The Dom Post editorial:
Today is Wellington Anniversary Day, when we celebrate the arrival of the first settler ship in New Zealand. Probably not many Wellingtonians actually know that this is the occasion for their day off. And thereby hangs a tale and a political argument.
The Aurora landed at Wellington Harbour (then called Port Nicholson) with 148 emigrants and 21 crew aboard on 22 January 1840. Nowadays Wellington Anniversary Day is celebrated on the Monday nearest to 29 January. We’re not entirely sure why.
The point is that this is an arbitrary sort of anniversary which remains obscure to most of the people who observe it. In a way it comes as a bit of a nuisance as well: it arrives just when most of us are starting to get used to being back at work after the summer break. …
There is no national public holiday between Queen’s Birthday (June 5) and Labour Day (23 October).
So we don’t get a national holiday during most of the long dark winter months. We have to wait till well into spring for a break.
What we need is a holiday in the depths of winter, when everyone is fed up and needs an excuse for a knees-up. We should have, in other words, a holiday somewhere about the end of July.
By then we are cold and sick of everything.
The best way of making the reform would be simply to abolish all those meaningless anniversary days and switch them to, say, July 26. Wellington would give away its nice-but-unnecessary summer holiday in exchange for a desperately-needed feast in the dark time of the year.
Sounds a good plan to me.