Kelvin Davis: Two sides to making Matariki a public holiday

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 7 Sep 2020, 6:02PM
(Photo / Getty)
(Photo / Getty)

Kelvin Davis: Two sides to making Matariki a public holiday

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 7 Sep 2020, 6:02PM

Labour is backing calls to make Matariki a public holiday.

It would work out a winter date starting in 2022, to celebrate our national identity, cultures and traditions - and boost tourism and hospitality.

Waitangi Day was the last public holiday introduced, nearly 50 years ago.

Matariki - which heralds the start of the Maori New Year - would take the number of public holidays in New Zealand to 12 - counting regional anniversaries as one.

The Tourism Minister says there's two parts to Labour's election pledge to make Matariki a public holiday.

Kelvin Davis told Heather du Plessis-Allan there is the public holiday aspect - with benefits for the tourism, accommodation and hospitality sectors.

"Also there's the national identity side of things, it goes along with our agreement to teach New Zealand's history in schools and the commemoration of the Land Wars."

National leader Judith Collins says some of her team think a Matariki public holiday is a great idea.

But when asked about it today - before Labour's policy announcement - she said it would be another public holiday employers have to pay for.

Collins says she's concerned small businesses in particular are constantly facing added costs.

The Green Party's had welcomed the policy. Co-leader Marama Davidson has previously called for the move - and says the Maori New Year is a chance to claim our past, and look forward.

Labour's policy announcement says it would work out a winter date starting in 2022, to celebrate our national identity, cultures and traditions - and boost tourism and hospitality.

Waitangi Day was the last public holiday introduced - nearly 50 years ago.