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New Zealand Ends Daylight Saving Time on April 5, 2009

New Zealand’s daylight saving time (DST) will come to an end on Sunday, April 5, 2009.

The auckland sky tower at sunset

New Zealand Ends DST on 5 April, 2009

©iStockphoto.com/Mark Baskett

The clocks will move back by one hour from 3am (or 03:00) to 2am (or 02:00) local time when the schedule ends on this date. Some parts of Australia will also end their 2008–2009 daylight saving schedule on April 5, 2009.

New Zealand’s Daylight Saving Schedule

New Zealand’s main islands, as well as the Chatham Islands will wind the clock back by one hour on April 5, 2009. The main islands will switch from New Zealand Daylight Time (NZDT), which is 13 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), or UTC +13 hours, to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST), which is UTC +12 hours.

The Chatham Islands will move from UTC+13:45 hours to UTC +12:45 hours on the same date. The time will remain the same on the Cook Islands and Tokelau (UTC -10 hours), as well as Niue (UTC -11 hours), because they do not observe daylight saving time. The Cook Islands and Niue are in free association with New Zealand, while Tokelau is a New Zealand territory.

Schedule Extended After 2007

New Zealand’s Minister of Internal Affairs Rick Barker announced in 2007 that the nation’s daylight saving schedule would be extended. This decision was made after results from a survey and petition showed that people favored an extended daylight saving period. Daylight saving time in New Zealand now annually commences on the last Sunday of September, when 2am (02:00) moves forward 3am (03:00) local time, and ends on the first Sunday of April the following year, when 3am (03:00) moves back to 2am (02:00) local time.

New Zealand’s next daylight saving schedule will start on Sunday, September 27, 2009, and end on Sunday, April 4, 2010. The 2010–2011 daylight saving schedule will start on Sunday, September 26, 2010.

Brief History of New Zealand's Time

According to New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs, New Zealand was one of the first countries in the world to officially adopt a nationally observed standard time. New Zealand Mean Time, adopted in November 1868, was set at 11 hours 30 minutes ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. Greenwich Mean Time was established by British Railways in the 1840s but was not made Great Britain's standard time until 1880.

In 1941, due to emergency regulations during World War II, clocks were advanced half an hour in New Zealand. This advance was made permanent by the Standard Time Act 1945. The Act provided that New Zealand Standard Time was set 12 hours in advance of Greenwich Mean Time or Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

In the late 1940s the development of the first atomic clock was announced and several laboratories began atomic time scales. A new time scale based on the readings of atomic clocks, known as Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), was adopted internationally in 1972. "New Zealand Standard Time" is currently defined in the Time Act 1974 as meaning 12 hours in advance of UTC. The time for the Chatham Islands was set 45 minutes in advance of New Zealand Standard Time.

Chatham Islands Time

There is no official name given by the Time Act to the time followed in the Chatham Islands.  The Act specifies that the Chatham Islands will have daylight saving when the rest of New Zealand does (ensuring that the Chatham Islands will always be 45 minutes ahead of New Zealand).  The Chatham Islands currently observe daylight saving from the last Sunday of September through to the first Sunday of April, as with the rest of New Zealand.