Matariki public holiday – a time for remembering, celebrating and looking forward
Published: 02 July 2021
The Government has announced the dates for the Matariki public holiday for the next thirty years.
Mātauranga Maori is at the heart of the Matariki public holiday, and it will be a time for:
- Remembrance – Honouring those we have lost since the last rising of Matariki
- Celebrating the present – Gathering together to give thanks for what we have
- Looking to the future – Looking forward to the promise of a new year
Matariki is the Māori name for the Pleiades, and refers to a cluster of stars that rises in mid-winter, marking the start of the Māori New Year. Some iwi name this time of year Puanga, after a bright star that is above and to the right of the Matariki constellation. It is also an important time in the Pacific, which has significant associations with Matariki.
The Matariki Advisory Group, recognised experts in Te Ao Māori and the mātauranga associated with Matariki and the Maramataka, has provided advice on the values underpinning the new public holiday, as well as the dates for the public holiday for through to 2052.
New Zealand will celebrate Matariki as a public holiday from 24 June 2022. The calendar date for the Matariki public holiday will shift each year to align with the maramataka (Māori lunar calendar). Shop trading hours will not be impacted.
A Bill to formally establish the Matariki public holiday will be introduced to Parliament later this year, and people will have the opportunity to provide their feedback during the select committee process.
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