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Be honest on holidays, John

Written By: - Date published: 1:22 pm, January 31st, 2011 - 44 comments
Categories: john key, workers' rights - Tags: ,

John Key says he needs ‘advice’ on Mondayising ANZAC Day and Waitangi Day. The fact is the move would be right and popular but his business mates are too cheap to pay an extra 4 days every 7 years. Key’s just playing for time.

Key says “For a start off, ANZAC Day is here to commemorate those who went and fought for freedom and democracy in New Zealand. Are we saying just any old day will count?”

Leaving aside the issue of whether getting blown up at Gallipoli and Passchendaele had anything to do with freedom and democracy in New Zealand, this argument is stupid. All our other public holidays are fixed to week days. Did Key celebrate Christmas on the 27th or New Year’s on the third because that’s when the public holiday was?

Key should be courageous enough to either support Mondayisation or tell us his real reasons for opposing it.

44 comments on “Be honest on holidays, John ”

  1. Rharn 1

    He’s waiting for public opinion to tell him what way to go.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Public opinion is already in favour of it that means he’s waiting for his masters to tell him which way to go.

    • Deadly_NZ 1.2

      NO he is waiting for his Business masters to tell him what to do.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    Yeah, it’s pretty pathetic, and anyone who knows how the Christmas/New Years holidays work (almost everyone who works on a weekend should have an idea about) should be able to see through his waffle.

    I’ve said it several times (in open mike today too, I believe) that I think these two holidays should be Friday-ised, for two reasons:
    1. People who work standard Tuesday-Saturday weeks gain no benefit for Monday-ised holidays.
    2. To recognise these two holidays as being of special significance compared to the other Monday-ised holidays.

    Does anyone have any serious arguments as to why they should be Monday-ised, as opposed to Friday-ised?

    • Richard 2.1

      I don’t see any real reason why it can’t be Friday instead of Monday. Except, that possibly for some businesses Friday might be quite busy…but equally for some businesses Monday could be quite busy.

      1. People who work standard Tuesday-Saturday weeks gain no benefit for Monday-ised holidays.

      Probably, there are people who normally don’t work Fridays too. So, whatever way this is cut, somebody will be disadvantaged.

      2. To recognise these two holidays as being of special significance compared to the other Monday-ised holidays.

      I don’t think that these holidays have any particular significance to most people, over and above other holidays.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        1. Yes, but there are already many Monday-ised holidays and few Friday ones (Good Friday and show day in Canterbury being all that I can think of).

        2. Maybe not ‘most’, but sizable minorities consider these holidays important, more-so than would consider Queens Birthday, a provincial anniversary or new year’s day as being particularly important.

        • Richard

          1. Sure. I’m not certain that Good Friday is a valid example though. It’s on Friday for a different reason. Just like Easter Monday is on a Monday for a different reason.

          2. Maybe. Although, I think that rather more people would consider them to all to be equally important because they are holidays, rather than because of whatever antique religious feast / military alliance / aristocracy / treaty / event they technically commemorate.

          Like I said, Friday seems as good as Monday. I can’t see a good reason not to make some Fridays. Equally, I can’t see a good reason not to make them all Mondays.

          • Herodotus

            I have always agreed on if these days have to be observed mid week, then as Lanthanide on3.1.2 re 31/01/11 post. To make these days different then by observing them on a Friday makes them isn some small fashion semi unique.
            there are potentially 55% of stat days that could be observed on a Monday currently so we could end up with the situation of 8 Mondays being stat days out of 11 !!!.
            There is something for me of winding down for a prolonged weekend.
            So Richard instead of having 8 days on Monday and only 1 on Friday, is a great reason to observe these 2 days on Fri instead of Mon.

            • Richard

              I still can’t see that it really matters.

              Ensuring that something clear, transparent, and easily understood is done when the holiday falls in a weekend, that moves it into a weekday is all that is important.

