20 Aug 2014

PM to consider land wars holiday

8:06 pm on 20 August 2014

The issue of whether or not to create a public holiday to commemorate the historic Maori land wars will be decided after the election, Prime Minister John Key says.

110314. Photo Diego Opatowski / RNZ. Prime Minister John Key announced that a referendum about a new flag will be held during the next parliamentary term.

Prime Minister John Key has said National would consider a public holiday to mark the historic Maori land wars. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

During the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Orakau in Waikato in April, Otorohanga High School launched a petition calling for the government to establish a commemorative day for New Zealanders to remember local civil battles.

The call was supported by Waikato-Tainui leader Tukoroirangi Morgan and Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell who said historic local battles needed to be remembered as much as those that occurred overseas.

Mr Key said if National was still in government after the September elections, his party would consider it.

He said he remembered the issue being raised with him during the Orakau Battle anniversary.

Mr Key said the challenge was finding another public holiday, by either creating a new one or replacing another one, which he would need to get advice on.

Powhiri for the official party at the site of the Battle of Orakau.

Powhiri for the official party at the site of the Battle of Orakau in April. Photo: RNZ / Andrew McRae

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