Public holiday bill set to pass second reading

By Kate Shuttleworth

The bill would mean New Zealanders get a Monday off when Waitangi Day and Anzac Day fall on a weekend. Photo / Joel Ford
The bill would mean New Zealanders get a Monday off when Waitangi Day and Anzac Day fall on a weekend. Photo / Joel Ford

A bill to 'Mondayise' public holidays is set to pass its crucial second reading in Parliament tomorrow.

Labour MP David Clark's private member's bill would mean New Zealanders get a Monday off when Waitangi Day and Anzac Day fall on a weekend.

The bill looks to have enough support to get past tomorrow's vote and, if so, would likely become law after political rubberstamping. It is expected that only the 59 National MPs and lone Act representative John Banks will oppose it.

Anzac Day next falls on a Saturday in 2015, and Waitangi Day in 2016. It is not until 2021 that both fall on a weekend in the same year.

The Government previously rejected the bill, with Justice Minister Judith Collins saying Anzac Day is for remembering the dead: "To reduce it into a three-day weekend is, I think, very disrespectful to the people whose lives have been lost."

The Department of Labour also opposed the move, telling the Government the move would cost $200 million for every Mondayised holiday.

However, United Future leader Peter Dunne supported the bill, saying he wanted to ensure Kiwis had access to all public holidays. "It's sensible and long overdue," he added.

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a5 at 19 Apr 2014 12:07:27 Processing Time: 195ms