Ein Maori vom Stamm der Te Atiawa begrüßt einen hohen Gast mit der traditionellen Empfangsgeste Whakawaha. Neuseeland will ab kommendem Jahr das Neujahrsfest Matariki der Maori-Ureinwohner als gesetzlichen Feiertag begehen. Foto: Ralf Hirschberger/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa Foto: dpa

Indigenous rights: Maori New Year is a public holiday in New Zealand – panorama

A Maori of the Te Atiawa tribe greets a distinguished guest with the traditional wakawaha gesture. From next year, New Zealand wants to celebrate the indigenous Maori Maariki New Year as a public holiday. Photo: Ralph Hirschberger / dpa-Zentralbild / dpa Photo: dpa

It is the result of long efforts by the indigenous people of New Zealand: as of 2022, the Maori Matariki New Year is officially a public holiday in their homeland. A similar law is on the way.

Wellington – New Zealand wants to celebrate the indigenous Maori New Year’s Matariki as a public holiday from next year. The law is due to be read in Parliament on Thursday and will be promulgated soon.

“Matariki will be the first public holiday to recognize the Maori world view,” said Deputy Minister for Arts and Culture Kerry Allan. Politics have the same Maori roots.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the project in February. In doing so, she fulfilled an election promise made by the Labor Party. The law is expected to pass by a large majority. The public holiday, which occurs on a different day each year, falls on the 24th of June in 2022.

Efforts have long been made to officially recognize the important festival of Indigenous New Zealand. Matariki is the Maori name for the constellation Pleiades (constellation of Taurus). When the stellar nebula first rises in June, around the time of the winter solstice, the Maori New Year begins. For them, it is a time to remember, but also an opportunity to celebrate new beginnings.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210930-99-420190 / 3

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