NZ Public Holidays 2016

Kia ora! We love New Zealand and we love its holidays even more.

Holiday Date
New Year's Day January, Friday 1st
Day after New Year's Day January, Saturday 2nd (observed Monday 4th)
Wellington Anniversary January, Monday 25th
Auckland Anniversary February, Monday 1st
Nelson Anniversary February, Monday 1st
Waitangi Day February, Saturday 6th (observed Monday 8th)
Taranaki Anniversary March, Monday 14th
Otago Anniversary March, Monday 21st
Good Friday March, Friday 25th
Easter Monday March, Monday 28th
Easter Tuesday ? March, Tuesday 29th
Southland Anniversary March, Tuesday 29th
Daylight Saving ends April, Sunday 3rd
ANZAC Day April, Monday 25th
Queen's Birthday June, Monday 6th
Daylight Saving starts September, Sunday 25th
South Canterbury Anniversary September, Monday 26th
Hawke's Bay Anniversary October, Friday 21st
Labour Day October, Monday 24th
Marlborough Anniversary October, Monday 31st
Canterbury Anniversary November, Friday 11th
Westland Anniversary November, Monday 28th
Chatham Islands Anniversary November, Monday 28th
Christmas Day December, Sunday 25th (observed Tuesday 27th)
Boxing Day December, Monday 26th

Your guide to the New Zealand Public Holiday

Shop Opening Days

Most shops are required to be closed on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day, and the morning of Anzac Day (until 1pm).


As of January the 1st 2014, Anzac Day and Waitangi day became "Mondayised" which means if they fall on a weekend, the following Monday becomes a day off work. These holidays will still be commemorated/celebrated on their actual holiday date. You can get more information on how this affects business and employees on the government employment website

New Year's Day & The Day After New Year's Day

These two resolution-loaded holidays are always celebrated on the 1st and 2nd of January, however, if one or both of these holidays lands on a weekend, the holiday is actually observed on the next available working weekday.

For example, in 2012 New Year's Day landed on a Sunday. The day the holiday was observed couldn't be Monday as this was already taken up by the Day after New Year's Day holiday so instead it was pushed to Tuesday the 3rd of January.

Hang on.. so if I normally worked on a Sunday, does that mean I would've gotten Sunday off *and* the following Tuesday? Nope, I'm afraid not. If you were scheduled to work that day then you get that day off and no more :(

Anniversary Days

Most provincial regions have a designated date and this date sometimes lands on a weekend. Fortunately, everyone understands our need for a holiday so if the anniversary day happens to land on a weekend, it is kindly shuffled to a Monday or a Friday so we can put our feet up or get outside and celebrate!

But which day is it shuffled to? This can vary and is sometimes agreed upon. The anniversary holiday might even be shuffled to avoid landing on or near a large holiday such as Easter.

Waitangi Day

Waitangi Day is on the 6th of February every year and commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi (Tiriti o Waitangi). It's also summer in New Zealand and a great day to head to the beach with family and celebrate. Waitangi day is now "Mondayised". If it lands on a weekend it will be celebrated on that day, and you get the following Monday off work.


Chocolate bunny madness arrives and with it comes at least 2 days off! Good Friday and Easter Monday. For those of us in the education sector, there is often a third day off known as bonus Easter Tuesday.

How do I know which day is going to be Good Friday each year? Well, according to

Easter and the holidays that are related to it are moveable feasts, in that they do not fall on a fixed date in the Gregorian or Julian calendars (both of which follow the cycle of the sun and the seasons). Instead, the date for Easter is determined on a lunisolar calendar similar to the Hebrew calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the northern hemisphere's vernal equinox.[3] Ecclesiastically, the equinox is reckoned to be on March 21 (even though the equinox occurs, astronomically speaking, on March 20 in most years), and the "Full Moon" is not necessarily the astronomically correct date.

(I suggest you just check

Easter Tuesday

Is this really a public holiday? Well, not really, but if you are at school or happen to work in the education sector (includes universities) you'll know all about it. They get the day after Easter Monday off. For some, Otago Anniversary is observed on this day instead of the Monday closest to the 23rd March which can be a little confusing, and for those at Otago University it replaces your anniversary day! Southland Anniversary is also celebrated on Easter Tuesday.


The only day worth getting up at the crack of dawn for. ANZAC day is the 25th of April every year. It is also now "Mondayised". If it lands on a weekend it will be commemorated on that day, and you get the following Monday off work.

Queen's Birthday

Well, this isn't *actually* the Queen's birthday but that's okay, we'll have the day off anyway. Queen's Birthday holiday is the 1st Monday in June.

Labour Day

This non-labouring holiday is the 4th Monday in October so you'll always find it on a Monday. Easy!

Christmas Day & Boxing Day

These holidays need no introduction and you'll find they follow exactly the same rules as New Year's Day and the Day after New Year's Day. In fact, because they are exactly 7 days apart whatever rules end up applying to Christmas, you'll find the same will happen to New Year's Day.

Anything else? What about Daylight Saving?

Daylight Saving

Daylight Saving starts in Spring on the last Sunday in September so we can get a little more sun. Clocks get put forward from 2.00am to 3.00am so remember the season and think "looking forward to summer". Daylight Saving ends in Autumn on the first Sunday in April. Clocks get put back from 3.00am to 2.00am so again remember the season and think (with a sigh) "we're nearly back to winter". A more american way to remember is "Spring forward and Fall (Autumn) back".