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Monday, March 7, 2011

Mixed reaction to paid day of mourning

Mixed reaction to paid day of mourning

Last updated 11:16 08/03/2011
The Government is planning a law change to allow for a one-off paid public holiday as a day of mourning for those killed in the 6.3 magnitude earthquake of February 22.

The Prime Minister's office confirmed this morning that a one-off public holiday proposed for March 18 would only be for Canterbury residents and would exclude residents in South Canterbury.

While nothing was set in concrete, the matter was still subject to discussion, the office said.

The Press hit the streets of Christchurch to see what people thought about the proposal of holding a paid public holiday.

Bill Stark, 58, of New Brighton and Sue Mansell, 58, of Southshore agreed that a national day of remembrance would be inappropriate."

For workers it's a good thing I suppose but it's too late for those who have lost their lives," said Mansell.

Rachel Baars, 25, of South New Brighton: "You've got to remember all those people who died. It's one of the worst tragedies in New Zealand history.

"It's a good idea. They thought about it for Pike River and that never happened. It's just one tragedy to another," David, 40, of South Brighton.

Ian Parnham, 43: "I think they should hold a remembrance day. Replace Waitangi Day and call it New Zealand Day."

Margaret France, 73, from Parklands said the idea of a nationwide public holiday seemed ironic.

"A lot of people already have the day off - Lots of people have lost their jobs. I think it's just a bit soon"

Sam Houstoun, 62: "I don't think it should be a paid day though. It should just be about remembrance and that's the end of it.

"Yeah I definitely think we should go for it. It's no different to Waitangi Day. People still died and for those who have lost their jobs, they'll get another one," said Greg Ryan, 36.

Labour leader Phil Goff is backing a day of mourning but says he does not see a need for a day off.

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