September 07, 2020
Matariki to become public holiday
Labour is promising to create a public holiday around the Māori new year.
Leader Jacinda Ardern says Matariki will be a distinctly New Zealand holiday and a time for reflection, celebration and to look to the future.
A group of experts will help determine an exact date for the winter holiday but the party expects it will always fall on a Monday or a Friday within Matariki.
She says New Zealand doesn’t have many statutory holidays compared to other OECD countries and it would be good to break up the long run through winter.
Deputy leader Kelvin Davis says celebrating Matariki every year will give Māori a chance to share their unique traditions, history and stories with the rest of New Zealand.
A new holiday will also help the domestic tourism and hospitality sector as New Zealanders plan mid-winter getaways and it will also allow the tourism industry to market Matariki globally to international travellers as a uniquely New Zealand winter experience.
The holiday would be introduced in 2022 to give businesses time to prepare and recover from Covid-19.
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