The Government has created a new public holiday for Aotearoa by passing the Matariki Public Holiday Act. From 2022, a public holiday marking Matariki will be held in June or July each year.
The first public holiday to celebrate Matariki will be on Friday 24 June 2022.
Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars, that rises in midwinter and for many Māori, heralds the start of the new year. Iwi across New Zealand understand and celebrate Matariki in different ways and at different times, some celebrate 7 stars, some 9.
The Government has committed to ensuring Maori knowledge 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.