Next Tuesday, 25 June, marks the start of the rise of Matariki, a cluster of stars known as the Pleiades which signifies a new year on the Māori lunar calendar. Matariki has come to greater prominence since the Māori Language Commission called for the event to be reclaimed.
It’s increasingly clear that Matariki is rising in the public’s imagination and celebrations are nationwide. Public events - such as those on in Auckland with the Matariki festival - include not just local authorities, but iwi and private enterprise to celebrate the event.
For some time New Zealand Republic has called for Matariki to become an official public holiday, replacing the odd and redundant Queen’s Birthday holiday.