The Holidays Act 1981 specifies each locality observing a Provincial Anniversary Day to celebrate the founding days or landing days of the first colonists of the various colonial provinces.
However the exact dates are not legislated for.
The regions covered are set by provincial district (as they stood when abolished in 1876), plus Southland, the Chatham Islands, South Canterbury and Northland.
The actual observance days can vary even within each province and is due to local custom, convenience or the proximity of seasonal events or other holidays.
This may differ from the official observance day, and may be several weeks from the official day.
|January 23rd||Wellington Anniversary Day||Wellington Province|
|January 30th||Auckland Anniversary Day||Auckland|
|January 30th||Nelson Anniversary Day||Nelson|
|March 13th||Taranaki Anniversary Day||Taranaki|
|March 20th||Otago Anniversary Day||Otago|
|April 18th||Southland Anniversary Day||Southland|
|September 25th||Dominion Day||South Canterbury|
|October 20th||Hawkes Bay Anniversary Day||Hawke's Bay|
|October 30th||Marlborough Anniversary Day||Marlborough|
|November 17th||Christchurch Show Day||Canterbury|
|November 27th||Chatham Islands Anniversary Day||Chatham Islands|
|December 4th||Westland Anniversary Day||Westland|
The Northern and Central Canterbury regions take Christchurch Show Day as their provincial holiday. The Canterbury Show Day celebration is the last day of the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Show and takes place on the second Friday after the first Tuesday in November.
The provincial holiday is celebrated on the Monday nearest to 30 November.
Otago Anniversary Day is 23 March, but is celebrated on the closest Monday. On 23 March 1848 the John Wickliffe, the first of two sailing ships chartered by the Lay Association of the Free Church of Scotland to bring settlers to Otago landed at Koputai (Port Chalmers).
The provincial day in South Canterbury is Dominion Day, which is celebrated on the fourth Monday in September. Dominion Day commemorates 26 September 1907, when New Zealand was granted Dominion status within the British Empire.
Though Westland is no longer a province, Westland District still commemorates a provincial anniversary on the Monday nearest to 1 December to mark 1 December 1873, when Westland split from Canterbury Province.