NZ Green Party
Which holiday would you pick?

The Greens’ suggestion of a new holiday during the winter period has met with strong support. The debate has shifted immediately from whether it is a good idea or not, to what day should we pick. Sue Bradford opted for Sir Edmund Hillary’s Birthday (July 20). No Right Turn suggested Suffrage Day, which is tomorrow. Idiot Savant must be in a hurry! And Steve Piersen at the Standard wants Matariki (June).

If I were picking a date based purely on time of the year I’d opt for something about mid-August; say maybe Indigenous People’s Day (Aug 9), Youth Day (Aug 12) or International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition (Aug 23). But the other three suggestions are more relevant to our culture and society. Personally I’d probably opt for Suffrage Day but any of them would be great. Any other ideas?

Oh, and for non-public holiday Suffrage Day events happening tomorrow, check out the Hand Mirror.

56 thoughts on “Which holiday would you pick?

  1. FFS

    Indigenous People’s Day
    International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition
    Matariki
    Suffrage Day

    Why the hell do you not just go the whole hog and decare NZ to be the Peoples republic of New Zealand?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  2. I like Suffrage day as a holiday.

    It’s often treated as some feminist celebration of women getting the vote.

    But it’s more than that. It was the last step, when we achieved real democracy – universal suffrage. It came along not long after universal male suffrage.

    Dominion Day I’m less interested in because I think we still haven’t finished our travel down the path of separation from Mother England that will inevitably end in us becoming a republic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  3. Perhaps we should name the extra day off as…

    We hate USA day
    Chavez appreciation day
    Death of democracy day
    Dear leader day
    Climate change day
    Al Qaeda day
    Osama bin Laden day (eredwens choice)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  4. I’ve said this, but Suffrage Day would be great – not often that democracy is celebrated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  5. Big Bro: great idea!

    We could change Queens Birthday to Republic Day. Of course, we’d need to revise – an write – the constitution so as to include el presidento, but I’m sure you’d be up for that (the presidency, I mean. Wouldn’t trust you on the writing part).

    Or …

    Southern Christmas day
    Be nice to your neighbour day
    Random acts of kindness day
    Good sex even if it’s with yourself day
    Do all those things you can’t take time off work for like going to the doctor and applying for jobs day
    Spring cleaning day
    Business failures day (08, drink milk. 07, invest in real estate)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  6. No big bro !

    My choice would definitely be an official holiday for Matariki … the star system important to the exploration and habitation of the islands of the Pacific.

    When do we as Kiwis ever get a time to reflect upon, and celebrate the fact that we live in the Pacific Ocean: in “Pacifica” in Polynesia ?
    … NOT an offshoot or satelite of “Great Britain”, Europe (or North America!)

    DEFINITELY MATARIKI !!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  7. Eredwen, yeah, I think you’ve got something there. No need to contain it to NZ either, it could spread. Bloody hell, yeah!

    Not that we’re voting here, but …

    MATARIKI.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  8. Dominion Day is worthy of consideration. It is a universal theme for all NZers.

    Which is why no-one has ever heard of it.

    I’d also prefer something which isn’t inherantly about celebrating our place in a dead empire.

    (Of course, as a republican, I’m all for ditching queens birthday, and replacing it with either a republic day, or matariki)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  9. I’m all for celebrating Matariki, but not as an additional public holiday. Matariki would have two problems as a public holiday. The first is that, like Easter, it is lunar-defined so keeps moving around in the calendayr year, and therefore would sometimes be lost as an effective holiday – it can even fall on Queen’s Birthday. The second problem is that it is too early to really break the long period between Queen’s Birthday and Labour Day, which is the intent of the Green policy.

    My vote would be for Suffrage Day.

    idiot / savant – lawyers and judges have certainly heard of Dominion Day – for a reason I’ve never understood it is a holiday for the legal profession, but not for anyone else.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  10. yeah..i’d go with suffrage day..

    good/resonating policy idea..

    ..especially cos’ it’s been such a long/wet winter..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  11. big bro says:

    “Indigenous People’s Day
    International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition
    Matariki
    Suffrage Day

    Why the hell do you not just go the whole hog and decare NZ to be the Peoples republic of New Zealand?”

    Why, because communists were the first to give women the vote? Or communists are so great at protecting people’s rights and culture? Get a friggin’ grip. Your attempts to shit on the rest of us aren’t even funny anymore.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  12. “Did I mention that NZ was the first country to give women the vote”

    Fat lot of good it did us. 250,000 people still not enrolled. civic democracy is dying and should go on the critically endangered list next to maui’s dolphins.

