Should today be a public holiday, or next Monday?
Matariki is probably visible in the pre-dawn sky for those keeping rural hours. This means the Maori New Year is upon us and is being celebrated around this time.
The actual start cluster is known almost universally and it's Wikipedia entry is a fascinating read. Through the manufacturing might of our very good Asian (and yes, whale-gorging) friend we know it's name in Japanese.
As previously proposed I suggested that in the evolution of our nation into a republic we replace the first Monday of June (Queen's Birthday) with a later date in June for Matariki. At the time I thought the second Monday, but now I'm inclined to think the third Monday or last Monday of June is more in line with the correct date. I made this comment then: "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. Should 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." That still holds. The further back in June the more a marking of the end of the season it would be - as the depth of Winter is truly apparent at that time.
Maori New Year would be a good time for general merriment and feasting given the season and a fine occasion for balls.