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Sunday, October 09, 2005

Public Holidays Reform (Transition to Republic) Act 2005

This could have gone on to the CRC site, but it isn't strictly relevant at this stage.

Currently NZ has a a public holiday system based on English/European adherence to Christianity and commemorations of nationhood, the Crown and ideology, with a regional system of provincial anniversary days (in the spring and summer), viz:

JAN-New Year's Day
JAN-Day after New Year's Day
FEB-Waitangi Day
MAR/APR-Good Friday
MAR/APR-Easter Monday
APR-Anzac Day (1/2 day)
JUN-Queen's Birthday
OCT-Labour Day
DEC-Christmas Day
DEC-Boxing Day

Total 9.5 days + 1 regional anniversary day.

To move the nation into a system that recognises real and traditional local commemorations, honours a modern nationhood, strengthens the bonds of civic inter-dependence and responsibility, preserves the seasonality and family benefits of long weekends, aligns in a practical way with other important events, and that reflects a secular, non-religious state the new schedule of public holidays shall be:

Regional anniversary days:
These shall be up to each community to decide. These holidays represent a provincial system long since passed and are of less relevance to many Maori communities who commemorate the anniversary their community signed the Treaty of Waitangi. As such there are many community Waitangi Days all over the country - those communities should be able to have their public holiday on that day.

National holidays:
JAN-New Year's Day
JAN-Day after New Year's Day
FEB-Waitangi Day
MAR/APR-Good Friday
MAR/APR-Easter Monday
APR-Anzac Day (1/2 day)
JUN-Queen's Birthday
OCT-Labour Day
DEC-Christmas Day
DEC-Boxing Day

To replace Easter holidays: "Autumn Festival"
On last weekend of March to be on Friday & Monday - and to be end of Daylight Savings Time (So sometimes the Christian Easter commemoration will align with the Autumn Festival)

To replace Queen's Birthday: "Matariki/Winter Festival"
On second weekend of June on Monday

To replace Labour Day: "Spring Festival"
On second weekend of October on Monday - and to be start of Daylight Savings Time

And add: "Civic Day" or possibly "Citizens' Day"
On third Saturday of November from midday to midnight. This day is when central, regional and local triennial government elections are held on alternating years. For community/territorial elections there may also be general citizens' meetings similar to an AGM where officers are elected at the meeting and reports etc. presented to the meeting. Having this on a Saturday is traditional for NZ, having it as a public holiday means there is no work pressure not to attend or participate for most people, and having it as a half day means that business can still go ahead in the morning as people take care of their non-civic duties and polling booths (in the case of a general election) will be open during the morning anyway. Making it a Saturday also means it is not a long weekend - which would have encouraged people to go on holiday and therefore neglect the public duties for which that "holiday" was created. Having a set day for elections also provides certainty and for better planning. It will also (hopefully) create a better civic culture of regular participation and concern for community and public issues. Half a day a year isn't a great sacrifice. Also on a third Saturday in November the election result should be finalised by early December and a government formed before Christmas. Also between Civic Day and Spring Festival will be the de facto election campaign "season" thus quarterising it from being too early in the winter and too late where it would interfere with Christmas consumerism/activities.

New schedule of national holidays:
JAN 1- New Year's Day
JAN 2- Day after New Year's Day
FEB 6- Waitangi Day
MAR last Friday & Monday- Autumn Festival (Daylight Savings Ends)
APR 25- Anzac Day (1/2 day)
JUN second Monday- Matariki/Winter Festival
OCT second Monday- Spring Festival (Daylight Savings Starts)
NOV third Saturday- Civic/Citizens' Day (1/2 Day)
DEC 25-Christmas Day
DEC 26-Boxing Day

Total 10 Days + Regional/community local holiday

NB: Why haven't I got rid of Christmas and Boxing Day? I would like to get rid of the Christianity aspects of what is already a purely secular event/rituals for the vast majority of the population, which means abolishing the word Christmas and possibly the changing of the date - but I haven't got big enough balls to propose that! Getting rid of Easter by turning it back into the pagan sort of festival it originally was is enough Christian-bashing for the moment.


At 9/10/05 10:15 pm, Blogger Xavier said...

I like the idea of a Matariki day

At 10/10/05 5:58 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a brilliant idea. What do you think about "Tumeke Day"?

At 10/10/05 6:11 pm, Blogger Foggy in Nelson said...

Some nice ideas. especially Matariki (just cos it's fashionable lately to agree with Xavier!) and civic community day.

Why do you want to get rid of Labour Day though?

I disagree with you regarding getting rid of Easter. I'm a Christian, and you'll probably find most Christians actually put more emphasis on Easter than Christmas (society is the other way around), so I'd be more pissed off with getting rid of Easter, than getting rid of Christmas.

Anyway, it's about time these old fashioned hols of ours got debated. Nice effort.

At 10/10/05 6:16 pm, Blogger Matthew R. X. Dentith said...

Also, Easter isn't based on a pagan festival; it is based upon Passover, which is Jewish. That previous world religions had similar festivals at the time is another matter entirely (probably a common cause).

At 10/10/05 6:39 pm, Blogger Foggy in Nelson said...

yes (silly me didn't spot that). but Christmas IS based on a pagan festival.

At 10/10/05 11:16 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

Well if it pisses Christians off more to have Easter removed then I've done my job! And isn't all Christian stuff based on pagan festivals of one kind or another? Where the hell do the eggs and bunnies come into Christian Easter?

I haven't explained my reasoning in much detail I understand. But basically:

New Years is fine - it is in the summer and recognises a change in calendar year and reinforces the concept of that time of the year as the summer holiday season where business rightly takes a back seat.

