New Zealand’s Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern has announced that legislation will be introduced this year to recognise Matariki as a public holiday.
The rising of Matariki (the star cluster also known as the Pleiades) in New Zealand’s mid-winter usually occurs toward the end of June and the start of July, and traditionally marks the start of the Māori New Year.
The New Zealand Government has announced that the date of the first public holiday for Matariki will be Friday 24 June 2022. The holiday will not have a fixed date every year. Rather, it will operate as a ‘moveable feast’ between June and July, with future dates to be confirmed by a newly-established Matariki Advisory Group.
The inclusion of the Matariki holiday would increase the total number of New Zealand’s public holidays to 12 each year.