Public Holidays NZ 2024 - Everything you need to know

Published 9 January 2024

Your Guide to New Zealand's Public Holidays

Here we share the public holiday dates in New Zealand for 2024 and answer your Kiwi business employment questions for the NZ summer holiday period.

There are a maximum of 11 public holidays in New Zealand of national, religious, or cultural significance. While these are around the same time each year, the observed date varies.

To help employers prepare in advance and avoid business disruption, here’s a breakdown of public holidays for 2024:

NZ National Public Holidays - 2024

New Year's Day
Monday 1st January
Day after New Year's Day
Tuesday 2nd January

Waitangi Day
Tuesday 6th February
Good Friday
Friday 29th March
Easter Monday
Monday 1st April

Anzac Day
Thursday 25th April
King's Birthday
Monday 3rd June
Friday 28th June

Labour Day
Monday 28th October

Christmas Day
Wednesday 25th December
Boxing Day
Thursday 26th December 

NZ National Public Holidays - 2025

New Year's Day
Wednesday 1st January
Day after New Year's Day
Thursday 2nd January

NZ Regional Public Holidays - 2024

Auckland Anniversary
Monday 29th January

Buller Anniversary
Monday 5th February

Canterbury (South) Anniversary
Monday 23rd September

Canterbury Anniversary
Friday 15th November

Chatham Islands Anniversary
Monday 2nd December

Hawke's Bay Anniversary
Friday 25th October
Marlborough Anniversary
Monday 4th November

Nelson Anniversary
Monday 29th January

Northland Anniversary
Monday 29th January
Otago Anniversary
Monday 25th March
Southland Anniversary
Tuesday 2nd April

Taranaki Anniversary
Monday 11th March

Wellington Anniversary
Monday 22nd January
Westland Anniversary
Monday 2nd December

Answers to your burning questions

To ensure a smooth ride into 2024, we've compiled key information to address your pressing questions about public holidays and employment rights.

What if an employee has to work on a public holiday?

The official word is clear: an employee can only be made to work on a public holiday if it falls on a day they would otherwise work, and their employment agreement stipulates it. Availability on public holidays outside agreed hours requires fair compensation, and genuine reasons must be provided.

What are an employee's public holiday entitlements?

Every Kiwi employee is entitled to a maximum of 12 public holidays per year. However, claiming two public holidays for Mondayised dates or exceeding four during the Christmas and New Year period is a no-go. Specific entitlements depend on whether they work on the holiday and their regular work schedule.

What happens when a public holiday falls within a leave period?

The situation varies based on the type of leave:

Business close-down period:

If a business close-down includes public holidays (e.g., Christmas and New Year), employees are entitled to a paid public holiday if they would have worked on that day if the close-down weren't in effect.
Annual leave:

During annual leave, if a public holiday falls, employees get a paid public holiday if they would have normally worked on that day, and it doesn't deduct from their annual leave balance.
Parental leave:

If a public holiday falls within parental leave, the employer doesn't have to pay for it since the employee wouldn't have normally worked on that day.
Sickness, injury, bereavement, or family violence leave:

If an employee would have worked on a public holiday but cannot due to illness, family violence, or bereavement, it's treated as a paid unworked public holiday. Sick or family violence leave is not deducted from entitlement balances, and the public holiday doesn't count toward bereavement leave.
Unpaid Leave:

If a public holiday occurs during a period of unpaid leave, the employee typically doesn't receive payment as it wouldn't be an otherwise working day.
In true Kiwi collaboration, employers and employees should communicate and agree on any holiday arrangements.

Can you transfer a public holiday to another day?

Absolutely. Employers and employees can agree to transfer a public holiday to another day for various reasons, but it must meet specific criteria. The transferred day becomes the new public holiday for the employee, with corresponding entitlements.

Can an employer have a policy in place against transferring public holidays?

Absolutely, but it's not a one-size-fits-all situation. Employers may establish a workplace policy stating that they won't consider requests to transfer public holidays. This policy could encompass requests for the whole or part of the public holiday and may apply to the entire business or specific departments. However, to fulfill their good faith obligations, employers should consult with employees during the development of such a policy.

That's all from us!

Kia kaha, and have a fantastic rest of your summer


Note: This information is based on official details from Employment New Zealand and is subject to change. Always refer to the latest guidelines for the most accurate information. Visit Employment New Zealand here.


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