Tiki is the link I choose, it connects me to my ancestors, my country, and my people.”
He’s back on Wednesday, again with a Maori necklace. This time Mallard let him go and said a committee would deal with the case that evening. The latter finally spoke out in favor of allowing work clothes from cultures other than British traditions. Mallard said the decision was not unanimous, but was taken by a majority. Since then, a heated discussion on this topic has erupted in social networks under the hashtag # no2tie.
After Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern won elections last fall, New Zealand’s parliament is more diverse than ever. Maori Foreign Minister Nanaya Mahuta. Ardern himself showed up in 2018 to dinner at Buckingham Palace in London wearing a kahu huruhuru – a Maori feather coat.
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