    Lets have ‘nationally apathy’ day. when you don’t even have to get out of bed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  13. Suffrage Day is the best. The 1893 Women’s Suffrage Act is unique, among significant laws passed by our parliament, in that nobody is calling for it to be repealed. So it’s something I think we can all come together on.

    And I see no reason why we shouldn’t replace Queen’s Birthday with Matariki. It We could have a holiday on Matariki when it falls during the week, and a supplementary mondayised holiday when it’s in the weekend (just like we do with European New Year). Of course, Queen’s Birthday is an ancient part of our Monarchical heritage, and has the quaint distinction of bearing no relationship to the Queen’s actual birthday, so I imagine the McGillicuddies would be up in arms if we tried to abolish it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  14. Would it be greedy to ask for two days?

    Suffrage Day – excellent

    Dominion Day – hard for people to argue against.

    Matariki … maybe we need a third.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  15. numbersix

    I think that, in this officially bicultural (and increasingly multicultural) country, we need to redress the balance of Pakeha/European-centric thinking.

    Look carefully at the names, and origins of the holidays days we celebrate now … and you’ll see what I mean !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  16. hmm suffrage day would be a bit ironic in the year of the EFA and its chilling effect on public discourse.

    How about Settlement Day, celebrating the arrival of all people to this land. That could incorporate the matariki bit as that was in part about the stars and navigation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  17. eredwen: I think that, in this officially bicultural (and increasingly multicultural) country, we need to redress the balance of Pakeha/European-centric thinking.

    Agreed. Although, I don’t know that universal suffrage as a concept belongs only to Pakeha.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  18. Matariki, Pleides or Subaru has universal relevance, extending to all Pacific nations (including North hemisphere) and as an astronomical body is about as permanent a fixture as you could wish to celebrate.

    The constellation has meaning for omnes. For instance, as a celestial body, it’s part of the natural order, rather than just the human order. It’s been there for us, for them, for those, for ever.

    This is reflected in the fact that it moves. Or rather, the fact that it doesn’t move, or fall with inevitable convenience on a working day. Like Anzac day, this strengthens the meaning we attach to the date.

    Suffrage is only meaningful to democracy-worshipping humans. Not that democracy’s not important, but you can’t say it’s important to everyone. Not evel all humans.

    The day for contemplating democracy in New Zealand is surely the day it was made Officially Problematic on the lawn at Waitangi. You can’t give two holidays to it.

    Even if we give two to Jesus.

    And none to Papatuanuku, Rangi, Allah or Moses.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  19. Plus: falling on a weekend 2 years out of every 7 gives it a productivity advantage for members of EMA.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  20. Toad: awyers and judges have certainly heard of Dominion Day – for a reason I’ve never understood it is a holiday for the legal profession, but not for anyone else.

    Indeed – and I have to. But I’m a political geek. Out there in the real world, no-one knows, and no-one cares, because we are not part of the British Bloody Empire anymore.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  21. Call it simply “The Kiwi Day Off” … when visitors ask us what it’s all about, we can say, well, we had a long stretch there without a holiday so we just thought we needed an extra one to help us through the winter. Just like we have things like “No 1 Bridge” and “North Island” and “South Island”, I think it expresses our nature and outlook as a country. Seriously.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  22. “hmm suffrage day would be a bit ironic in the year of the EFA and its chilling effect on public discourse. ”

    Under the EFA you’re free to say anything you want. You can set up a blog and do it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can publish it as an editorial in a paper. You can send it as as press release, get it published on scoop.co.nz.

    You are limited to not spending lots of money on advertisements if what you’re doing is electioneering. But the 3rd party spending limit isn’t small (a 6 figure sum?). If expensive advertising campaigns are what you think makes up “public discourse” then you’ve an odd idea of what “discourse” is.

    Now I agree that the EFA isn’t well written and is flawed and should be replaced. But it’s bizarrely over the to top to consider it an assault on democracy. And it’s an improvement on the hodge-podge of laws that made up our old system of electoral funding laws, which were just rotten. Look at how Winston’s party did illegal stuff back in 2004/2005 under the old laws and can just walk away without prosecution.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  23. Paradox,

    Actually, Matariki’s not as constant as you’d claim.

