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New Zealand Adds Matariki Public Holiday Beginning In 2022

Source: Radio New Zealand News (Wellington)
Posted: Thursday, February 4, 2021
Most recent follow-up news item: July 8, 2021


New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has announced that Matariki (Maori New Year) would become an annual public holiday in New Zealand, beginning in 2022, when it will be observed on Friday, June 24, 2022 ("a time for reflection and celebration, and our first public holiday that recognises Te Ao Māori").

Last year, Prime Minister Ardern had announced that she was considering amending the Holidays Act 2003 and adding new public holidays "for Kiwis to come and experience their own backyard", and during the subsequent electoral campaign she promised that, if her Labour Party was re-elected, it would declare Matariki as a new annual public holiday in New Zealand (2020-10-21, 2020-10-17, 2020-09-06 and 2020-08-01).

Over the years there had been repeated calls to declare a new public holiday for Matariki (2018-07-09, 2012-06-21, 2009-06-17, 2009-06-23 and 2009-07-25).

For the moment, only the 2022 date of this new Matariki has been announced. A new Matariki Advisory Group, comprising experts in mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge), will be tasked with the determination of the dates of the Matariki public holiday for the next 30 years "to give businesses certainty about when it would happen". The dates of the new Matariki public holiday are expected to be moved to the nearest Monday or Friday.

The addition of an annual Matariki public holiday is 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.

Less systematically, a 2013 bill Mondayizing the Waitangi Day and Anzac Day public holidays, the Holidays (Full Recognition of Waitangi Day and Anzac Day) Amendment Bill, effectively added a total of 3 additional Monday public holidays ever since it became effective (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).



Links and References


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