The first-reading vote on my ‘Mondayising’ Members Bill is set down for tomorrow.
I’m chuffed with the level of public support for the Bill. I guess everyone knows Kiwi workers put in some long hours and look forward to 11 public holidays with the family every year.
A reflection of the widespread backing for my bill is evident in today’s Stuff poll which had public support running all afternoon at 81%.
The Bill is popular because it recognises the growing importance of Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day to our history and sense of identity as New Zealanders. The time is right to give these days the full recognition that other public holidays have.
Let’s also be clear that the Bill is popular because it makes sure people get the holidays they deserve.
Folk were rightly miffed when they missed out on two public holidays last year only because the days of commemoration fell on a weekend.
A couple of people have put to me the proposition that having a holiday on the Monday that follows somehow diminishes the importance of the day itself. What nonsense. It doesn’t seem to have reduced the significance of ANZAC day in the Australian territories that have Mondayised it. On the contrary, reports suggest increased turnout for 25 April ANZAC commemorations.
The example of Christmas illustrates the point. When Christmas last fell on a weekend, did you hear anyone complaining that Christmas Day was somehow less significant because we received an extra holiday the day after Boxing Day? I thought not.
I’ve had the pledges of support necessary for the Bill to progress. My thanks to Labour Colleagues, the Greens, NZ First, The Maori Party, United Future and Mana for their assistance in progressing this legislation.
John Key looks like a man alone opposing the full recognition of these days.
Waitangi and ANZAC Day warrant a day off every year, not just 5 out of 7. We only miss out on our full allocation of public holidays twice every seven years - when these days fall on a weekend.
Key needs to explain to ordinary working New Zealanders why they don’t deserve these two days off with friends and family.