              Being too clever about balancing holiday days and so forth, which will never be equitable to everybody’s work schedule anyway, is just asking for somebody like John Key to claim that it is too difficult to do at all.

              • Herodotus

                It still keeps some uniqueness ino these 2 days, and when someone asks why they are observed say on a Fri then to answer their special nature warrents this-it waybe a small point of difference.
                Also Richard what have you against Fri other than current convention. And that from a purist point of view some get paid for the holiday before it is due as opposed to Mon when payment for the stat day is post the event.
                On a psychological basis on a personal level always fell more relaxed building up to a Fri than Mon off.

        • orange whip?

          For the sake of simplicity we could Fridayise the holidays which fall on a Saturday and Mondayise the ones that fall on a Sunday.

          Does that make sense?

          • Lanthanide

            Seems reasonable on the face of it, but it makes this scenario a bit strange:
            If xmas and boxing day are on Sat and Sun, they move to Mon and Tues, respectively.

            If xmas is on Sunday and boxing is on Mon, then xmas moves to Tuesday and boxing stays on Monday.

            How would we treat it under Sat->Fri and Sun->Mon scheme, would you keep it as-is so that it then becomes Sun->Tue in this particular instance?

            captcha: seriess

            • orange whip?

              Good question. I’ll let the people in the white coats figure out the details, I’m just big picture 🙂

              • Lanthanide

                Actually simple answer: Xmas and New Years, being double-holidays, are kept as-is. The new rule for Sun->Mon and Sat->Fri would be in place only for ANZAC and Waitangi days (and any other 1-off holidays that were similarly affected).

  3. Craig Glen Eden 3

    I think he is also stalling for time but if he did do it, this would be another Labour made me do it line (Englishes dead rats) when talking to his business stacked audiences just like his last election campaign where they knew they couldn’t get in unless they kept popular Labour policy then go on blaming Labour because the stuff they wanted ( Tax cuts for the rich) has put the country into hock.
    Much in the same way Tolley is trying to blame Labour for leaky schools, chickens that have come home to roost after National changed building code standards.

  4. The Voice of Reason 4

    If Key needs advice, he should just ring an Aussie. Any Aussie. They’ve been doing dawn services on the 25th, with a Monday holiday when the 25th falls on the weekend, for ages now (except Tasmania, for some obscure reason). Last year, the day off was observed on the Tuesday as the Monday was a religious holiday. So that was a five day weekend. Didn’t cause any Aussie businesses to go bankrupt as far as I can tell.

    OK, it’s not actually closing the wage gap with Australia, but it would be a step in the right direction if Key chose to do it.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Apparently Australians working at the Australian Embassey in Wellington when Waitangi day fell on a Saturday last year got the following Monday off, while all us NZers had to go to work.

      Yes, that’s right – Australians got a day off to celebrate *our* national holiday and we didn’t.

      That would be a pretty good line for Labour to run against National, I think.

  5. orange whip? 5

    Thinking about which businesses are really affected by this says a lot about Key.

    It’s not the self employed, the small businesses with a few employees, the owner operators who will notice the difference.

    No, the “business mates” Key is looking out for here are the supermarket chains, the Warehouse, Infratil, Carter-Holt Harvey, Fletchers, the banks, Sky City etc.

    That’s who he’s governing for.

    (oh, and that other big employer – the government itself. Because every dollar the govt pays in wages is a dollar that could go towards a tax cut for the richest people in NZ)

  6. tsmithfield 6

    Funny how this is suddenly such a big issue for Labour now when they had 9 years to do something about it but didn’t.

    • The Voice of Reason 6.1

      Do keep up, TS, that was yesterday’s line. Please contact your handlers immediately for today’s diversion.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        No, according to our PM it’s still today’s line.

        It’s a bit self-serving for the Labour Party to be saying that it’s a great idea. They had nine years in office, they faced exactly the same set of conditions we did and they did nothing about it.

