The battle for a public holiday to commemorate the New Zealand Lands Wars has been won – now, all they need to do is set a date.
Deputy Prime Minister Bill English made the announcement on Friday during the return of the Rangiriri battlesite to Maori at Turangawaewae.
The historic site was handed back at the 10th anniversary celebrations of Maori King Tuheitia’s reign.
I’ve looked for a press release confirming this, but can’t find one. I assume the reports are correct. It just seems unusual for such a significant announcement to have no release attached to it.
Work was underway to determine the day best suited for the celebrations.
“One of the things they are asking to consider is it does not clash with any particular battle site commemorations, so that it can be a clean and stand alone date and then people can have their commemorations on their dates free and clear of any hinderances,” Papa said.
June, September and October seemed to be “fairly clear”, he said, and “everyone would likely prefer a warmer month”.
A decision around the date was expected before the end of the year.
Creating a specific day to remember the land wars would lead to more people exploring what it meant.
I’m happy to have one of our public holidays to be to commemorate the NZ Land Wars. They are part of our history.
However I don’t think employers should have to fund an extra day’s holiday pay for it. So the new public holiday should replace an existing one to keep them at 14.
Both Queen’s Birthday and Labour Day are fairly meaningless to most NZers. I say replace one with Land War Day (or some better name) and the other with a New Zealand Day.
UPDATE: It appears the media reports were incorrect and a public holiday has not been announced. There will be a commemoration day but it will not necessarily be a public holiday.