Provincial Anniversaries

Public holidays in New Zealand in 2017 Regional Holidays in New Zealand

Provincial Anniversary Days in New Zealand

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.

Provincial Days in 2017

Date Name Province
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.

Chatham Islands

The provincial holiday is celebrated on the Monday nearest to 30 November.

Hawke's Bay



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).

South Canterbury

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.

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