Matariki public holiday 'to cost hundreds of millions'

The Green Party wants Matariki or the Maori New Year to be recognised as a national holiday.

Party co-leader Metiria Turei has told ONE News that New Zealanders work 15% more than the OECD average and therefore deserve another day off. She says it's also about "recognising pre-colonial Māori legitimacy".

However opponents claim the move would cost the country millions.

"I'd like to see it as a public holiday, it's a great time for fireworks - much better than November," Ms Turei says.

Matariki or Pleiades is a cluster of nine stars that are only visible for one month about now.

They are 400 light years away from Earth and about 65 million years old.

It's when Maori have traditionally celebrated the start of a New Year. Morris Te Whiti Love, of Te Wharewaka O Poneke and Te Atiawa, said he's been looking to the stars ever since he was a young boy.

"If you have a look at Aotearoa it's probably a better time to say this is the start of the year, the days start to grow.

Mr Love says he agrees with the Greens, that time out to reflect on where we're at as a nation is a must.

But Business New Zealand's chief executive Phil O'Reilly has doubts.

"Well it's great that we're having the right debate about celebrating New Zealand events but I'm not sure either the cost or the public support for a public holiday would be the right thing right now," Mr O'Reilly says.

The Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment released figures to ONE News estimating a day off would cost the country $200 million. Ms Turei admits she had not done any costing of the policy but said that business can afford it.

United Future leader Peter Dunne says turning Matariki into a public holiday might be worth exploring but Government Minister Hekia Parata says that not every celebration in our nation's life needs it.

What are your thoughts? Have your say on our Facebook page.

Making the Maori New Year a holiday would cost millions, opponents say. Source: 1 NEWS


Topics



National criticise 'incompetent handling' of CTO job offer, then retraction

National have hit out at the $100,000 sting for the taxpayers over the "incompetent handling" of the chief technology officer role, after the position was scrapped by the Government. 

National's State Services spokesperson Nick Smith said the role was budgeted at costing over $500,000 per year, but an offer to Derek Handley was then retracted by the Government. 

"The process around appointing a CTO has been a shambles from the beginning," he said. "It involved secret meetings and emails, the resignation of Minister Clare Curran and now we're paying Derek Handley around $100,000 for a job he never even started.

"The Government should apologise to taxpayers for wasting their money and Mr Handley for wasting his time."

Today the Government confirmed it put a "full stop" on the process of CTO, and the new Digital Services Minister Megan Woods confirmed Mr Handley would be paid out $107,500.

Greg Boyed talks to tech entrepreneur Derek Handley about his continued interest and investment in New Zealand – and his fellowship for exceptional young Kiwis.
Source: Q+A

"As the new Minister I have asked officials to review the CTO role and provide advice on the best ways to drive a forward-looking digital agenda for New Zealand," she said. 

Mr Handley wrote in a statement he and his family "decided not to accept the settlement money personally and instead donate the net proceeds towards a fund that supports ideas, programs and grants that seek to tackle this societal issue in creative ways. I welcome collaboration from all communities on how we may do that".

The latest developments come after MP Clare Curran was stripped of her position as Minister for Government Digital Services after not disclosing a meeting with Mr Handley previously.

A delegation from GM-free Hastings met with the Environment Minister over reforms they say will destroy their export markets.
Nelson MP Nick Smith. Source: 1 NEWS


Government pays $107k to retract chief technology officer job offer to entrepreneur Derek Handley

Derek Handley says an offer of chief technology officer position has been retracted by the Government and he has received a three-month pay out. 

In a statement, Mr Handley wrote he had accepted the role a month ago but was informed this week "the Government will no longer follow through with their commitment and will not be making that appointment at this time".

"Given the unnecessary and sustained lack of transparency around the process and building pressure to rethink the approach, their decision to stop the process is understandable," he said.

The chief technology officer was intended to "drive a forward-looking digital agenda for New Zealand", said former Minister for Government Digital Services Clare Curran, when the role was announced last December. 

