New Zealand announces new Matariki public holiday
Sunday, February 7, 2021
The New Zealand Government on Thursday announced the creation of a new public holiday, Matariki. Matariki marks the beginning of the New Year, which coincides with the rising of the , known as in the .
At, New Zealand said "This will be a day to acknowledge our nation's unique, shared identity, and the importance of . It's going to be something very special, and something uniquely New Zealand." Ardern also said the new holiday would break up the over-4 month gap between public holidays in June and October.
The date of the Matariki holiday is not consistent from year to year, as it follows Maramataka, the Māori lunar calendar, but would likely always fall on a Monday or Friday according to Ardern. A Matariki advisory group has been established, with Māori Crown Relations — Te Arawhiti — Ministerexplaining that the purpose of the group is "to provide advice on future dates of the public holiday, how it should be celebrated and to support the development of resources to educate the public on Matariki and the celebrations". The first Matariki holiday is scheduled for Friday, June 24 of next year.
Ardern'smade the Matariki holiday an election promise, and won last year's with a majority. This result was the best for any party since New Zealand's 1996 adoption of a .
This is not the first attempt to make Matariki a public holiday. In 2009,Member of introduced legislation to create a Matariki public holiday. While it was supported by the then-opposition Labour Party, the governing did not support it, and it was defeated with 59 votes in favour and 63 votes against.
- "Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reveals date of first Matariki public holiday" — , February 4, 2021
- Elle Hunt. "New Zealand creates public holiday to celebrate Māori new year" — , February 4, 2021
- Matthew S. Schwartz. "New Zealand PM Ardern Wins Re-Election In Best Showing For Labour Party In Decades" — , October 17, 2020
- "Labour promises to make Matariki a public holiday from 2022" — , September 7, 2020
- "Te Rā o Matariki Bill/Matariki Day Bill — First Reading" — , August 19, 2009
- "National not keen on Matariki holiday" — , August 5, 2009