Date for Matariki celebration confirmed

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the date of the first Matariki public holiday.

The first Matariki public holiday will be held on Friday 24 June 2022 after consideration by an expert panel.

The exact day will shift each year, similar to Easter, but will most likely always fall between June and July.

The rising of Matariki, or the star cluster known as Pleiades, usually occurs near the end of June and the beginning of July. This marks the start of the Māori New Year.

Ardern said that “Matariki will be a distinctly New Zealand holiday; a time for reflection and celebration, and our first public holiday that recognises Te Ao Māori.”

The new holiday will give people a break between the public holidays that currently exists on Queen’s Birthday in early June and Labour Day in late October.

With the Matariki holiday, New Zealand will have 12 public holidays.

The last public holiday to be introduced was Waitangi Day nearly 50 years ago.

Legislation will be introduced later this year to amend the Holidays Act.

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