    Obviously the stars are there constantly. But when in the year it rises changes as years go by – as an astronomical event Matariki occurs about 20 minutes later every year.

    So when Maori arrived here, roughly 1000 years ago, Matariki started about two weeks earlier in the winter than it does now.

    I hope you realise how restrained I’m being as an astronomy geek in not posting hundreds of lines here about solar precession, the zodiac, the Age of Aquirius, etc…

    Of course, if we did go for a Matariki day then as an astronomy geek I’d favor one based on the actual rising of the stars, rather than one encoded at a particular calendar day. Like those muslim holidays that depend on a full or new moon being actually sighted (and some iman up very high in spotter planes back when they had huge fires in indonesia a few years back blocking the skies).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  24. Can we at least move our fire festival to matariki?

    Much and as all as a young thing I loved celebrating religious intolerance and strife with explosives and rockets, setting fire to random bits of the country side and burning effigies it is silly to do it in Summer.

    And up here in Dunedin it does not get dark till 10:30 at night, which is too late for those who like it most!

    peace
    W

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  25. Icehawk: excellent news.

    It just gets better! Makes more sense than Easter being on the first Sunday after the first full moon in the second to last month with an R in it, or something.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  26. I like the Suffrage Day idea. It’s a spring holiday though not a winter one.

    And Matariki def needs to be a mid winter holiday. It’s not just a Maori thing, everywhere on the planet celebrates midwinter. Matariki just grounds it in the southern seasons (instead of our imported northern midwinter celebration that we take in the middle of summer). Of course Maori are ever generous and I’m sure they’d be happy with us using the name and concepts for a NZ midwinter.

    What’s Dominion Day?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  27. Of course, if we did go for a Matariki day then as an astronomy geek I’d favor one based on the actual rising of the stars, rather than one encoded at a particular calendar day. Like those muslim holidays that depend on a full or new moon being actually sighted

    Matariki is practiced differently in different parts of NZ, but I think the dark moon after the first rising of Matariki is a common time.

    Doesn’t actual sighting vary with latitude?

    Makes more sense than Easter being on the first Sunday after the first full moon in the second to last month with an R in it, or something.

    Easter is the old spring festival, so it makes sense for it to be tied to the full moon closest to the spring equinox.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  28. Ugg, redone the code:

    Of course, if we did go for a Matariki day then as an astronomy geek I’d favor one based on the actual rising of the stars, rather than one encoded at a particular calendar day. Like those muslim holidays that depend on a full or new moon being actually sighted

    Matariki is practiced differently in different parts of NZ, but I think the dark moon after the first rising of Matariki is a common time.

    Doesn’t actual sighting vary with latitude?

    Makes more sense than Easter being on the first Sunday after the first full moon in the second to last month with an R in it, or something.

    Easter is the old spring festival, so it makes sense for it to be tied to the full moon closest to the spring equinox.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  29. Paradox Says:
    September 18th, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    > The day for contemplating democracy in New Zealand is surely the day it was made Officially Problematic on the lawn at Waitangi. You can’t give two holidays to it.

    > Even if we give two to Jesus.

    By my count we give seven holidays (sort-of) to Jesus.

    First there’s Good Friday, which officially commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus, but actually has wider significance, as the metaphor of organised religion killing the son of god has relevance to all eras and cultures.

    Then there’s Easter Sunday, which celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, though rather mysteriously it does so by aping a pagan spring fertility rite. In autumn.

    Then there’s Easter Monday, which has no significance other than being the day after Easter Sunday, so it’s sort-of about Jesus too.

    Then there’s Christmas, which is a celebration of Jesus’s birth, set to coincide with the Roman winter equinox festival to save on presents (it’s no longer on the equinox, because someone made a mistake with leap years somewhere along the way).

    Then there’s Boxing Day. Despite now being about putting your Christmas presents back in the boxes they came in and taking them back to the shop to exchange for something else, it was originally invented for sleeping off Christmas hangovers.

    Then there’s New Year. Sure, it’s celebrated with drunkenness, debauchery and staying up late, but that’s a characteristic of festivals in most cultures. New Year’s day is actually seven days after Christmas to commemorate the day when Jesus would have been circumcised in accordance with Jewish tradition. Lots of New Zealanders don’t realise that genital mutilation is commemorated in our contemporary festivals.

