Official anniversary day elusive

ELTON SMALLMAN
Last updated 05:00 26/01/2013

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Working out when to have a provincial day off could be harder than getting it changed, says a leader who has battled with the issue.

The three district and regional mayors of the Southland region came together in 2011 to confirm an anniversary day for the deep south. They were unsuccessful but Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt said deciding on the day was a bigger issue than changing the legislation around it. He said it was up to local officials to make the push rather than expect central government to ask a province if they wanted change.

Anniversary days are one of 11 paid public holidays legislated in the Holidays Act.

"Everyone has had a crack at it for the last 150 years. We have had official anniversary days but no-one has taken much notice.

"If you pin it down to a historical date in which everyone can agree on then you have done really well but I would say that is likely to be the biggest challenge."

Mr Shadbolt said without an official Southland anniversary day, businesses had been left to meet the legal requirements of the Act on their own and Mr Shadbolt said Waikato's political leaders need to consider the workers.

"You whistle in the wind and try and choose a date but you may find that even if you agree on a date you may indeed find it is very difficult to apply it to individual workers.

"All I can do is wish you the best of luck and just because we failed doesn't mean you should give up."

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- Waikato Times

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