The Māori New Year is just days away and calls for it to be declared a public holiday seems to be gaining momentum.

Support for a day off to celebrate Matariki are resonating in the halls of parliament, in civic chambers and on the streets.

Matariki is the star cluster that heralds the start of the Māori New Year and occurs in the pre-dawn sky from mid to late June each year. It is also known as Pleiades in English. 

Matariki is a time to prepare for the year ahead and a time to learn and a time to celebrate the future.

Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta says it's the perfect day for all to enjoy.

"E tautoko ana au te kaunihera-ā-rohe e mea atu, kua tae mai ki te wā ki te whakatū taua rangi, mō tātou katoa. He wāhanga pai mō te hōtaka me kī mō te maramataka ki te whakanui i a Matariki."

According to the Māori Lunar calendar, Matariki starts from July 6.

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