This is a weird issue for the Maori Party to get ready to die in a ditch about.
Having one of your two MPs being silenced in the people’s chamber for not wearing a decorative strip of material around your neck when all other males are seems at first to be pretty retrograde.
By all means make your stand and fight your battles but save them up for the big issues.
Child poverty, inadequate housing, environmental devastation, treaty breaches, fill your boots. The Maori electorate has a particularly focussed and painful experience of these issues and will cheer you every time you make a stand.
But neck ties? You are just filling bandwidth and the twitterverse with irrelevant chatter.
Having said this Parliament does need to change the rules.
As a lawyer I have worn a tie every time I have gone into court during the last 36 years. Does it help me do my job? No.
And in the People’s house of representatives this artificial historic requirement is so arbitrary.
But suit with tie, without tie, good old westie black shirt with jeans and maybe a dress jacket for style, these should all be sufficient.
The People’s house should mark its members by the quality of their work and the quality of their representation.
And if they do not live up to expectations then there is the right of the electorate to vote them out at the next election.
I hate to agree with Claire Robinson. Her comments are always fashioned to be critical of Labour and supportive of National. She deserves her Spin Doctor moniker.
But on this issue I agree with her. The requirement for male MPs to wear a tie is an anachronistic distraction.
Let us just require our MPs to turn up to work wearing something tidy and presentable.
And hope that they concentrate on dealing with issues such as child poverty, inadequate housing, environmental devastation and treaty breaches.