        Yep, while Labour were busy doing everything they did do it is still their fault for not being able to do everything all at once.

    • Armchair Critic 6.2

      And now for another equally useless statistic:
      Out of the last 20 years, National have had eleven years to do something about it. That includes the last two years. And they did nothing. Nothing at all.
      Point is, it’s an issue now. What do you think National should do now, TS?

    • Blighty 6.3

      I’m just stunned that National didn’t sort it during their previous nine years in power.

      In fact, National clearly shoudn’t sell any assets because they had nine years to sell any and all they wanted to in the 1990s, eh?

      As TS has taught us: clearly any party that has ever been in power has had their chance to do whatever they wanted and now should just shut the hell up for the rest of time.

  7. GP 7

    Last year my local paper did an article on this subject. The reporter asked Trevor Mallard about Labours position on this and he said they were not interested in changing holiday dates to a Monday.

    Needless to say, its hard not to be cynical with this change of stance from Labour happening now.

    Oh and before you ask, no i don’t have a link to the story to back up my claim, sorry.

    • The Voice of Reason 7.1

      What’s your local paper, GP? I’ll look it up for you if you’d like. I’ve been trying this google thing and it seems to be quite effective. Who knows, it may take off one day!

      I’d be surprised to find Mallard commenting that way, especially since it’s been on the agenda for Labour since before last Easter, when the issue first arose and it was raised by unions affiliated to the Labour Party as a possible policy. Perhaps Trevor didn’t get the memo or was just putting his personal position?.

      • Carol 7.1.1

        It’s here as reported in January 2010:

        A spokesman for Internal Affairs Minister Nathan Guy said the Government had no plans to "Mondayise" the public holidays because the dates were of national, historical significance.

        Labour's spokesman for labour relations, Trevor Mallard, said his party had no intention of proposing that people be compensated for having fewer statutory holidays.

        • The Voice of Reason

          Er, that doesn’t help much, Carol. It’s not a direct quote and it looks like he wasn’t even asked his view on Mondayising anyway. He has obviously been asked a nonsense question (‘should workers be compensated for not getting the day off?’ or similar) and has given an answer to that, which the reporter has then written up as a precis.

          Here’s a more detailed version of Mallard’s personal opinion, from a year ago:


          Of, course, Trevor’s personal opinions should not be taken as official Labour party policy anyway, even when they do coincide.

  8. GP 8

    Cheers carol, although that’s not the story I was refering to as I live in the South Island, it was along those lines

  9. Daveski 9

    The Nix were bad on Sunday but still did enough to beat the Jets. If this is Labour’s idea of a circuit breaker, then the Nats won’t have to be any good to beat Labour.

    Funny thing was, this site used to be opposed to flip flops as a matter of principle.

    • Blighty 9.1

      where’s the flip flop? I don’t recall Labour’s leadership ever arguing against Mondayisation in the past. It just didn’t come up as an issue

  10. mcflock 10

    Given that Key is obviously stalling for time to see which way the wind is blowing (yet again), the thought occurs that it’s not just statutory holidays when Key wears his flip-flops – he wears them all the time.

  11. gobsmacked 11

    Key says “For a start off, ANZAC Day is here to commemorate those who went and fought for freedom and democracy in New Zealand. Are we saying just any old day will count?”

    The Queen’s Birthday holiday is here to commemorate, um, the Queen’s Birthday. But any old day will count. It’s never on her birthday.

    As a republican, I couldn’t care less. But I would expect a right royal ass-kisser like John Key to stop us having a day off in June for no reason. Seeing as he’s so consistent and principled about these things.

    When you’re ready John, we can do Jesus’ real birthday next …

    • Pascal's bookie 11.1

      “For a start off, ANZAC Day is here to commemorate those who went and fought for freedom and democracy in New Zealand. Are we saying just any old day will count?”