Mr Handley had returned to live in Auckland last weekend for the role, after living in New York for 10 years. 

"As the Government has now terminated my contract I have been offered a settlement payment as per the contract," he said. "The amount equates to three months pay plus reimbursement of my costs.

ONN 1 News at 6 promo image
For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

"My family and I have decided not to accept the settlement money personally and instead donate the net proceeds towards a fund that supports ideas, programmes and grants that seek to tackle this societal issue in creative ways. I welcome collaboration from all communities on how we may do that."

The new Minister for Government Digital Services Megan Woods said the Government have put a “full stop” on the process of CTO.

She confirmed Mr Handley would be paid $107,500.

“As the new Minister I have asked officials to review the CTO role and provide advice on the best ways to drive a forward-looking digital agenda for New Zealand,” she said. 

It comes after MP Clare Curran was stripped of her position as Minister for Government Digital Services after not disclosing a meeting with Mr Handley previously.

Derek Handley says he’ll donate the compensation but is disappointed at the way the issue was handled. Source: 1 NEWS

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Who is South Auckland's rogue zebra crossing painter?

A mysterious pedestrian crossing painter has struck again after a rogue zebra crossing popped up outside a South Auckland school - the second such occurrence at the school over the past year.

Patumahoe Primary School principal Jade Tawhiti spoke to TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning about the latest incident.

"The first one was in, I think it was November last year and it was quite a good job, that one - looked like a mini roller, pretty good white lines," he siad. "And they were actually good from the footpath when you're viewing them, but when you drove down the road, they were all over the show.

"It was quite funny at the time, but sort of when you thought about the safety implications of that, it wasn't so funny."

Mr Tawhiti said after the first incident, "Auckland Transport came rushing here (and) tore shreds out of our staff, sort of thinking that we did it".

He said Auckland Transport painted over the lines with blank paint, but the second time "someone's gone and used a spray can and spray painted the zebra lines".

A pedestrian crossing does need to be installed outside the school, the principal said, explaining that there are "a few variables" in place making it difficult to cross the road safely.

"(There's) high speeds from locals and passersby and there's a couple of funny corners and bends which create low visibility, and a few issues for kids crossing and parents," he said.

However, he says homemade paint jobs could be dangerous for students due to the confusion over whether or not it is safe to cross.

"At the end of the day, it creates confusion, so if you've got white lines and kids assuming it's a legal, proper pedestrian crossing, they're going to walk," he said. "As it stands now, it's what they call a care crossing, which actually has to be manned by patrollers or monitors, and we have the swinigng arms."

Auckland Transport spokesperson Mark Hannan said a real zebra crossing will be installed outside Patumahoe School by March or April of next year.
 

Patumahoe Primary School principal Jade Tawhiti spoke to Breakfast this morning about the incident. Source: 1 NEWS


Students at all-girls school in Southland protest absence of trades classes

Female students are calling for trades classes to be offered at their Southland all-girls school.

Currently, Southland Girls High School does not offer woodwork or metalwork programmes in their school curriculum, making it difficult for students interested in learning the trade to try their hand at the subject, Stuff reports.

Southland Girls High School principal Yvonne Browning said the school is "not adverse to (offering the classes) at all" but there are issues surrounding the school's ability to do so, including funding constraints, health and safety and staffing numbers.

Ms Browning said school isn't the only area to expose female students to the trades.

"I don't think you have to be at school to be able to do it," she said. "It's not imperative to do it at school."

However, Otago Girls' High School, which has been offering hard materials courses for over two decades, says the classes are popular among students.

"We see the skills the girls develop through hard materials technology as really enhancing their educational experience with critical thinking, creativity and communication key," said principal Linda Miller. 

Ministry of Education spokeswoman Pauline Cleaver said parents or caregivers can "provide feedback and input into their local school on the curriculum" and "should approach their school if they have concerns about their school's curriculum".

Unrecognizable manual worker using circular saw while cutting piece of wood at construction site. His colleagues are in the background.
Building site. (file image) Source: istock.com