Source:National Business Review (NZPA)
Posted: Saturday, July 25, 2009
Most recent follow-up news item: July 1, 2021
The Matariki Day Bill was one of the two bills pulled out of this week's members' ballot, which means that the bill proposing that Maori New Year be made a public holiday will get a hearing in New Zealand's Parliament.
Opposition and backbencher Government MPs can propose bills, independently of their party leadership. They are chosen for consideration by ballot and usually make very slow and difficult progress through Parliament because of the lack of time set aside to debate them. But the fact that the Matariki Day Bill was chosen in the ballot increases its chances greatly.
The Matariki Day Bill was introduced earlier this year (2009-06-17) by Maori Party MP Rahui Katene. It proposes that there should be a public holiday for the Matariki Maori New Year (around the rise of the new Moon and the rise of the Matariki or Pleiades star cluster in the night sky above New Zealand).
The bill has so far found support amongst those who regret the lack of indigenous celebrations, as well as those who do not like the scarcity of holidays during the austral winter months.
However, if the bill came to pass, due to widespread opposition to an increase in the number of public holidays in New Zealand, it would almost certainly mean the cancellation of one of the other public holidays. The Queen's Birthday public holiday and the Waitangi Day public holidays are the two most frequently mentioned candidates for removal from the official list of New Zealand public holidays (2009-06-23).
In related news, New Zealand's Minister of Labour, Kate Wilkinson, has formed a Ministerial Advisory Group of union and employer representatives, chaired by specialist employment lawyer Peter Kiely, to conduct a review of the Holidays Act 2003 (2009-06-03).
Links and References
Below are links to the news stories referred to in the above "New Zealand To Vote On Matariki Public Holiday" news story, as well as links to subsequents news stories which refer to the present news story.