Matariki as a national day and the lesson for policies and procedures

June 24, 2022 is going to be the first NZ Matariki national holiday. It was announced on 4 February 2021. New Zealanders will now have the opportunity to celebrate the rising of Matariki and the beginning of the Māori New Year.

National celebration of Matariki reflects national recognition and respect for mātauranga Māori and the seasons of our motu/country.

It’s been a long time coming with the first proposal to make Matariki a public holiday advanced in 2009.

There’s still a long way to go to give full effect to the promises of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. But the national celebration of Matariki is another small step away from the pattern of suppression and violence waged against Te Ao Māori through colonisation.

Lessons for workplace policies and procedures

The decision to regulate for the public holiday is a good example of how regulation can be used to not just comply with minima but can also help steer positive and transformational change.

In the workplace, policies and procedures are your key way of embedding and progressing change in areas like:

  • equity and inclusion
  • whānau -centred practice
  • child protection and wellbeing
  • quality improvement and continuous Learning
  • good governance
  • good employer practice
  • flexible working

In all these areas, you have the choice to use your policies and procedures to just meet compliance or to progress more substantive change in your organisation.

Your choice will reflect your organisation’s priorities, values and vision for the future.  But if you want to see change don’t just focus on your strategic plan or your values. Think about how you can use your policies and procedures to advance your vision.

Contact us if you want a hand with reviewing and updating your policies and procedures to help you progress and embed positive change in your workplace and satisfy compliance.


For more information about Matariki: 

From one of our readers: “A new panel of experts on tikanga and astronomy would set the dates for future years – but it is likely to always be on a Friday or a Monday. Matariki marks the rising of the cluster of stars known as the Pleiades. It usually rises in late May or early June. In Māori tradition it is seen as a time of renewal.” (Waller, N)

Matariki: the Māori New Year

Dr Rangi Matamua-Matariki Presentation 2017

New Matariki public holiday date to move around like easter date for 2022 to be announced.

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