Matariki Holiday Dates For Next Thirty Years Announced
The Government has released the recommended dates for the Matariki public holiday for the next thirty years to give communities and businesses certainty, Acting Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Peeni Henare and Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Wood announced today.
The Government is delivering on its pre-election commitment and New Zealand will celebrate Matariki as a public holiday from next year, beginning on 24 June 2022. The calendar date for the Matariki public holiday will shift each year to align with the maramataka (Māori lunar calendar) and will always be on a Friday.
“Matariki will be our first public holiday that recognises Te Ao Māori and will be one that is uniquely New Zealand,” Peeni Henare said.
“Mātauranga Māori has been at the heart of decision making on the new public holiday. The Matariki Advisory Group, recognised experts in Te Ao Māori and the mātauranga associated with Matariki and the Maramataka, have led this process, providing advice and engaging with communities across Aotearoa. We are grateful for their guidance, which is helping ensure Te Ao Māori is embedded within the day.
“Matariki is more than just a public holiday. Our celebration of the new public holiday will be informed by key values such as unity, sharing, feasting, coming together, and environmental awareness,” Peeni Henare said.
Matariki is the Māori name for the Pleiades, and refers to a cluster of stars that rises in mid-winter, marking the start of the Māori New Year. Some iwi name this time of year Puanga, after a bright star that is above and to the right of the Matariki constellation.
“The Matariki public holiday will always fall on a Friday, which will help more Kiwis take mid-winter getaways and support the tourism sector’s economic recovery,” Michael Wood said.
“The Matariki Advisory Group asked that we be guided by the whakataukī ‘Matariki hunga nui’ (Matariki brings us together). This new long weekend will allow people to travel to their hometown or around our regions, and spend time with their whānau.
“The public holiday always falling on a Friday will also mean many of those who miss out on the Mondayisation of holidays will have Matariki to look forward to,” Michael Wood said.
A stand-alone Bill to formally establish the Matariki public holiday will be introduced to Parliament later this year, and people will have the opportunity to provide their feedback during the select committee process.
The members of the Matariki Advisory Group are Professor Rangiānehu Matamua (chair), Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr, Rereata Makiha, Victoria Campbell, Dr Pauline Harris, Dr Ruakere Hond, and Jack Thatcher.
More information about the Matariki Public Holiday can be found on MBIE’s website.
When the Bill is introduced to Parliament, it will be led through the House by Hon Peeni Henare (Acting Associate Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage), and considered by the Māori Affairs Committee.
Proposed Matariki public holiday dates
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