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Labour Day in New Zealand

Labour Day is a day off for many New Zealanders have the day off on Labour Day, which is an annual public holiday on the 4th Monday of October. It commemorates the struggle for an 8-hour working day.

Workers voicing out their labour rights.
Workers voicing out their labour rights.
©iStockphoto.com/Rahul Sengupta

What Do People Do?

Labour Day is a public holiday so many workers in New Zealand take the time off to relax and enjoy their spare time. It is on a Monday, so some people make the most of the long weekend by going on short trips out of town. Street parades and protest marches to voice out the importance of workers' rights are also held on or around Labour Day

Public Life

Labour Day is a public holiday in New Zealand. Schools, government offices, and many businesses are closed.


During the 19th century, workers in New Zealand tried to claim the right for an 8-hour working day. In 1840 carpenter Samuel Parnell fought for this right in Wellington, NZ, and won. Labour Day was first celebrated in New Zealand on October 28, 1890, when thousands of workers paraded in the main city centres. Government employees were given the day off to attend the parades and many businesses closed for at least part of the day.

The first official Labour Day public holiday in New Zealand was celebrated on the second Wednesday in October in 1900. The holiday was moved to the fourth Monday of October in 1910 has remained on this date since then.

Labour Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday TypeWhere It is Observed
MonOct 252010Labour DayNational holiday 
MonOct 242011Labour DayNational holiday 
MonOct 222012Labour DayNational holiday 
MonOct 282013Labour DayNational holiday 
MonOct 272014Labour DayNational holiday 
MonOct 262015Labour DayNational holiday 
MonOct 242016Labour DayNational holiday 
MonOct 232017Labour DayNational holiday 
MonOct 222018Labour DayNational holiday 
MonOct 282019Labour DayNational holiday 
MonOct 262020Labour DayNational holiday 

Quick Facts

Labour Day is a nationwide public holiday in New Zealand on the fourth Monday in October each year.

Labour Day 2018

Monday, October 22, 2018

Labour Day 2019

Monday, October 28, 2019


Name in other languages

Labour DayEnglish
Tag der ArbeitGerman
Arbeidernes dagNorwegian

List of dates for other years

Other holidays in October 2018 in New Zealand

Fun Holiday on October 22, 2018

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