23 Jun 2009

Recognition urged for Matariki by mayor

3:28 pm on 23 June 2009

Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey is calling for Matariki, the Maori new year, which begins this week to be recognised as a public holiday.

Mr Harvey told Waatea News it has been growing in our identity and our culture for years.

He will ask the council's Te Taumata Runanga on Wednesday night to urge the Government to make Matariki a stand-alone public holiday.

Matariki is the Maori name for the group of stars also known as Pleiades or The Seven Sisters.

In late May, they dip below the horizon and their re-appearance a few weeks later signifies the end of the harvest season.

The first new moon to follow brings the new year.

Matariki begins on Wednesday morning, the first day of the new moon following the rise of Pleiades.