The day after New Zealand MP was expelled from Parliament for not wearing a tie, Parliament lifted the tie clause.
Ruiri Waititi, an indigenous Maori member who wore a traditional green stone necklace rather than the necktie required for male members of parliament, was now allowed to speak in the public hall. The speaker of Parliament, who had expelled Waititi the day before, said the ties were no longer considered part of mandatory “business attire” in the future.
Sign to submit
Waititi spoke of “the triumph of many future generations.” This means that Parliament is a place where “people can freely express their cultural identity”. “It was always about the larger context of submission and assimilation to which the Maori have been subjected over the past 181 years,” Waititi told the BBC.
Previously, male MPs were only allowed to ask questions in the New Zealand Chamber if they wore a tie. So this week, Speaker of Parliament Trevor Mallard banned Wititi, a Maori party member, from speaking out – Waititi wore a green stone necklace instead of what he called a “colonial rope” tie.
After Mallard Wititi interrupts again, the latter continues his question. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported that the president finally ordered him to leave the session.
Maori work clothes
Waititi described the treatment as “outrageous” and said he was wearing “Maori work clothes.” Wearing the same tie, Maori deputy leader Debbie Ngarywa Packer tried to defend her colleague, but failed.
President Mallard said he would personally support changing the rules regarding the duty to wear ties, but the vast majority of MPs in a poll were against it. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern would have nothing against change, but she indicated that there are more important things now: “I don’t think New Zealanders are interested in relationships.” Now, despite the epidemic and economic crisis, there has been a quick settlement.
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