Labour to make Matariki a public holiday

Deputy Labour Leader Kelvin Davis.

The Labour Party is backing New Zealanders’ calls for Matariki to become New Zealand’s 12th public holiday.

Matariki heralds the start of the Māori New Year and has now become a time of celebration not just for Māori but for many New Zealanders across Aotearoa.

“As I’ve travelled around New Zealand I’ve heard the calls for Matariki to become a public holiday – it’s time has come. It will also be a confidence boost that many sectors need right now,” says Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern.

“Matariki will be a distinctly New Zealand holiday and a time for reflection, celebration and to look to the future as we take increasing pride in our unique national identity.

“We don’t have many statutory holidays compared to other OECD countries and it would be good to break up the long run through winter."

Deputy Labour Leader Kelvin Davis is proud of the Government’s track record this term of elevating the status of our history and Māori culture.

“Making New Zealand history compulsory in schools, support for land wars commemoration and unveiling a statue to acknowledge Dame Whina Cooper have all helped to give a voice to a history, people and culture.

“A new holiday will help out our domestic tourism and hospitality sector as New Zealanders plan mid-winter getaways and will also allow the tourism industry to market Matariki globally to international travellers as a uniquely New Zealand winter experience in years to come.

“Celebrating Matariki every year will give Māori a chance to share our unique traditions, our history and our stories with the rest of New Zealand. Matariki means many things to many people – but for me it will always be a day where I will reflect on how far we have come as a country and be proud.

“None of our current public holidays recognise Māori culture and tradition. Making Matariki a public holiday is another step forward in our partnership as a people and a further recognition of te ao Māori in our public life.

“It is important to acknowledge that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on businesses and public holidays can create additional costs, which is why it wouldn’t come into force until 2022.

“We will work with Matariki experts to design and determine the appropriate dates for the public holiday, but we expect it will always fall on a Monday or a Friday."

New Zealand has 11 public holidays, counting regional anniversaries as one. Of the OECD countries, we are in the low-to-middle range for public holidays – with 18 countries having more than us, and 12 fewer.

The last public holiday introduced was Waitangi Day nearly 50 years ago.

Read more about it here.

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I guess he holidays...

Posted on 08-09-2020 11:33 | By morepork

...overseas on Waitangi Day. Don’t you love the way it requires a committee to be set up so the "partnership" (which is mentioned nowhere in the Treaty) can be acknowledged. Consultancy fees of course... I wonder how many non-brown people will be involved? Where is the balance? We can’t afford another holiday (cultural or otherwise) at the moment. Want to mark Matariki? Fine, do it yourself or with friends; don’t expect other people to pay for it.


Posted on 08-09-2020 06:35 | By

With the impending financial meltdown all they can come up with is a holiday.

Maori Holiday ...

Posted on 07-09-2020 15:26 | By Equality

.... Waitangi Day !!

Mark Watchman

Posted on 07-09-2020 14:47 | By Mark Watchman

You must be joking. With our economy in tatters due to covid the last thing we need is another public holiday. Businesses do not need this. Nor do we to be fair. Won’t be long we will be working less than time than we spend on leave.

think of small businesses

Posted on 07-09-2020 14:28 | By hapukafin

We all like more public holidays but can business houses afford it in the next few years.