David Seymour says ACT would 'definitely not' support public holiday to mark Queen's death

The ACT Party says it would not support a public holiday in New Zealand to mark Queen Elizabeth II's death because it would be too pricey given there is a cost of living crisis.

A National Day of Mourning for the late monarch has been announced in Australia and there will be a public holiday in the United Kingdom on the day of her funeral.

Meanwhile in New Zealand, the Prime Minister's Office said earlier on Sunday that "no decisions have been made" about whether there will be one here. Cabinet will, however, consider options for a New Zealand memorial service for the Queen and the possibility of a public holiday when it meets on Monday.

A spokesperson for National leader Christopher Luxon told Newshub the party "would support a public holiday to mourn the Queen's passing". But ACT leader David Seymour said a public holiday would "definitely not" be backed by his party.

"We have a cost of living crisis, and Treasury estimates an extra public holiday would cost $450 million," he told Newshub.

"We doubt the Queen, who was famous for being a careful spender, would endorse such extravagance when people are struggling to make ends meet."

Seymour found the figure of $450 million in early 2021 through an answer to a Written Parliamentary Question that asked what the cost to businesses would be for a public holiday.

David Seymour.
David Seymour. Photo credit: Getty Images

Earlier on Sunday, Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro signed an Order in Council proclaiming King Charles III as New Zealand's Head of State. She made a few remarks prior to her signing, saying she didn't think such a historic moment would happen during her tenure.

The proclamation was then read publicly in a ceremony on Parliament's forecourt.

Following the proclamation ceremony, the New Zealand Defence Force conducted two 21-gun salutes - one on the Wellington waterfront and the other at the Devonport Naval Base in Auckland.