Queen Elizabeth's death: Deputy PM Grant Robertson hints at one-off public holiday

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson has hinted New Zealand may hold a one-off public holiday to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II after her death.

The monarch died aged 96 at her Balmoral home last week. Among many other ceremonies, Australia and the United Kingdom are holding public holidays to mark the Queen's death.

Cabinet will meet on Monday to decide whether New Zealand will also hold a public holiday but Robertson hinted he might be keen on AM.

"We want to recognise the significance of this occasion, 70 years in the making and we will make our decision today… But I think the most important thing to recognise here is the sovereign of the nation has died," Robertson told AM's Ryan Bridge.

"I do think New Zealanders need the opportunity to be able to mourn and to commemorate this extraordinary life and the role the Queen has played.

But one person who isn't keen is ACT leader David Seymour who said a public holiday would be too expensive.

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

"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 came up with 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.

When asked about the cost on Monday morning, Robertson said Seymour's figures don't take into account the money Kiwis would spend during the day off. 

"On the number, that comes from an estimate around the Matariki holiday but that's the gross figure rather than the net figure. I mean that's the estimate I think people made of the total cost to businesses, it doesn't take into account that if we do have a public holiday people will be out there in the community and they will be spending."

Robertson said Cabinet will consider a range of views today before deciding whether to have a day off. 

"We will take into account a range of views, what we are doing at the moment is consulting with a range of political parties. 

"If we look around the world… the UK is doing this, so is Australia, I believe Canada is considering something similar so we have to bear all these different points of view in mind," he said.