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Mondayise Anzac, Waitangi (& Matariki)

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, June 8th, 2010 - 51 comments
Categories: Maori Issues, maori party, workers' rights - Tags:

The dearth of long weekends this year has made me feel cheated. And now with Queen’s Birthday over it’s a long wait till Labour weekend in October. It’s not fair dammit. Kiwis deserve a bit of a break over the long winter months.

Part of rectifying our lack of holidays problem is of course ‘mondayising’ ANZAC and Waitangi. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t want to rectify that little problem. Even the National Party’s David Farrar agrees the costs to business would be minimal.

But it’s time now to seriously consider dealing to the cold and harsh four and half months between June and October when Kiwis work the whole miserable and rainy time, without any long weekends to compensate.

I reckon a single day off in the middle of winter would help increase workers’ productivity overall. After all, who isn’t refreshed and a bit more rearing to go after a long weekend?

And what better event to celebrate modern New Zealand than Matariki. An occasion which deserves to be celebrated as a public holiday in its own right (regardless of the fact it’s in the middle of winter). The rise of the Matariki (Pleiades) constellation together with the new (or full) moon mark the Maori new year. It’s a time to celebrate the uniqueness of Aotearoa and the special place we have here.

What a wonderful thing to celebrate with a day off. Get Kiwis out to do the things they love for one long winter weekend.

John Key may have voted Matariki down last year. But the issue isn’t going away. At the very least it’d be great to see this become official Labour and Green Party policy, and that the Maori Party make it a condition of support for the next government.

Let’s pick a time in July and celebrate Matariki with a day off.

(Different iwi may celebrate Matariki at different times, but early July would help contribute to a more ideal spread of public holidays)


51 comments on “Mondayise Anzac, Waitangi (& Matariki)”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    It would be a much more sensible time of year for fireworks too. No one gives a toss about Guy or why he was gutted, so we should do away with that and sell fireworks when the ground is wet and the sun goes down nice and early.

    • Michael Foxglove 1.1

      Absolutely. Winter can be such a drag (especially in the cold dark deep south)… anything to brighten up the season would be welcome by a lot of people I reckon.

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      However the weather in November isn’t often that great as it is, it’ll be even worse having fireworks in winter where lots of events will get rained out or not attended due to wind and cold.

      • TightyRighty 1.2.1

        It’s a great idea from PB, why look for the negative Lanth? even the thought of it might scare away some winter blues.

  2. Santi 2

    Matariki? Give me a break. Put yourself in the shoes of a business owner and see if you can afford a new holiday. No, I cannot!

    • Tigger 2.1

      All business owners Santi? Small business owners? Who exactly are you speaking for here?

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        He did say that he was speaking for himself. He just tried to imply that his circumstances applied to everyone.

        • Captain Rehab

          He’s shit at running a business. Only a shit businessman wouldn’t be able to afford one day extra of holiday a year. Useless prick should be looking for another line of work rather than whinging about how hard it is for a shit businessman like himself to make a buck.

          • Sideoiler

            Or maybe employ one less staff member.

            • Captain Rehab

              So he’s got a staff of 365? And time to bitch on a blog. Constantly? I”m going with shit businessman. It’s more plausible.

          • comedy

            How many days does he give his staff off per year already fucktard ?

            [You too comedy – please make your comments without the 4th form insults — r0b]

            • Captain Rehab

              Oooh “fucktard”. Is that the best you can do santi-sockpuppeting-as-comedy? There’s not enough leave in the world that could compensate for having to work for a little worm like you.

              • comedy

                I expect you and work are complete strangers to each other.. unless you consider cranking yourself into a frenzy and covering your computer in spittle as work.

                • Mutante

                  I have said it before, and I’ll say it again. It says a lot about the mentality of right wing trolls that the best, and often only retort they can come up with is the implication that anyone of a different or opposing view is unemployed. The further implication that the unemployed have no right to an opinion is even more telling.

                  You could easily replace the lot of them with a bot that generated random comments concluding with “get a job” and nobody would notice.

                  • Captain Rehab

                    Funny thing is I don’t have a job. I do however own a business and I employ quite a few people. Having done this here and elsewhere in the world I can say that if you can’t do business well in New Zealand then you should not be running a business (and you definitely shouldn’t be complaining about the limited minimum conditions your staff get!).

                    That said, I don’t think idiots like santi and comedy could do business elsewhere. I just can’t see either of them doing very well in Europe or Asia given their limited social skills and unsophisticated politics.

