Government opposes 'Monday-ising' holidays bill

By Kate Shuttleworth

A bill to 'Monday-ise' public holidays is going before Parliament. Photo / Joel Ford
A bill to 'Monday-ise' public holidays is going before Parliament. Photo / Joel Ford

The Government says it will oppose a bill that would give New Zealanders Monday off work if Waitangi Day or Anzac Day falls on a weekend.

The Holidays Amendment bill put forward by Labour Party MP David Clark will be debated in Parliament in its first reading.

One cabinet minister said the idea to "mondayise" public holidays was "appalling".

Justice Minister Judith Collins said Anzac day was a day of commemoration and remembering the dead.

"Frankly to reduce it into a three day weekend is, I think, very disrespectful to the people whose lives have been lost. If people need to have a holiday to go and actually turn up at dawn parade then there's something wrong."

Prime Minister John Key said he did not know what the party's position was.

Other Ministers said they would not comment until caucus had made a decision on the issue.

Deputy Prime Minister Bill English said the Government would veto the legislation.

Australians have a Monday off when Anzac Day falls on a weekend.

United Future leader Peter Dunne supported saying he wanted to ensure New Zealanders had access to all public holidays.

"It's sensible and it's long overdue," he said.

The bill to "mondayise" public holidays as well as a bill to extend paid parental leave will be debated at Parliament tomorrow.

- APNZ

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