The date for the first Matariki public holiday will be June 24th 2022.
Matariki is the Māori name for the Pleiades star cluster. Before sunrise during New Zealand’s winter, the cluster is visible as a faint sparkle of tiny dots when you look towards the northeast horizon. It rises during June or July and marks the beginning of the Māori new year.
On announcing the date, Ardern said it was time to have a distinctly New Zealand holiday: “a time for reflection and celebration, and our first public holiday that recognises Te Ao Māori”.
“This will be a day to acknowledge our nation’s unique, shared identity, and the importance of tikanga Māori. It’s going to be something very special, and something uniquely New Zealand.
“It will also break up the lag between public holidays that currently exists between Queen’s Birthday in early June and Labour Day in late October.”
Making Matariki a new public holiday was one of the first election promises made by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Labour during the 2020 general election campaign.
The holiday will be the first new public holiday in New Zealand in almost 50 years. The dates for future years will be announced shortly.