Matariki public holiday

The Government has announced the official dates for the Matariki public holiday

The dates for the new Matariki public holiday have been announced today by the Government in partnership with the Matariki Advisory Group. These dates are when the official public holiday for Matariki will be observed from 2022-2052.

The first public holiday to celebrate Matariki will be on Friday 24 June 2022.

The Government has committed to ensuring mātauranga Maori is at the heart of celebrations 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

Matariki is an abbreviation of ‘Ngā Mata o te Ariki Tāwhirimātea’ (‘The Eyes of the God Tāwhirimātea’) and refers to a large cluster of stars, also known as the Pleiades. 

The predawn rising of Matariki in the mid-winter sky marks the changing of the seasons and the beginning of the Māori New Year. Some iwi recognise this time of year by the appearance of Puanga, also known as Rigel. There are also regions where the setting of Rehua, also known as Antares, is used to identify the change of seasons.

A Matariki public holiday will be our first public holiday that recognises Te Ao Māori.

Watch the films below to learn more about Matariki from the Matariki Advisory Group.

For employers, the celebration of Matariki will be considered a standard national public holiday. For more information on how this may impact your business, and the steps you’ll need to take, visit the Employment New Zealand website.

Employment New Zealand website(external link)

Matariki dates 2022 - 2052 – Matariki Advisory Committee [PDF, 163 KB]

Values for Matariki celebrations – Matariki Advisory Committee [PDF, 165 KB]

Next Steps

To create a new Matariki public holiday, a new Bill will be drafted. The Bill will be introduced later this year and people will have an opportunity to comment on the Bill during the Select Committee process.

The Select Committee process(external link) – Parliament website

The Matariki Advisory Group

The Government established a Matariki Advisory Group, to determine when and how Aotearoa will celebrate Matariki together as a public holiday from 2022.

The Group brings together recognised experts from across Aotearoa, who have deep knowledge and understanding in both Te Ao Māori and mātauranga Māori associated with Matariki and the Maramataka (lunar calendar).

Dr Rangiānehu Matamua has been appointed as the Chair who will lead the Group alongside members: Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr, Rereata Makiha, Victoria Campbell, Dr Pauline Harris, Dr Ruakere Hond and Jack Thatcher.

The Group is providing advice to Ministers on:

  • a date for a Matariki public holiday over the next 30 years,
  • how best to celebrate Matariki, and
  • what education and community resources are needed to improve understanding and knowledge of Matariki across Aotearoa.

The Group is leading engagement with Māori, Pacific peoples and other interested parties about how the Matariki public holiday should be celebrated.

Te Arawhiti and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment are providing joint secretariat support to the Group.

Last updated: 08 July 2021