The Aussies have outdone us again. The Anzac spirit will be tested next year when Australians get an extra public holiday while Kiwis lose not one, but two.
It was already bad enough that Waitangi Day 2011 falls on Sunday, February 6, which, as a non-transferable holiday, means no extra day off.
But in April, for the first time in history, Anzac Day and Easter Monday fall on the same day.
Anzac Day is another non-transferable holiday, which means another day off work is taken from us.
But Queenslanders learnt last week that they will have a five-day Easter break, with the state parliament voting to compensate citizens by giving them an extra day's holiday on the Tuesday. That brings them into line with the rest of Australia.
New Zealanders, on the other hand, miss out.
It's a dream outcome for Aussies but Kiwis will have to labour on despite union calls for the situation to be fixed.
New Zealand has 11 public holidays legislated under the Holidays Act 2003, which can only be changed by an act of parliament. Some, like Waitangi Day and Anzac Day, are fixed, and others can be "Mondayised", such as when Christmas Day falls on a Sunday and the day off is transferred.
Unfortunately, there is no similar display of Aussie generosity about to burst forth from the Beehive.
A spokesman for Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson says Waitangi Day won't be "Mondayised" and legislating for an extra day off at Easter is extremely unlikely.
The one consolation is that the Anzac Day-Easter Monday scenario won't occur again until 2095.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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