Is time up for the compulsory necktie at work?
That's one of the debates that has sprung from the clashes between Waiariki MP Rawiri Waititi and Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard over appropriate neckwear for Parliament this week.
Yesterday Mallard ejected Waititi from the House after the Māori Party co-leader wore a traditional hei-tiki in place of a Western-style tie, saying it was a matter of cultural identity and many New Zealanders would consider it a tie.
Today, however, Mallard backed down and allowed Waititi, again wearing the hei-tiki, to stay in Parliament.
The rules were expected to be debated tonight.
Mallard previously said he was keen to relax the tie rule, but after consulting with MPs the majority wanted to keep the rule.
"Having considered those views, I have decided that no change in current standards is warranted. Business attire, including a jacket and tie for men, remains the required dress standard," he said.
For many professionals, however, a tie is no longer part of the expected standard.
It has been at least five years since Rotorua chartered accountant Don Stewart has worn a tie to work every day.
He said ties were expected when he started in the industry more than 40 years ago.
"Originally we used to wear shorts and long socks and a shirt and tie in the summer."
The standard had relaxed over the last decade or so, however, and nowadays he did not know anyone in his profession in Rotorua who wore a tie.
"The formal dress code these days in our profession is a suit with an open-necked shirt with a jacket if need be."
He said it was unusual to see a tie outside of funerals, but even there they were becoming less common in his experience.
He said he did not miss his ties and had never had any need to correct a staff member for not being dressed appropriately.
Stewart said he could appreciate there was a need to look smart in Parliament and rules were one way of ensuring an even standard of dress.
"People in diplomatic roles seem to normally dress formally, it's what the public expects to see."
Ngāti Whakaue kaumatua Monty Morrison said attitudes to ties had changed over the years and that was a good thing.
"We have become more sensible about wearing a tie, choosing the appropriate occasions rather than insisting on one for every occasion."
He said he wore ties to formal occasions but not for day-to-day business. He tended to chose modern, conservative ties but was not keen on bow ties.
Asked his view of Waititi's description of a tie as a "colonial noose", he said he had never seen a tie as colonial.
Morrison said he would like to see Parliament relax its dress code.
"It's not about whether someone is wearing a tie, but about whether one is making a valid contribution."
Rotorua lawyer Scott Mills said a tie was still the formal standard of dress expected in court.
A male lawyer not wearing a tie risked having their submissions fall on deaf ears.
"If you are not appropriately dressed, a judge can refuse to hear you."
According to etiquette guidelines for counsel posted on the Courts of New Zealand website, "reasonably formal" attire is appropriate in court.
"For men this will be a dark coloured suit with a collared shirt and tie, and for women attire of an equivalent standard."
Mills said the legal profession was "rooted in tradition and process" and a respectful dress code was part of that.
"I personally don't see a relaxation of clothing happening and certainly not to the extent of not having to wear a tie."
Simon Anderson, managing director of the Realty Group Ltd, which operates Eves and Bayleys, said he wore a tie to work every day.
For him, putting on a tie in the morning signalled a mental shift.
"It separates home and work. It's like, game on; the tie goes on and I am thinking about work.
"It's something I have always done."
In his view, someone in a suit and tie looked smart and ready for business.
"I don't feel comfortable in them every day but I think it's important."
He said he did not have an issue with other people not wearing a tie as part of their professional attire, but there were situations in his business where he believed one should be worn, particularly board meetings and key client engagements.
Regarding Parliament's debate on ties, he said: "As long as someone is engaged, listening and offering worthwhile and intelligent comments in debates, whether they have got a tie on doesn't matter."
A Rotorua Lakes Council spokeswoman said it did not have a formal dress code and people dressed appropriately for their roles and any engagements they needed to attend.