Editorial: Holidays should be on a Monday


So having a public holiday the Monday after Anzac Day or Waitangi Day falls on a weekend would cost the economy $200 million a pop.

So says the Department of Labour, which has recommended against any such tomfoolery.

Labour MP David Clark's Members Bill, which would provide this holiday, was drawn from a Parliamentary ballot last week.

Now the Government is considering its stance on the issue.

National's Gerry Brownlee says having a holiday on the Monday after Anzac Day or Waitangi Day falls on a weekend would "cheapen" those days. "The idea is that we remember things that occurred on those days so it seems to me that you would cheapen that remembrance by just tacking them on to any old weekend."<inline type="recurring-inline" id="1003" align="outside" enforce-sites="no" />

No, doesn't make sense.

Anzac Day and Waitangi Day aren't getting tacked on to anything. They'll still be observed on April 25 and February 6, weekday or not, as they are now.

The big difference is New Zealanders will be newly entitled to a public holiday they receive most years anyway. In the interests of "a fair go" the two holidays should be transferable from weekends just as December 25 and 26 and January 1 and 2 are now.

It would be a lot more understandable if Brownlee's opposition was based on the $200 million cost - even though, as Labour leader David Shearer points out - given the low frequency it would occur (the next time is 2015) and the number of Kiwis it affected, the cost is just a few cents per worker.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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