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New Zealand Republic launches Matariki holiday petition

New Zealand Republic has launched a petition to make Matariki a public holiday, using parliament's petitions website.

"Over recent weeks there has been increasing calls for a public holiday to mark the Māori New Year, Matariki. After discussing the issue with our members we have decided to create a petition to the House of Representatives to create a public holiday for Matariki" said Lewis Holden, campaign chair of New Zealand Republic.

The petition proposes Matariki be observed on the day of the next new moon following the day in which it rises in the months of May or June. This is in line with former MP Rahui Katene's members' bill from 2009.

"10 years ago Rahui Katene's members' bill was voted down, we think it's time Parliament considered the issue again" added Mr Holden.

"Matariki is an increasingly important date for New Zealand. Matariki recognises our indigenous origins, as well as bringing together all peoples of New Zealand at events from public fireworks, festivals, Kapa Haka competitions and many others. Outside of New Zealand, numerous other countries mark the rising of the Pleiades cluster at the end of May or start of June. It's time to give Matariki official recognition by creating a new public holiday." concluded Mr Holden.

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