Holidays (New Zealand)

Where can I find information about public, local and school holidays in New Zealand?

Image: Pulled up by bigalid on Flickr.

Entry last updated: 05/02/20


In New Zealand we have a number of different holidays throughout the year as well as school holidays. Some holidays are for particular regions (provincial holidays), but most are for the whole country (public holidays).

Public and provincial holidays

New Zealand celebrates several public holidays each year. Some holidays are recognised in New Zealand as well as overseas like Christmas Day, New Years Day and Easter. Some are unique to New Zealand like Waitangi Day. New Zealand also has public holidays that are celebrated in certain areas. These are provincial anniversaries, such as Auckland Anniversary Day.

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Te Ara is an excellent starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa.

  • Search for 'public holidays' in the search box.
  • Select the link called Public holidays .

Look at the contents listed at the top of the article. The first page is a summary and the next pages have more detail.

Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, like public holidays.


NZHistory also has some really good information about New Zealand.

  • You may find it easier to search for a specific public holidays such as 'Waitangi Day' and 'Anzac Day' as some public holidays have specific pages created for them.
Tips: If we go down the bottom of the page on these sites we can see that both Te Ara and NZHistory belong to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information can be trusted.

Christchurch City Libraries

The Homework resources page from Christchurch City Libraries also has some good information for New Zealand public holidays and other festivals.

  • Go to the Learning tab at the top of the page.
  • Select Homework resources for kids.
  • Scroll down to the Subject guides and choose Holidays.
Tips: We like sites that are from government or other reputable organisations, because we can trust the information. You can sometimes tell these sites by their web address – they might have .govt or .edu in their address – or by looking at their About or Contact page.

School holidays

In New Zealand, schools have a long break from late December to the end of January as well as several smaller holidays throughout the year. The dates are chosen by the Ministry of Education.

Ministry of Education

The Ministry of Education site lists the dates for school holidays for the next few years.

Holiday activities

Visiting beaches, sports and games, reading, relaxing and spending time with friends and family are all activities people enjoy doing when they are on holiday.

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Te Ara has an excellent article on how New Zealanders spend their holidays.

  • Enter 'holiday activities' in the search box.
  • Select the link called Holiday activities.
Tips: Check out the external links and sources page to find other websites that have information about holidays.


NZHistory also has a number of articles on how New Zealanders have spent their holidays in the past.

  • Try using keywords like 'holidays', 'summer holidays', 'holiday destinations'.


There are some great books and stories about holidays in New Zealand. Check out your local public or school library to see what they have.

Here are some recommended titles:

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