As TEU members will be well aware, Matariki will be celebrated as an official public holiday on Friday 24 June next year, with legislation to be introduced later this year to amend the Holidays Act and add in the additional public holiday. What members may not be aware of is  that as part of the current collective agreement Matariki is being included as a public  holiday effective in 2022.

The following collective agreements have now included Matariki at Wintec, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, Weltec, Whitireia, Otago Polytechnic, Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki, and Eastbay REAP.

The inclusion of Matariki as a public holiday in TEU collective agreements has both material and symbolic significance for Te Uepū Maori and all members. While Matariki has been formally announced as an official public holiday beginning next year, its inclusion in collective agreements alongside other public holidays protects the provision of Matariki for the duration of the agreement. Symbolically, the inclusion of Matariki alongside increasing use of Te Reo Māori and Tiriti-related claims in collective agreements signals greater acknowledgement of te ao Māori between employer and kaimahi, and our continued Tiriti journey as a union.

TEU organiser Megan Morris says the inclusion of Matariki as a public holiday is a reflection of our maturing as a motu in acknowledging the importance of Matariki to Māori, and to our shared story as people living in Aotearoa,

‘As we continue our Tiriti journey, incorporating Te Reo Māori me ngā tikanga into our lives as a union, we can learn a lot from the inclusion of these and other kaupapa in our collective agreements. Many collective agreement are now including Te Reo Māori and there is increasing and meaningful engagement with te ao Māori and consideration of Te Uepū Māori in negotiations and terms and conditions’.