public holidays

Events In History

Articles

Empire Day

  • Empire Day

    Empire Day (24 May), was celebrated widely in New Zealand from 1903 and was a major event in the Vice-regal calendar.

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  • Page 1 - Empire DayEmpire Day (24 May), was celebrated widely in New Zealand from 1903 and was a major event in the Vice-regal

Waitangi Day

  • Waitangi Day

    Every year on 6 February, New Zealand marks the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. For most people, Waitangi Day is a holiday; for many, and especially for Māori, it is a time for reflecting on the Treaty and its place in modern New Zealand.

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  • Page 4 – Waitangi Day 1960s

    The Waitangi Day Act 1960 declared 6 February to be Waitangi Day; a national day of thanksgiving in commemoration of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

  • Page 5 – Waitangi Day 1970s

    Waitangi Day, a public holiday from 1974, briefly became New Zealand Day in the 1970s. Increasingly, it became a focus for Māori protest activities.

  • Page 6 – Waitangi Day 1980s

    The 1980s brought changes in the way Waitangi Day was marked officially, as well as growing Māori protest.

  • Page 7 – Waitangi Day 1990s

    In the 1990s Waitangi Day events became a focus for protests about sovereignty.

  • Page 8 – Waitangi Day in the 21st century

    Waitangi Day in the 21st century has been linked more closely with New Zealand identity, and events have expanded beyond Waitangi itself. Protests have continued, and

Anzac Day

  • Anzac Day

    First observed in 1916, Anzac Day - 25 April - commemorates those killed in war as well as honouring returned servicemen and women. The ceremonies that are held at war memorials across the country, or in places overseas where New Zealanders gather, are rich in tradition and ritual.

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  • Page 3 – The Anzacs

    The word Anzac is part of the culture of New Zealanders and Australians. The word conjures up a shared heritage of two nations, but it also has a specific meaning, dating from

  • Page 2 – The ceremony

    The Anzac Day ceremony of 25 April is a form of military funeral and follows a particular pattern. The day's ceremonies have two major parts: one at dawn and another, more

  • Page 4 – The making of Anzac Day

    Anzac Day was made a half-day holiday in 1916, and the pattern of the day's events that occur now began at that time.

  • Page 5 – A sacred holiday

    Anzac Day became a public holiday and took on new meaning in a time of peace. It became a time to express sorrow, not glorify war, and was a sacred day that had a secular tone

  • Page 6 – Another war and peace

    Anzac Day came to have a wider focus and the commemorations became more popular in the years after the Second World War.

  • Page 7 – Modern Anzac Day

    Each generation of New Zealanders redefines Anzac Day to suit the mood of the times, but the last 40 years have been a time of much redefinition.

  • Page 9 – The red poppy

    The red poppy has become a symbol of war remembrance the world over. In many countries it is worn around Armistice Day (11 November), but in New Zealand it is most commonly

  • Page 10 – Further information

    Links and books relating to Anzac Day

Dominion status

  • Dominion status

    On 26 September 1907 the colony of New Zealand ceased to exist. It became, instead, a dominion within the British Empire.

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  • Page 3 – The first Dominion Day

    The first Dominion Day, 1907, was a holiday for public servants as all government offices closed to mark the occasion.

  • Page 4 – Demise of Dominion Day

    Dominion Day, 26 September, never really took hold in New Zealand. Wellington was one of the few places that kept up ceremonies after 1907.

Labour Day

  • Labour Day

    Celebrated on the fourth Monday in October, Labour Day commemorates the struggle for an eight-hour working day, a right that carpenter Samuel Parnell had famously fought for in 1840. Our first Labour Day was held on 28 October 1890, and it has been a statutory public holiday since 1900.

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  • Page 1 - Labour DayCelebrated on the fourth Monday in October, Labour Day commemorates the struggle for an eight-hour working day, a right that carpenter Samuel Parnell had famously fought for in

Christmas in New Zealand

  • Christmas in New Zealand

    Christmas in New Zealand is less about snow and sleigh bells and more about sun, sand and backyard barbecues. Over the holiday season we explore the Kiwi Christmas experience –
    from Abel Tasman’s first New Zealand Christmas in 1642 to the declining
    reign of the Queen’s message

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  • Page 1 - Kiwi ChristmasChristmas in New Zealand is less about snow and sleigh bells and more about sun, sand and backyard barbecues. Over the holiday season we explore the Kiwi Christmas experience –

Anzac Day in the Pacific

  • Anzac Day in the Pacific

    Armistice Day was the initial focal point for commemorations in the Cook Islands and Niue after the First World War. But because men from both countries had served in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, observances gradually shifted to Anzac Day in April

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  • Page 2 – Early commemorative efforts

    During the 1920s war memorials provided a focus for commemoration services in the Cook Islands, where the first Anzac Day service was possibly held in 1927. On Niue, Armistice

  • Page 3 – The growth of Anzac Day

    By the end of the Second World War military commemorations in the Cook Islands and Niue centered around Anzac Day. Services in both countries followed the pattern of those in