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New Zealand PM Promises Matariki Public Holiday

Source: Radio New Zealand News (Wellington)
Posted: Sunday, September 6, 2020
Most recent follow-up news item: April 7, 2022

New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has announced that, if her Labour Party is re-elected, her party would make Matariki, Maori New Year, New Zealand's 12th annual public holiday ("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").

The aforementioned electoral promise by New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, was preceded, last month (2020-04-28) by the minister for Māori development and local government, Nanaia Mahuta, announcing that New Zealand's Labour Party would support for the declaration of Matariki (Maori New Year) as a new annual public holiday in New Zealand ("Labour would be supportive of recognizing Matariki as a public holiday").

This was in line with an announcement, earlier this spring (2020-05-19), by Jacinda Ardern, that the government of New Zealand was actively considering measures to encourage domestic tourism, including amending the Holidays Act 2003 and declare additional public holidays "for Kiwis to come and experience their own backyard", immediately leading for calls that that new public holiday be Matariki (2009-06-17, 2009-06-23 and 2009-07-25).

There seems to be many calculation methods for Matariki, giving results often a month apart (2020-05-21), though our understanding has is that Matariki occurs on the new Moon which follows the heliacal rise of Matariki (aka. the Pleiades star cluster) in the night sky above New Zealand, around the month of June.

Speaking t the matter of the date of Matariki, Labour’s deputy leader Kelvin Davis stated that "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".

This would be the first new public holiday in New Zealand since 1973, when the Labour Government of Prime Minister, Norman Kirk, made Waitangi Day a new annual public holiday in New Zealand, although a 2013 bill Mondayizing the Waitangi Day and Anzac Day public holidays, the Holidays (Full Recognition of Waitangi Day and Anzac Day) Amendment Bill (2013-04-17, 2013-03-13, 2013-02-19, 2012-09-14, 2012-07-25, 2012-07-17, 2012-02-08, 2011-10-18, 2011-01-28), has effectively added 3 additional Monday public holidays ever since it became effective.

Links and References

Below are links to the news stories referred to in the above "New Zealand PM Promises Matariki Public Holiday" news story, as well as links to subsequents news stories which refer to the present news story.