Celebrating our first Matariki public holiday

Tamati Coffey
Labour List MP

 I’m really proud that we’ve delivered on Labour’s election commitment to establish a public holiday to celebrate Matariki. For the first time this year, people here in the Waiariki and across the country had the chance to enjoy a mid-winter holiday that was uniquely our own.

Matariki heralds the start of the Māori New Year and has increasingly become a time of celebration not just for Māori, but for many people in the Waiariki and across NZ. By making Matariki a public holiday, we’re ensuring everyone can spend this special time with friends and family.

We know there are lots of benefits to public holidays, and we’ve seen business leaders around the country noting Matariki provided a real boost to tourism and hospitality sectors, with lots of families planning mid-winter holidays.

Alongside NZ’s reputation for manaakitanga and being a beautiful place to visit, te ao Māori is another drawcard for international guests because it’s unique to Aotearoa. Matariki is another great opportunity for us to share our country’s history and culture with the world.

This Matariki, there were a range of events on across the country to help us celebrate and it was pleasing to see many in our community come together to mark the start of the Māori New Year.

Whether your family already had Matariki traditions, or you took the opportunity to start new ones – I hope you and your loved ones got a chance to come together and enjoy our first Matariki public holiday. Mānawatia a Matariki.


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