New Zealand republicans want honours to be announced at Matariki
The New Zealand republicans want honours to be announced on the Matariki public holiday, instead of on the King's official birthday.
Republican Movement / Kia Mana Motuhake a Aotearoa chair Lewis Holden said the King's Birthday was not a relevant public holiday for the country.
"It's great to have a public holiday obviously in June as we do, but the thing is is that it's only at that time of year because that's when the weather is good in England."
King's Birthday honours were an anachronism and the day was not even the King's actual birthday, he said.
Matariki was more relevant and it was fantastic to see more and more New Zealanders enjoying Matariki, he said.
"There's all of these community events now happening that happen to a far greater extent than they do for King's Birthday weekend."
Awarding honours on the Matariki public holiday would help build a sense of nationhood, Holden said.
A previous major change to New Zealand's honours system was when Helen Clark's Labour government scrapped the use of knights and dames in 2000, saying it was in line with the recommendations of an advisory committee on the honours system.
At that time those receiving a titular honour were appointed Principal and Distinguished Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
However, John Key's National government reinstated the titles in the New Zealand honours system in March 2009.
At that time the former prime minister said he wrote to 85 New Zealanders who were appointed Principal and Distinguished Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit asking if they would like the option of accepting a title.
By August 2009 most of those eligible for the titles of Sir and Dame had chosen to take up the honours with all but 13 of the 85 agreeing to take up titular honours.
One of those to turn down the offer was Māori academic, the late Ranginui Walker who said the English tradition did not fit with New Zealand's social structure.