Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the date of the first Matariki public holiday.
Ardern said the date - Friday 24 June 2022 - was advised by the government's Matariki Advisory Group.
The timing of the holiday will change from year to year but is expected to always fall on a Monday or Friday, Ardern said.
The rising of Matariki, or the star cluster known as Pleiades, usually occurs near the end of June and the beginning of July, marking the start of the Māori New Year.
"Matariki will be a distinctly New Zealand holiday; a time for reflection and celebration, and our first public holiday that recognises Te Ao Māori," Ardern said.
"This will be a day to acknowledge our nation's unique, shared identity, and the importance of tikanga Māori. It's going to be something very special, and something uniquely New Zealand.
"It will also break up the lag between public holidays that currently exists between Queen's Birthday in early June and Labour Day in late October."
QLDC Mayor Jim Boult said:“On balance this is a positive. It will add a cost to business that we don’t need but, on the other hand, long weekends bring many to the district when we need them.”
Read edition 1014 of the Wānaka Sun here.