Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi kicked out of Parliament for not wearing a tie

Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi has been kicked out of Parliament for not wearing a tie.

Speaker Trevor Mallard initially said while the House was sitting on Tuesday that he wasn't going to call on Waititi if he wasn't wearing a tie, and warned he wasn't allowed to enter the House without wearing a tie again.

Waititi was wearing a Māori necklace in place of a traditional tie, and said this was "Māori business attire". But Mallard said he wasn't convinced by Waititi's argument.

Waititi later tried to ask a question during Question Time but was shut down by Mallard.

"No. I've indicated to the member that I will not call him when he is not properly dressed. The member will resume his seat," Mallard said.

Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngawera-Packer tried to plead Waititi's case, saying Mallard had allowed other cultures to wear attire that's appropriate for them. She then questioned why he was denying Māori their attire, but Mallard said he had made his ruling clear.

Rawiri Waititi argued he was wearing Māori business attire.
Rawiri Waititi argued he was wearing Māori business attire. Photo credit: Parliament TV

"The expression that is used in the Standing Orders is 'business attire'. Business attire is something on which I have consulted," he said. 

"I do want to make it clear that the significant majority of members who responded [to the consultation] made it clear that ties were part of business attire. We could have a long discussion on this, and I have had it in my office with a number of members, and as I've indicated at least twice to the House, my own sympathies are with an abandonment of ties, but that is not the view of members who responded."

Waititi tried again to ask a question, but Mallard ordered him to leave.

"This is not about ties, it is about cultural identity," Waititi is heard saying as he leaves.

Green Party co-leader James Shaw requested the dress code change last year, but fellow MPs weren't keen to ditch ties at the time.