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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.

Is Labour Day a Public Holiday?

Labour Day is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

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

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010MonOct 25Labour DayNational holiday 
2011MonOct 24Labour DayNational holiday 
2012MonOct 22Labour DayNational holiday 
2013MonOct 28Labour DayNational holiday 
2014MonOct 27Labour DayNational holiday 
2015MonOct 26Labour DayNational holiday 
2016MonOct 24Labour DayNational holiday 
2017MonOct 23Labour DayNational holiday 
2018MonOct 22Labour DayNational holiday 
2019MonOct 28Labour DayNational holiday 
2020MonOct 26Labour DayNational holiday 

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