Maori MP In New Zealand Is Ejected From Parliament For Not Wearing A Tie

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Maori MP In New Zealand Is Ejected From Parliament For Not Wearing A Tie

There has been deep upset after a Maori leader was thrown out of the New Zealand parliament for not wearing a tie. Rawiri Waititi, who is an elected member of parliament, attempted to ask a question but was prevented from doing so on two occasions by the House Speaker, Trevor Mallard.

The speaker said that while he was indifferent on the issue of wearing ties, the parliament had agreed to maintain the dress-code just months earlier. Mr. Waititi said that wearing a tie and forcing him into Western clothing was a breach of his rights and as an elected official he had every right to ask a question regardless of the current dress code.

As he left the chamber, Waititi said:

"It's not about ties, it's about cultural identity, mate."

Speaking to Reuters news agency Waititi said:

"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. For us to stand up against subjugation, to stand up against 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. The noose has been taken off our necks, and we are now able to sing our songs."

The incident resulted in widescale public outcry and individuals and activists took to twitter to show their anger. The hashtag #no2tie then began trending, generating further discussion and media attention.

On Wednesday of last week, the Maori MP, who was elected for the first time in October as co-leader of the Māori Party, was able to ask the question again successfully wearing the same clothing he had previously worn when he had been ejected.

Maoris are the original inhabitants of New Zealand and have faced discrimination and persecution ever since the arrival of white settlers. Most were stripped of their land and their cultural identity, and even in the modern era, they have faced racism and discrimination, with many caught in a cycle-of-poverty that stems from their historic oppression. To this day, Maori children make up the majority of those in foster care in New Zealand, a disproportionate number of the unemployed, and a disproportionate number of the prison population.

The elections in October, in which Mr. Waititi won his seat, resulted in the most diverse New Zealand parliament ever. 21% of the seats are taken up by Maori and 11% are taken up by those from the LGBTQ community.

[h/t: Reuters]

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Thinking Humanity: Maori MP In New Zealand Is Ejected From Parliament For Not Wearing A Tie
Maori MP In New Zealand Is Ejected From Parliament For Not Wearing A Tie
There has been deep upset after a Maori leader was thrown out of the New Zealand parliament for not wearing a tie. Rawiri Waititi, who is an elected m
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