Opinion: Hei-tiki in Parliament a no-brainer, but ties should stay

Jessica Mutch McKay
Source: 1News

Wearing a hei-tiki instead of a tie is a no-brainer. It’s meaningful, professional and beautiful. It should be an alternative or an addition to a tie.

Man wearing a tie

But now ties have been scrapped completely and MPs can go into the debating chamber without, should they wish. Parliament is a place where huge decisions are made that affect our daily lives and professional business attire is part of the gig.

It’s necessary in court, it’s a sign of respect to those around you and it's tradition.

The tie also gives a sense of individuality and sense of occasion. On budget day it's traditional for Finance Ministers to purchase new, meaningful ties.

Former Health Minister Tony Ryall probably had the most memorable, colourful collection and Foreign Ministers would often return with a tie from the overseas country they had been visiting – think tiny pandas.

I know there has been a bit of tie swapping between staff and MPs over the years after a spilt coffee or messy lunch and 1 NEWS reporters have had tie drawers pillaged by MPs on occasion.  

Now, Parliament has cut ties with the tie. Tired of the tie. Tie died. I could go on. But as someone who has spent a lot of time observing the debating chamber over the years, I’m sad at this loss of formality.