Speaker Trevor Mallard has called for written submissions as he considers dropping ties from Parliament’s dress code.
Speaking to the House today, Mallard said the potential change was alluded to by Greens co-leader James Shaw yesterday.
“The Speaker will take issue with any member who is not dressed in appropriate business attire, whether the member is male or female,” the Speaker’s ruling around dress reads.
The interpretation of what business attire meant had changed, Mallard said.
“In my opinion, what has changed since 1984 is the interpretation in most businesses in New Zealand as to what business attire is,” he said.
“For those reasons, I think it is appropriate to review that speakers have been taking, I intend to do that over the summer break and I want to invite members to write to me individually with their views on that.”
“I am not going to take a poll on it, but I’d like to hear reasons and reasoning.”
Before discussing the potential change, Mallard reflected on how the rules in the House had changed in his 36 years in Parliament.
“The essence for the rules of dress in this Parliament is that they should be business attire,” Mallard said.
“Back when I was first a member, rules applied to male members of Parliament and not to women because the earlier rules didn’t anticipate the possibility of women being members of Parliament even at the stage when I was first a member of Parliament,” he said.