Māori leader kicked out of New Zealand parliament for not wearing TIE

Maori leader is kicked out of New Zealand’s parliament for refusing to wear a TIE because they are ‘colonial nooses that suppress indigenous culture’

  • Rawiri Waititi ordered to leave debating chamber of New Zealand parliament  
  • The Māori Party co-leader was ejected on Tuesday for not wearing a necktie  
  • He said necktie is a ‘colonial noose’ that continues to ‘suppress out Māori rights’ 

A Māori politician has been kicked-out of New Zealand’s parliament after refusing to wear a tie which he says is a ‘colonial noose’ that suppresses Indigenous culture.

Rawiri Waititi was ordered to leave the debating chamber on Tuesday by Speaker Trevor Mallard after instead wearing a taonga, a Maori greenstone pendant. 

Mr Mallard had twice prevented Mr Waititi from asking questions on the floor of parliament, insisting that male MPs could only do so if they were wearing a necktie. 

‘This is more than about a tie or a taonga – this has everything to do with a colonial agenda that continues to force Māori to look and be like a Pākeha (a white New Zealander),’ Mr Waititi posted on Facebook after his ejection.  

Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi (pictured) was ordered to leave the debating chamber of New Zealand’s parliament on Tuesday after he attempted to ask questions without wearing a necktie

Mr Waititi has previously described a necktie as ‘a colonial noose’ and said he took it off as it continued ‘to suppress out Māori rights’

When Mr Waititi continued with his question after being stopped a second time, Mr Mallard ordered him to leave the debating chamber. 

Mr Waititi, who has called ties ‘colonial nooses’, was told last year that he would be ejected from the House if he did not wear one. 

Mr Mallard on Tuesday said while ties were outdated in his view, an overwhelming majority of members asked that the rule be retained in consultations on the issue in the last few months.

In an opinion piece posted to his Facebook page, Mr Waititi said he had ‘every right to represent my people and reflect their dress, their culture’. 

‘I took off the colonial tie as a sign that it continued to colonise, to choke and to suppress out Māori rights that Mallard suggests gives us all equality,’ he said. 

‘We’ve just come out of Waitangi Day, and acknowledging the covenant between two nations, tangata whenua and tauiwi – and yet Aotearoa is a long way off from true partnership when foreigners enforce Māori to dress like them.

Mr Waititi is pictured greeting Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with a hongi during the Commission Opening of Parliament on November 25, 2020 in Wellington, New Zealand 

‘So across this country, everyone knows it has nothing to do with a Pākehā tie. It has everything to do with the right of Māori to be Māori, whether in Parliament or in the pub.’

Mr Waititi vowed to ‘never bow my head to Pākehā power’ and insisted he ‘will never surrender my culture’.   

Asked to comment, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that it was not something she had a strong opinion on and that she had no objection to someone wearing a tie in parliament or not.

‘There are much more important issues for all of us,’ Ms Ardern said.      

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