The Maori Party has asked Parliament to create a public holiday to celebrate Matariki, the Maori New Year, but it isn’t going to happen.
The National Party won’t support Rahui Katene’s bill because it doesn’t think a holiday is necessary.
I think it is a pity National won’t at least support the bill going to select committee. It would have been good to let the public have their say.
I don’t support the imposition of a 12th paid public holiday on employers. It would take us in the opposite direction to increasing productivity growth.
But I am not at all opposed to replacing an existing holiday with Matariki. A uniquely New Zealand holiday appeals more to me than some of our existing ones.
My views on our public holidays generally is:
- New Years x 2 – keep
- Provincial Holiday – would like to move at least the urban ones (Akl/Wgtn) to the same day but love having it in late January.
- Waitangi Day – keep and Mondayise (allow day off on Monday if at weekend)
- Easter x 2 – keep
- ANZAC Day – keep and Mondayise
- Queen’s Birthday – scrap. Not her birthday and not even UK celebrate it. Replace with Matariki.
- Labour Day – scrap as irrelevant. Replace with New Zealand Day on 26 September (and Mondayise). This should be our equivalent of US 4th of July.
- Xmas Day x 2 – keep
That would keep it to 11 holidays.