8 Sep 2020

Matariki public holiday recognition meaningful to Maori

From First Up, 5:52 am on 8 September 2020

The Labour Party has promised to make Matariki a public holiday from 2022 if re-elected - in what would be the first new public holiday in nearly 50 years. Earlier this year nearly 35 thousand people signed a petition calling for Matariki to become a public holiday, after Jacinda Ardern said the government was considering more public holidays to encourage domestic tourism. National, ACT, New Zealand First and the Employers and Manufacturers Association say it's a bad move for businesses though, and it should replace a current public holidays instead. But news that the Maori New Year could become a public holiday has been welcomed by many - including Dr Rangi Matamua, who's a senior academic at the University of Waikato and a lecturer in Maori Astronomy. He also wrote the book 'Matariki the star of the year' and he spoke with Indira Stewart.