              • Graham

                So, leaving aside the highly amusing comments that any 11-year-old would probably be laughing at, Captain Rehab, do you own a business yourself? Thus making you qualified to comment?

                • TightyRighty

                  what about the days lost trading? it’s not really the cost of labour, it’s the lost sales that are needed to pay for it.

                  • Lanthanide

                    For most businesses it isn’t really a loss. The money that would be spent is mostly spent on some other day. This might not quite be the case for recreational shopping where people spend money to feel good, not because they need or particularly what they’re buying, but IMO people shouldn’t be doing that anyway…

                    Retaurants however do lose out, as run pretty tight margins and don’t have huge revenue streams like other businesses do, while still having fairly high fixed costs, so being shut for even a day can cost them $$$. Then, on holidays when they can be open, the have to generally put on a surcharge if they hope to cover the costs for that day, and even then it’s not gauranteed (because people will simply stay home rather than pay the surcharge anyway).

          • Sarge

            I’m sure you’d be willing to give away one day of your income?? After all, only a shit worker couldn’t afford that??

    • Sam 2.2

      Prove it.

  3. Bill 3

    Every year. Same thing comes up. And every year I say the same thing. Here we go.

    New Year and associated celebrations are always held in the winter period for the very reasons outlined in the post…winter is a drag.

    But when NZ was colonised, those (business orientated?) fools from the Northern hemisphere transplanted their celebrations by the month rather than by the season. So now New Year is celebrated in the middle of the year (Meanwhile, all cultures mark NY at some point around the shortest day. Not the longest!) and there is nothing to relieve the tedium of winter.

    Matariki should definitely be a day off. I tried to negotiate it a few years ago for a CEA in a way that workers could choose one day, be it May Day or Matariki, Chinese NY or their budgie’s birthday. The boss wasn’t too far off biting.

    As for Guy Fawkes…well, I agree that fireworks in summer is dumb. And surely we could celebrate antiestablishmentarianism ( You might have a different slant on the whole affair) in the winter and choose any one of a 101 acts or people from these shores to signify the event and commemorate or celebrate.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      So now New Year is celebrated in the middle of the year …

      And the coming of Spring is celebrated at the beginning of Winter.

      • Bill 3.1.1

        Is there a Maori celebration that marks the onset of spring?

        I’m over all the out of whack irrelevant Northern hemisphere/ Christian stuff. ( Nothing against Christianity, just if celebrations are to be hi-jacked then keep to the appropriate time of year)

        Maybe people should throw a sickie en masse on some pre agreed day to mark Matariki. It’d get the ball rolling. Actually, a well coordinated piece of industrial action alone would be worth remembering with a holiday…

    • felix 3.2

      I’ve always felt that my year starts and ends around this time of year. I think that’s partly why I feel so out of step when everyone tries to make me drop everything at Christmas.

  4. ieuan 4

    Why not Sir Ed’s birthday (20th July) as a public holiday? I’d even be happy to trade that for the ‘Queens Birthday’ which isn’t even her birthday. Of course we should get the Monday off if it falls on a weekend.

  5. Roger 5

    “Part of rectifying our lack of holidays problem is of course ‘mondayising’ ANZAC and Waitangi. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t want to rectify that little problem.”

    I reckon that you could find some people working in retail or restaurants that probably won’t want this or would be indifferent. Public holidays are used by most as shopping days and are thus extremely busy days for the serf…i mean service/retail workers where time and a half is minimal compensation for the effort put in. If the crybabies behind desks want to celebrate ANZAC and Waitangi on Monday they can do it on their own time.

    Rather than more holidays celebrated what about fixing the situation we have now where Labour Weekend represents a chance to get away for some and for others just a weekend of hard labour.

    • Michael Foxglove 5.1

      Roger – couldn’t agree with you more that all workers deserve a day off. Those who do the hard yacker and work public holidays should get double pay and a day in lieu (though they should always have the option of not having to work).

      • Roger 5.1.1

        In theory they always do have the option, its just that the bosses operate on a ‘what goes around comes around’ mentality in relation to this. Say no to working public holidays now and see what happens when you apply for leave or need time off later. In some extreme occasions you can be seen as such a liability for refusing to work “when the business needs you” that a small mistake becomes a hatchet job that sends you out the door.

  6. Rharn 6

    I’m all for a national holiday to celebrate the defeat of this government.

    Any takes on this?

