Simon Bridges passionately defends ties in Parliament, likes not having to think about what to wear

National MP Simon Bridges has come out strongly in favour of compulsory ties in Parliament, calling it "serious business". 

Though at the same time, he admitted it wasn't the "biggest issue in the world" right now.

Ties are currently compulsory in Parliament, at least for men. Green co-leader James Shaw has asked Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard to relax the dress code

Bridges, who appeared in a viral social media video in June wearing stubbies, gumboots and a black Roxy Music t-shirt, isn't keen.

"This isn't breakfast TV, it's not business, it's not a bar or a club - it's national Parliament where we make big decisions. I think we should wear a tie. 

"And by the way, personally, I think it's a great uniform that takes care of all of my thinking in the morning. I know what I'm doing. I want to keep wearing ties... It's where we decide your liberties, your rights, the penalties, taxes - maybe we can wear a tie."

Bridges and Parker - both without ties.
Bridges and Parker - both without ties. Photo credit: The AM Show

Labour MP David Parker, appearing with Bridges, said he's never minded wearing ties - but wouldn't mind having some freedom of choice.

"I always make sure I wear a tie I like, and actually I quite like my ties. But I do think the time is coming when it's' time to move on."

Neither Bridges nor Parker were wearing ties in the early morning interview.

Told he could still wear a tie even if others didn't, Bridges baulked.

"[I'd] look like a stick in the mud."

Bridges said men in "every other Parliament" have to wear ties, which isn't true. The UK and France dropped their sartorial requirements in 2017, for example. 

Despite being mandatory, fewer and fewer ties have been seen in the New Zealand Parliament in recent years - not because MPs are breaking the rules, but because more and more of them are women.