New Zealand Parliament Drops Necktie Rule After Maori Leader Was Kicked Out
Maori politician Rawiri Waititi has gone viral after he was kicked out of New Zealand Parliament for donning a traditional Maori pendant instead of a necktie.
During a heated exchange with Trevor Mallard, the speaker of the House, Waititi said he was wearing 'Maori business attire', including a hei-tiki.
The exchange culminated in him being booted from the chambers due to his opposition to the necktie rule.
Waititi remained composed and eloquent during the ordeal and explained to Mallard: "It's not about ties - it's about cultural identity, mate."
After the video went viral across Twitter and Reddit, many threw their support behind Waititi.
The hashtag #no2tie soon began trending on Twitter, with one user writing: "Rawiri Waititi ejected from Parliament for having too much drip, looking too good, making everyone else's fits look trash."
A Redditor commented: "This goes beyond a tie. What you wear, what you look like, what body mods you have, what your skin color is, what your gender is has nothing to do with how well you can do your job. If you think otherwise, you are bigoted."
@Rawiri_Waititi, a Maori politician in New Zealand, was kicked out of Parliament for refusing to wear a tie as a marker of Indigenous resistance.
He Calls the Tie a Colonial Noose. Now Parliament Says It's No Longer Mandatory.#IndigenousWisdom #FirstNations pic.twitter.com/3mo7d2oWwp
- Alex Bishop: Helping ppl, orgs access $ and Govt (@alexbishopcan) February 11, 2021
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By Wednesday, Mallard announced that the parliament was scrapping the tie requirement.
"A meeting of the committee held tonight discussed this and heard a submission from Te Paati Māori," he wrote on Twitter.
"The committee did not reach a consensus but the majority of the committee was in favour of removing a requirement for ties to be part of 'appropriate business attire' for males."
[THREAD] I would like to take this opportunity to clarify recent coverage of the rules surrounding what MPs wear in the chamber of the House of Representatives. This thread includes the information that was distributed to MPs and staff at Parliament. [1/]
- Trevor Mallard (@SpeakerTrevor) February 10, 2021
"As Speaker, I am guided by the committee's discussion and decision, and therefore ties will no longer be considered required as part of 'appropriate business attire'. I acknowledge those who felt this was an important issue worthy of further consideration," he added.
Speaking to Reuters, Waititi said that the incident was indicative of the treatment his people had been enduring for hundreds of years.
"Maori have not been treated equal in its own country and indigenous people all over the world have been subjected to discrimination due to racist systems that keep our peoples in second place," he said.
"For us to stand up against subjugation, to stand up again assimilation, to stand up against those who try and make us look, feel, make us think like they want us to think ... this was standing up against that."
Waititi returned to parliament this week following the change of rules, saying: "The noose has been taken off our necks, and we are now able to sing our songs."
Featured Image Credit: Youtube
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