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 2018
|January 22nd||Wellington Anniversary Day||Wellington Province|
|January 29th||Auckland Anniversary Day||Auckland|
|January 29th||Nelson Anniversary Day||Nelson|
|March 12th||Taranaki Anniversary Day||Taranaki|
|March 26th||Otago Anniversary Day||Otago|
|April 3rd||Southland Anniversary Day||Southland|
|September 24th||Dominion Day||South Canterbury|
|October 19th||Hawkes Bay Anniversary Day||Hawke's Bay|
|October 29th||Marlborough Anniversary Day||Marlborough|
|November 16th||Christchurch Show Day||Canterbury|
|December 3rd||Chatham Islands Anniversary Day||Chatham Islands|
|December 3rd||Westland Anniversary Day||Westland|
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.
Taranaki Anniversary Day is celebrated annually on the second Monday of March.
Taranaki Anniversary Day commemorates the creation of the Taranaki province. Originally called New Plymouth province, it was renamed to Taranaki in 1859. The name 'Taranaki' refers to the large mountain in the area, the second largest on the north island, which was named Taranaki by the local Māori.
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.