Waitangi Day is fine - NZ founded as a single country for first time ever in our history and with a written Treaty, celebrating that day is good esp. in summer as it is. As I've said elsewhere I think parliament should convene - or at least the chamber representing the local communities should convene - a session there to conduct the ceremonies with some sort of official standing.

Easter - Christian malarky is gone. Stop repressing us. We don't care. How may days of bloody worship does a long-dead cult leader need anyway! Answer: One, by default (Christmas Day) and we will deliberately commercialise and debauch it.

Autumn Festival - seasonally relevant and end of daylight savings, ie. marks a real change. Indian summers etc. good time.

Anzac day - sacred war commemoration and I think much more important than Christmas. Keep as a half day and have emergency sirens have a one minute blast at midday so that everyone can stop and acknowledge the fallen and their sacrifices without having to all get up at 5am to do it. Also would mark end of the public "holiday". Talked to the Auckland emergency services guy at the regional council and he said they don't have any sirens! So we'll have to work on forming a civil guard in each community that could do that each Anzac day.

Queen's Birthday - Gone. We wouldn't even have to move to a republic to get rid of this day. And it's in the beginning of Winter.

Matariki/Winter Festival - Maori New Year. Revived in recent years and good job - as it is close enough to Queen's birthday to replace it. Shoulkd only be for one day, Monday, as two days in Winter is a bit pointless. Marks the depth of Winter and the coming of the new season and so is a real change and is indigenous to us.

Labour Day - Gone. As a celebration of the 8 hour day it is idealistic and ideological - as the triumph of urban labour and the union movement primarily. It is quaint and as a declaration and celebration of a social goal could be replaced by universal franchise day - which would be more important. It is in late October which is a good time... but no. Because it can't beat the rationale for:

Spring Festival - Daylight savings begins, heralding the beginning of the start of summer. Yes it will probably be rainy - which is why it is a Monday and not a Friday also. A great weekend for gardening hopefully. Also, being a Monday it gives time for people to adjust to daylight savings.

Civic/Citizens/Community etc. Day - Having a set one each year is building good habits. Every year people will roll their eyes and say to each other "which election is it this year? The Senate one was last year wasn't it? So this must be for the community... where's my rates bill?" And maybe it doesn't need to go till midnight either. But it is in a good weather part of the year and if any campaigning is to be done, better out of the cold - higher turn-out and participation all round. Good for the workers to get a half-day for civic duties and placed after Guy Fawkes - which reminds me that all the hordings and campaign crap from the elections should be burnt at bonfires in town squares etc. at midnight to celebrate renewal and the termination of campaign animosity - fireworks may also feature as would heavy drinking. Always a great combination.

Christmas Day & Boxing Day - Well, they're really secular "Family Days" aren't they. And at the end of the calendar year there should be a set of holidays that provides the community with a cut-off point and start the summer holiday season. But I have little problem keeping the names - esp. as a trade off with Easter with the Christians. Save Christmas by sacrificing Easter. Maybe there are sects of Christianity that can be played off against each other for this: some thinking Christmas more important than Easter or vice versa? The business community/retailers would prefer keeping Christmas, as they can sell their chocolate eggs and bunnies as part of Autumn festival - you know Autumn Eggs and Autumn Bunnies and hot cross buns are sold for three months either side anyway. I think the transition will be very quick indeed.

At 11/10/05 9:42 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about shit-canning either New Year and Christmas Day, combining the two. I've always been perplexed as to why, if the calendar presently in use was based upon the birth of Christ as a start point, why the fuck Christmas day and New Year's Day aren't the same day anyway. Did somebody count wrong? I blame the Jews of course.

At 11/10/05 11:37 am, Blogger Foggy in Nelson said...

Good answers, although I doubt Christians would argue over whether Easter or Christmas are more important.

And society has managed to commercialise Easter quite nicely anyway ;)

I've often thought it would be better to have extra annual leave available, and then people can choose the holidays that are important to them personally and their culture/religion. But I also think it's important to have days where the WHOLE country has time off/holiday to celebrate our country so it's about getting the right balance really.

Me personally - I'd never, ever work Good Friday, Easter Sunday or Christmas Day - but that is my choice. You would have problems though if Good Friday fell during school term, as a lot of children would have to take that day off (it's a "holy day of obligation" for Catholics for instance) and stopping them from doing that could be viewed as discrimination.

Oh, and the easter eggs symbolise new life. Not pagan. Easter bunnies though - nice commercialisation to get the kids into it ;)

At 12/10/05 8:38 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim, you missed something, what about getting rid of Waitangi day.

There is no point in celebrating an obsolete document signed by British Imperialists and gullible warriors. It is a source of confusion, trouble, and has little place in 21st century New Zealand other than our history books and musuems.

In the words of Helen Clark, 'it is time to move on'.

This could be replaced by an Autumn holiday at the end of February.

At 12/10/05 9:58 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

..or maybe Dominion Day in September

At 12/10/05 1:35 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

Republic Day could be the only day that replaces Waitangi Day. But that could be in addition to it - or on the same day (?)

As I said before, Waitangi Day signifies the unification instrument and process and is historically the most important day we have - despite the latest revisionist Watsonian contrarian thinking on the matter.

At 12/10/05 7:39 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think there should be far more public holidays even if they are meaningless ones like Waitangi Day

At 14/10/05 11:47 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

pq action when you need it

fascist agree that we replace easter with tumeke day, also we sended our letter of enforced resignation to Judd, saying like how the campaign against her will be most unpretty if she donts go on long long holiday for evers and evers, also the foreshore tumeke we got stit organise everybody eat as much as they likes on foreshore,


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