      (Pssst John, not everyone that fought and died for NZ was at Gallipoli, it’s already pretty arbitrary. Symbols are like that.)

      • prism 11.1.1

        I’m quite happy if one day is set aside for a holiday so people can commemorate those who died so that others could have a good life. My father might go along with that. As his bones lie in France (I hope) where his grave is, he can’t be here to comment. On his behalf and as a child who was left without a father for years, with a lot of grief in the family, I pronounce my vote for Anzac Day to be a holiday, but a half-day only for commercial purposes.

    • Sean 11.2

      Key says “For a start off, ANZAC Day is here to commemorate those who went and fought for freedom and democracy in New Zealand. Are we saying just any old day will count?”

      No, they didn’t Mr Key. They weren’t fighting for freedom and democracy – they were fighting for God, for King, and for Country. You know, Empire – on which the Sun has set.

      But that doesn’t matter. We said “We would remember them”, that’s why we have ANZAC day.

      • The Voice of Reason 11.2.1

        Nice one, Sean. We will remember them. Well, most of us will. The PM only remembers hotties and how to smile and wave.

  12. Pascal's bookie 12

    Any righties want to be honest about why they oppose it?

    All I’m seeing is ‘nine years’ and ‘flipflops’,
    right thinking persons will notice,
    are not arguments for or agin the notion.

    So I guess they is for it then,
    in which case, good.

    Or they is agin it,
    in which case, they is supportin’ the point of the
    Which was:

    The fact is the move would be right and popular but his business mates are too cheap to pay an extra 4 days every 7 years. Key’s just playing for time….

    …Key should be courageous enough to either support Mondayisation or tell us his real reasons for opposing it.

    • Rosy 12.1

      Just on the notion of ‘flip flops’. This concept as a argument really annoys me. I’ve so much more respect for people who can say “I’m sorry, I was wrong. I think the argument you have for xyz is correct”. I know it’s hard and the MSM takes no prisoners on this. It can also help negate the carping by bb and similar.

      But Jeez, JK should be saying, for example, “what I said about emulating Ireland was wrong,” and Goff should have no problem saying that history has proved asset sales were not in the best interests of NZ. It also helps negate the carping by BB and similar.

      And on mondayising JK talking about needing ‘advice’ is pretty close to being willing to change his mind and this is one way he garners respect, so won’t be accused of ‘flip-flopping’ – even if he is a lying toad.

  13. Vicky32 13

    Did anyone hear John Campbell’s sneer against Labour in his item on this issue?
    “Labour had 9 years in power in which they could have fixed it, now they say they care?” (paraphrase..)

  14. Michael 14

    ANZAC day is a day to commemorate those who fought and died in the various wars New Zealand has been entangled in. The purpose of the public holiday is solely to allow people to take part in commemorative events. Similarly for Waitangi Day. When they were instituted we didn’t have 7 day shopping or many people on working weeks outside M-F so there may be a case for increasing the protections in the Shop Trading Hours Act to limit shop hours to 1/2 day on Waitangi Day, and a full close on Anzac Day.

    Christmas, Boxing Day, New Years and Day After NY are public holidays to allow time off over the end of year traditional holiday. But because the traditional full shutdown over Christmas is now a thing of the past, there probably can be an arguement made to de-Mondayise these holidays and instead increase everyone’s Minimum Annual Leave by 2 days per annum to cover the loss of days over the years.

  15. tsmithfield 15

    Unlike some of his recent brainwaves, at least Goff isn’t writing cheques he can’t bank with this one.
    I heard Goff interviewed on the radio and he made some of the same points that Key did about the issues that would need to be sorted, so I don’t think it is fair to single out Key when Goff was raising the similar issues.

    • Lanthanide 15.1

      In which case Goff has lost the plot.

      There aren’t any issues that aren’t already faced by the Xmas and New Years holidays, and those issues have been solved (as evidenced by the way that law has worked since 2004 without any publicly raised issues).

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