The Green Party is calling for Matariki to become a public holiday, allowing New Zealanders to celebrate the Māori New Year over a long weekend.
Green Party Co-leader and Māori Development spokesperson Marama Davidson said today:
“Here in Aotearoa there has been an incredible push to embrace tikanga Māori. The time has come for there to be a Māori holiday on our whenua, further revitalising Māori culture.
“We should absolutely be pushing for this extra public holiday that gives us time for leisure, celebration and time with whānau.
“It gives us time to look up at the night sky and teach our kids about how Māori used the stars to predict the weather and find their way at sea.
“We can teach them how we used this time of year to mark a transition, honouring those that have passed in the previous year and welcoming the Māori New Year.”
Green Party tourism spokesperson Gareth Hughes said today:
“Additional to increasing cultural awareness around our shared history, this offers an extra day for New Zealanders to get out to the regions and support small businesses that have been hurt by the drop off of international visitors.
“New Zealanders work really hard and are at the lower end of the scale internationally when it comes to annual public holidays. Another day off to get out and celebrate with family would be well overdue.
“When it comes to those public holidays, it’s appropriate that there’s days to celebrate tikanga Māori alongside Euro-centric celebrations.”