The first public holiday to celebrate Matariki will be on Friday, 24 June 2022. This official public holiday for Matariki will be observed for the next 30 years (2022-2052). The dates will vary each year between June and July. This Matariki public holiday will be our first public holiday that recognises Te Ao Māori.

The Government has committed to ensuring mātauranga Maori is at the heart of celebrations of the Matariki public holiday, and it will be a time for:

  • Remembrance – Honouring those we have lost since the last rising of Matariki
  • Celebrating the present – Gathering together to give thanks for what we have
  • Looking to the future – Looking forward to the promise of a new year

Matariki is an abbreviation of ‘Ngā Mata o te Ariki Tāwhirimātea’ (‘The Eyes of the God Tāwhirimātea’) and refers to a large cluster of stars, also known as the Pleiades.

The predawn rising of Matariki in the mid-winter sky marks the changing of the seasons and the beginning of the Māori New Year. Some iwi recognise this time of year by the appearance of Puanga, also known as Rigel. There are also regions where the setting of Rehua, also known as Antares, is used to identify the change of seasons.

What does this mean for employers?

  • Matariki, from an entitlement perspective, will be treated the same as existing public holidays.
  • Employees are entitled to a paid day off on a public holiday if they would have worked on that day if it wasn’t a public holiday (i.e., the public holiday falls on an ‘otherwise working day’ for the employee).
  • If an employee works on any public holiday, they are paid at least time and a half for the time they actually work on the day.
  • Your employment agreements will need to be updated with the additional public holiday taking our public holidays from 11 to 12 per annum.
  • If you have any workplace policies for existing public holidays, I’d recommend that you do the same.

Again, we can help you get these in place. Let your Hello Monday HR Consultant know, and they will get these documents updated for you.