The Tai Tonga MP – Rahui Katene – who is introducing a Private Members Bill into Parliament today to recognise the Maori new year celebration Matariki – says she hopes her fellow MPs will recognise the ‘mana’ associated with this Bill not the money that might be involved.
“I want my parliamentary colleagues to look into their hearts and realise that none of our current official holidays has an indigenous base – not one of them; and I ask myself and them why that is?”
“The Matariki Bill is a simple request really. Over the last few years there has been a growing understanding and respect throughout the community to mark Matariki.”
“I’m asking MPs to support what’s happening in the community by first of all sending this Bill to a select committee where we can talk about it further.”
“The Matariki Bill is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate on a holiday that comes from this country – a uniquely Aotearoa ceremony.” “The Matariki Bill demonstrates that Maori culture and heritage is valued for the contribution it makes to New Zealand’s identity – I m hopeful that other parties will share our enthusiasm for marking Matariki as a distinctive event in our nation.”