Matariki holiday - today?
Re the Matariki Day public holiday idea. Scratch Queen's birthday. Insert Matariki Day - but not on the first Monday of June. It doesn't feel right then. Too soon. It's got to be at the beginning of the middle of Winter and certainly not more than a few days after the middle of winter. I don't know the dates at which the Matariki can be viewed as it rises above the horizon - I've no idea about how different Iwi used to mark the new year.
I think that calendar dates such as Easter that are calculated with some sort of star chart and an algorithm and can yield dates a month apart, are to be avoided. So given that I'm mainly concerned with the timing in terms of a schedule of public holidays that conforms to our own seasons and is reflective of our national heritage, Matariki in mid to late June seems appropriate. The shortest day is June 20-23 and reflects the solstice that is marked by most cultures.
I mentioned in that 2005 post:
To replace Queen's Birthday: "Matariki/Winter Festival"
On second weekend of June on Monday
The Maori New Year is perhaps another way to look at it than merely a Winter festival - and the date seems a bit too early. Given that by removing Queen's Birthday holiday we have a very long wait till Labour Day (even if it was moved forward to early October as part of a Spring Festival double-ended long weekend) placing the Matariki holiday late in June creates a more even time spacing between well-needed public holidays. The last possible day for it would be today. The last day of June and the last Monday of June. Perhaps the last Monday of June?