    The day after New Year doesn’t seem to even have a name, but I’m counting it as another Jesus holiday because it seems to be a holiday solely due to being the day after the anniversary of his circumcision.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  30. The sole reason why I suggested Dominion Day is because in my opinion, it should become our replacement national holiday (we would still keep Waitangi Day of course).

    The problem is that Waitangi Day is ruined by all the protesting and politicising that goes on, and it isn’t like Independence Day in the United States or Australia Day in Australia, which is where everyone just has a big party almost and a good day off. I was in Australia for Australia Day this year, and it was completely different to Waitangi Day here; everyone was enjoying themselves, relaxing and celebrating. When I came back to New Zealand a few days later, I thought, shite, I have to endure another Waitangi Day with Titewhai making some comment or another.

    Dominion Day isn’t that sort of day that would divide people; I would have prefered November 13, since that was the day that we ratified the Westminster Statute, but it wasn’t within the June-October parameter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  31. Pioneers Day.

    A remembrance of the times when people got by without building $400,000 houses, and grew their own food.

    Saved their own money, raised their own kids (with a smack or two), and didn’t have local councils to please, or excessive government spending to pay for.

    A day where everyone can be human, just like our pioneering forefathers got the chance to be…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  32. This is what my Great Grandmother said as she lay dying in 1928:

    ” By then you were all grown up and able to take over the land and let your father and myself take a few years rest. I am as happy now, lying down blind in my own home, where I started twice with only four pence, as I was the first night I came here fifty three years ago, as I know my children and kind friends are round me and that my work is completed. I have no illness but must bow down to sheer old age.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  33. yeah, I think we need to celebrate the simplicity life used to offer.

    It might have had it’s own hardships, but there was somehow more connection with the planet that sustains us.

    Regardless of culture, there is something about the modern world that has changed just a bit too much.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  34. Weka: What’s Dominion Day?

    The day we moved from being a colony to a dominion in the British Empire. In other words, a load of old monarchical imperial bollocks, and about as relevant as Jesus is to modern New Zealand.

    john-ston: If you’d like to be all patriotic and stuff, fell free. But please don’t expect everyone else to share your kinks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  35. This has been an interesting topic.

    Mid-winter NZ style Guy Fawkes? Yes indeed. Very practical and sensible.

    Mid-winter solstice? Yes indeed. Seasonal, logical, and call it Matariki if you wish.

    I felt that Dominion Day celebrated a stage on our Nationhood journey.

    Easter? Autumn equinox. Harvest Festival. yes again.

    Lots of possibilities.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  36. BB, you are misrepresenting the Greens’ position again.

    The Greens have never said they want to ban fireworks. I think that might have been a suggestion from a Labour Minister at some stage.

    Metiria actually suggested a couple of years ago moving the fireworks festival from Guy Fawkes to Matariki, largely for fire safety reasons.

    I have to say I think it is a sensible suggestion. Not sure it is that sensible that Matariki should be a public holiday though – for reasons I’ve stated above I still think after the discussion that followed Suffrage Day would be the best option for that.

    BTW, BB, in case you don’t regularly go there, you and the Hummer got a mention from me this morning over at g.blog.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  37. Come on Toad

    Hummers are sooooooooo yesterday, I got rid of that a long time ago.

    I found something that produces far more carbon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  38. Taod

    I would go along with Met’s idea if you can have a word with this chap Mr Mat Ariki and ask him if he would not mind entering Parliament with the same intentions as Mr Fawkes.

    Just let me know a day or so before hand, I would hate the great Sir Roger to be caught up in the “fireworks”, he is the only one worth saving.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  39. On current ACT polling (1.5% in the Roy Morgan poll out today), I think it’s highly likely Sir Roger won’t be there anyway BB, so you’ll have nothing to worry about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  40. 2% Toad…Act only need 2% and the great man will be back to save NZ.

    Speaking of not being back, have your chaps been polishing up their CV’s?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  41. big bro Says:
    September 19th, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    > Come on Toad

    > Hummers are sooooooooo yesterday, I got rid of that a long time ago.

    I suppose you bought it for its ‘go anywhere practicality’ then found it was too wide to fit down your driveway?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  42. Nope…one of the reasons I purchased it was because it was seen as the Anti Christ by those who push the climate change con.

    However the main reason was that I wanted to (and succeeded) in making a profit on it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  43. bb, Are you as savvy as the Las Vegas Hummer agent who swapped from Hummer to Smart a couple of years ago and is now one of the few original Hummer dealers who is still making big bucks?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>