Do you expect your MPs to be in “business attire” in the House?


The House of Commons in the UK has dropped a rule for male MPs to wear ties, but New Zealand’s Parliament is not quite ready to follow suit.

The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, recently ruled ties would be optional when MPs were in Parliament.

That news sparked what seemed at first to be a mounting revolution among New Zealand’s own MPs who are also required to wear ties in the Debating Chamber.

Labour’s Grant Robertson tweeted “time NZ ditched the tie requirement in Parl.”

The taxpaying public has a reasonable expectation that its MPs turn up at parliament and present themselves, their constituents, and the country in a tidy manner.

The Speaker’s Rules for Parliament require “business attire” for both men and women and most Speakers have interpreted that to mean ties and jackets for men, although the jackets are sometimes dispensed of on hot summer days if the airconditioning is down.

Speaker David Carter said he was not aware of any widespread calls for change among MPs.

“I am personally in favour of the current standard of jacket and tie for men. I would not make a change without consulting Members”

Labour’s Trevor Mallard, who hopes to be Speaker if Labour is in Government, believed it was inevitable at some point.

“My view, as someone who has never, ever learned to tie a tie, is that it’s time for the change to occur.”

Mallard said there would have to be consultation before a Speaker could make such a move.

“Modern business attire is changing and it’s changing generationally. It is inevitable it will happen at some time.”

Robertson said he agreed with the need to consult first.

So one man who has never even bothered to learn how to tie a tie wants to be Speaker of the House, and the other man who doesn’t love ties but who does loves men wants to be Party leader and even Prime Minister.

God have mercy on our souls.


– NZ Herald

Do you want:

  • ad-free access?
  • access to our very popular daily crossword?
  • access to Incite Politics magazine articles?

Silver subscriptions and above go in the draw to win a $500 prize to be drawn at the end of March.

Not yet one of our awesome subscribers? Click Here and join us.

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.