  7. Lanthanide 7

    Anzac day and Waitangi day should be Friday-ised, to make clearer their special meaning, where all other holidays are currently Monday-ised. Anzac day next year is still troublesome however, as it is going to fall on Easter Monday, so Friday-ising that is already out of the question, and IMO it’s probably not good to have a 5 day weekend (and 3-day working week on one side), so probably it should be pushed a week ahead or behind in that case. But that isn’t going to roll around for another hundred years or so, so no laws would need to be put in place to handle it.

    I’m going to talk to management towards the end of the year and see if we can get Anzac Day as a day in lieu and Waitangi Day Friday-ised at my work for next year.

    Also I would be in favour of scrapping January 2 as a holiday and moving that one to the middle of August, but I’m not sure about adding an additional day.

    @Roger: the idea is that Moday-ising (or Friday-ising) these two holidays would work exactly the same as Christmas and New Years that are currently Monday-ised. If you work on a Saturday, and the holiday is on the Saturday, then you get it as a holiday. If you work on a Monday but not on Saturday, and the holiday is on the Saturday, then you get the holiday on the Monday instead. If you work both Saturday and Monday, then you get Saturday as the holiday. So retail workers are not missing out under this scheme, in fact the people who do not work on the weekends are gaining holidays, but those who work on weekends are not losing anything.

    On that note as it currently stands, for all other holidays that normally fall on Mondays, if you don’t work on Monday, you don’t get the holiday. These too should be compensated for people (like retail workers) that only work on weekends, and they should get the Holiday Tuesday-ised or whatever-other day works to give them the first day of their working week off.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Also some more thoughts.

      Business owners are always grumbling about being forced to be closed on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Anzac Day and Xmas day (a whole 3 1/2 days per year!), especially when places like Taupo and Queenstown have exemptions.

      IMO work should be allowed on all of these days, but with the special condition of 2.5x pay + a day in lieue. That way if people are forced to work on these special holidays, at least they are getting some decent compensation for it. There are also some on low-paid jobs that would like to be able to work on these days, but because of current laws are prohibited from doing so. That would end the debate once and for all, with business owners being forced to acknowledge that these are special days.

      • Roger 7.1.1

        A good compromise, this would make businesses think twice about treating days of remembrance for history, sacrifice of past generations, or major religions as something other than cash cows. This would make your original rebuttal more valid because as it currently stands, if you don’t work Saturday but you do on Monday, you still probably won’t get the Monday anyway, But your children and/or spouse will so you may still need to arrange babysitting in the worst case scenario or miss a day with your family that others get to enjoy at best for $12.75ph*1.5.

        • Roger

          Sorry, and a day in lieu if rostered on the Monday that can be taken off when the kids are at school and the spouse is at work. Of course if you work and you are not rostered you dont get the day in lieu.

  8. ianmac 8

    If New Zealand became a Republic, and it will eventually, then Queens Birthday will be history. Then we would be able to choose a day to suit perhaps Matariki? Or maybe a Sir John Key Day? Or A Lord Dipton Day?

  9. DS 9

    I think we should bring back Dominion Day (7th September). It plugs the gap between Queens Birthday and Labour Day.

  10. rich 10

    Instead, how about swapping a few holidays and getting an extra week of statutory annual leave, to be taken at a time of the worker’s choosing.

    Forcing everyone to holiday at the same time is a nineteenth century hangover.

  11. Herodotus 11

    Mondising a day was far more pertinent when NZ was only open Mon-Fri. Now by Mondising it we are making those who work on these days more special than those of any other day. Say I work Tue-Sat then I miss out, and work the max number of days available.
    For me the status quo works with the addition of Matariki. By allowing ANZAC and Waitangi. The only days unique of the holidays to NZ then by prohibiting shops to be open we then elevate these days above all others (Except Easter Sunday and Christmas day). By having 4 non shopping days p.a. we as a community I think are saying that there are 2 special days for this country to celebrate/rememberance and 2 days that are to (indirrectly) celebrate family, a nice balance for me. For me Matariki should be the shop freee day and keep Waitangi as it is as for me and others I know this day is not a celebration and Matariki would have less politicialising associated with it.

  12. Chess Player 12

    If you really want to do this, the best way you can get this into action is by becoming an employer and then implementing the policy yourself.

    You know, lead by example, rather than wait for someone else to do it for you.

    That way, you are also well positioned to monitor the results on your business of the effectiveness of this policy, in terms of the posited improved productivity.

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