As the country prepares to celebrate the second annual Matariki public holiday, the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions says the holiday is fast becoming a significant symbol of our growth as a proud multicultural nation.
NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff said Matariki has long been celebrated by communities throughout New Zealand.
“Recognising Matariki as a national public holiday marks a significant step towards embracing the values that lie at the heart of our collective identity. By providing an opportunity for all New Zealanders to pause and reflect on the cultural heritage symbolised by Matariki, this decision fosters a sense of unity and respect for all.
Recognising Matariki as a public holiday allows workers across the country to enjoy a well-deserved break and enjoy festivities that honour Matariki’s significance, said Wagstaff.
“This is also an opportunity for working people to spend time with their families and communities.”
“The Labour Government deserves recognition for championing this initiative, amidst strong opposition in Parliament by National and ACT, and in doing so has underlined its commitment to supporting a fair and inclusive society.”
The NZCTU encourages all New Zealanders to embrace Matariki and utilise this time to deepen their understanding of Māori culture and traditions.
“We hope that this new public holiday serves as a catalyst to continue strengthening the bonds between our communities and fostering a greater sense of unity.
“Mānawatia a Matariki.”