Ties no longer required in Parliament as 'appropriate business attire' - Speaker Trevor Mallard

Speaker Trevor Mallard says ties are no longer required as part of "appropriate business attire" in the Chamber following controversy in Parliament this week.

The Speaker earlier clashed with Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi over the 'no tie' rule previously in place. Waititi had attempted to wear his Māori hei tiki in place of a Western-style tie, arguing it was "Māori business attire". The disputed culminated in Waititi being booted from Parliament on Tuesday.

In a letter to Mallard, Waititi said since Green Party MP Ricardo Menéndez March is allowed to wear a bolo tie in Parliament - reflecting his Mexican heritage - Māori MPs should be allowed to wear a hei tiki taonga in place of a tie. On Wednesday Waititi was allowed to speak in Parliament while wearing his hei tiki.

Mallard has now released an update on the dress code, explaining that as Speaker he is guided by the Standing Orders Committee on this issue. 

"A meeting of the Standing Orders Committee was held on Wednesday February 10 to discuss the issue and hear a submission from Te Paati Māori," he says in a statement.

"The Committee did not reach a consensus but the majority of the Committee was in favour of removing the requirement for ties to form part of 'appropriate business attire' for males.

"As Speaker, I am guided by the committee's discussion, and therefore ties will no longer be considered required as part of 'appropriate business attire'."

MPs had previously supported retaining ties as part of their dress code.