Tens of thousands are expected at a national memorial service next Friday to mark the “terrible loss of life” in the Christchurch earthquake, with Cantabrians to get the day off to attend.
Prime Minister John Key this afternoon announced the service would be held at North Hagley Park in Christchurch on March 18. …
The Government would introduce legislation to make the date a one-off provincial public holiday in Canterbury so local people could attend if they wished.
Mr Key said Cabinet had considered a nationwide public holiday, but decided a provincial holiday better reflected what was needed.
I think a nationwide public holiday would have been un-necessary, even though many NZers will want to watch the service, they’ll do so in their workplaces. I like having it as a holiday in Canterbury though.
Labour leader Phil Goff said he had spoken with Mr Key about the proposed memorial service.
“I believe it’s totally appropriate to have a commemoration of the very large number of people who have lost their lives. This is an awful event and it’s one that we must treat with respect and we must acknowledge,” Mr Goff said.
“I’m not persuaded, however, that a day’s holiday is the best way of doing that.
“I’ve talked to people in Christchurch and they’ve said ‘we’ve got a huge job ahead of us, we’ll be flat out, how’s it going to help us if the rest of the country’s having a day off?’ and I think that that is right.”
The hypocrisy is staggering. First of all Goff is wrong – the rest of the country isn’t having a day off. Only people in Canterbury.
But it is the Labour Party that has been demanding for some months that the Government urgently amend the Holidays Act so people get an extra two day’s holiday this year because Waitangi Day is on a weekend and we have the 1 in 90 year occurence (next happens in 2095) of Easter Monday falling on ANZAC Day.
So Labour after spending months demanding two extra days holiday for the entire country this year, now are against having a provincial holiday to mourn our biggest ever natural disaster.
Do they even think about the word consistency?