Matt Heath is a radio host on Radio Hauraki and Herald columnist

Matt Heath: Forget Labour Day - it's time for Super Weekend

We should combine everything good into a three-day long NZ-based October holiday weekend celebration. Photo / 123RF
We should combine everything good into a three-day long NZ-based October holiday weekend celebration. Photo / 123RF

Is it time for major holiday reform in New Zealand? Do we need a late October combo mega celebration dubbed "Super Weekend"?

An increasing number of Kiwis are saying "yes we do". So far there are three of us. Me, Jerry and Grot.

New Zealand has been celebrating Labour Day since 1840. Honouring Wellington carpenter Samuel Parnell's struggle to secure Kiwis an eight-hour working day. It's a source of great national proud that we were one of the first countries in the world to really respect our workers.

But what about those of us who don't get a 40-hour week? Most people I deal with are contractors.

Self-employed battlers who never get paid sick days, holidays or overtime. Eight hours is a light day for us. Rightly or wrongly in 2016 that's increasingly the way. As a result Labour Day has lost it's meaning for many of us.

Luckily there are a bunch of other October/ November celebrations we can jump on.

All right-minded New Zealanders love Guy Fawkes night and Halloween. What's not to love?

Blowing up stuff in your backyard and hassling your neighbours for lollies dressed as murderers, dead people or Colin Craig.

Most of us also love daylight saving. An extra hour of sunshine is brilliant, particularly for non-farmers.

So why the hell don't we bring all of these great moments together into one massive three-day late October pre-summer celebration. A "Super Weekend!"

There's a bit of work to be done to make it happen.

First we'll have to push daylight saving back from the last Sunday in September to the end of October.

Then we move Guy Fawkes back a week from November 5. Place them together around the fourth Monday of the tenth month - Labour Weekend.

Who cares when Guy Fawkes actually tried to blow up the House of Lords? The fact it happened on November 5, 409 years ago means nothing to us here on the other side of the planet. We Kiwis just wanna explode stuff in our backyards. So let's move Guy Fawkes to a day that works for us.

As the folk poem goes: "Forget, forget, the fifth of November and our gunpowder treason friend. I know of no reason why the gun powder treason shouldn't move to Super Weekend."

Our holidays are a mess. Dictated by the ancient foreign time frames and out-dated weather patterns.

Halloween traditionally takes place on October 31. But it's best when if it falls on a weekend. Pouring a litre of fake bloody over your head and heading out isn't much fun when you have work at 7am the following morning. So let's make Halloween work for us too and move it back a few days.

How about the Sunday before Labour Day?

So this is your Super Weekend rundown. Friday everybody blasts their neighbourhoods to pieces Guy Fawkes style.

We'll call it "Cracker Day". A forward looking celebration of everything Aotearoa. If you want to burn an effigy do it of someone closer to home. Davy Warner? Saturday is your "Daylight Savings Day".

We celebrate the first BBQ of the season while putting the clocks forward for the coming summer.

This is win-win for Super Weekend as daylight savings currently keeps kids up late waiting for it to become dark enough for fireworks. So let's move it until right after Cracker Day.

Then on Sunday we all have a massive Halloween. Monday we rest up and acknowledge Labour Day. SUPER WEEKEND!

Our holidays are a mess. Dictated by the ancient foreign time frames and out-dated weather patterns. It's time for a Kiwi celebration that looks forward rather than back. So let's move daylight savings forward, Halloween back and leave Labour Day where it is.

Bring everything good together into a completely New Zealand-based celebration of the good weather to come and a timely liver workout pre-festive season.

Samuel Parnell stood up for the rights of New Zealand workers 171 years ago and we've had a late October Monday off ever since. Who in 2016 will stand up and fight for Super Weekend?

Whoever you are, you have about two weeks to pull it together.

- NZ Herald

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Matt Heath is a radio host on Radio Hauraki and Herald columnist

Matt Heath is a breakfast radio host on Radio Hauraki, and a television producer, writer and director. He made a name for himself with Back of The Y Masterpiece Television, Balls of Steel UK and the feature film The Devil Dared Me To. Matt was guitarist and singer for the band Deja Voodoo which released two top twenty albums. He is currently a producer on Best Bits, a cricket commentator for The Alternative Commentary Collective, and the director of Vinewood Motion Graphics. Matt is a father of two living in Auckland City.

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