National | Debbie Ngarewa-Packer

Taonga not allowed to replace tie – Māori Party co-leader tossed out of Parliament

Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi has been tossed out of Parliament by Speaker Trevor Mallard over his lack of a tie

Waititi had today worn a taonga instead of a tie even though the Speaker had ruled that male MPs must wear a tie.

Speaker Trevor Mallard told Waititi during question time today he would not be allowed to speak if he was not wearing a tie.

Waititi said he was wearing “cultural attire”. But Mallard said he was not.

During the last question of the day, Waititi attempted to ask a question but was told to sit down.

Waititi’s co-leader ‎Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, who was wearing a tie, argued for the culture attire.

Ordered out

But Mallard said he had made his ruling on ties clear.

Waititi again attempted to ask a question.

Mallard cut him off but Waititi continued and was ordered out by Mallard.

Earlier this month Mallard rejected a plea for dress standards to be relaxed, saying most MPs opposed any change.

Greens co-leader James Shaw had asked for the dress code to be loosened and, specifically, that the rule that men must wear ties be axed.

Waititi last year described ties as a "colonial noose".

In a stirring maiden speech to Parliament he said in te reo: "Take the noose from around my neck so that I may sing my song."