Most Kiwis support a public holiday during Matariki – 1 NEWS poll

Anna Whyte
Source: 1News

Most New Zealanders support celebrating Matariki as a public holiday, the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll has shown. 

Of those polled, 69% were in support  of making Matariki a public holiday from 2022, 23% were opposed and 8% either did not know or refused to answer.

The groups of people who were more likely than average to support making Matariki a public holiday were women aged between 18-54, Green and Labour supporters, Asian New Zealanders and men aged between 18-34 and Māori. 

The groups of people who were more likely than average to not support making Matariki a public holiday were ACT and National supporters, people aged 70 and older and New Zealand Europeans. 

Labour and the Green Party are pledging to give New Zealanders a new public holiday during Matariki - the time of the year a cluster of stars signals the beginning of the Māori New Year.

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern today said the idea was "both an acknowledgment of a public holiday that is directly in keeping with New Zealand’s identity and Māori New Year".

"There will be those who have their own position but certainly the majority of people who I have come across are very, very positive."

National's Judith Collins has previously said adding another public holiday could be what sets struggling businesses "over the edge".

If New Zealand were to adopt a public holiday during Matariki, the public would expect it to replace a current public holiday, Collins said. 

ACT's David Seymour said earlier this month that "if Labour wants Matariki to be a public holiday, it should abolish Labour Day so businesses aren’t taking on more costs".

NZ First leader Winston Peters was also against another public holiday, "full stop", saying it could place "undue strain on employers". 

"Now is not the time. When we are in the throes of huge financial challenges to start thinking about a holiday, I’m sorry – work is going to be our way out of it," Peters said earlier this month. 

TVNZ’s Vote Compass also surveyed respondents on the idea of having a public holiday during Matariki shortly after the idea was proposed by the Labour Party.

The majority of respondents in that survey,  57%,  said it should be while 23% believe it should not, and 18% were neutral or did not have an opinion. Green (87%) and Labour (79%) voters were more in support, while National (33%) and ACT (38%) voters were least likely to back it.

*Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding.
1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll: Between September 17 and 21, 2020, 1008 eligible voters were polled by landline (405) and mobile phone (603). The maximum sampling error is approximately ±3.1%-points at the 95% confidence level. Results higher and lower than 50% have a smaller sampling error. The data has been weighted to align with Stats NZ population counts for age, gender, region, ethnic identification and mobile or landline access.