Daylight savings extended in New Zealand

Monday, April 30, 2007

New Zealanders will have more time for sunbathing with the extension of daylight saving.
Image: Matthew Bowden.

The New Zealand Government has announced that the daylight saving period has been extended by three weeks. Clocks will be brought forward by one hour for 27 weeks in a year beginning a week earlier on the last Sunday of September and ending on the first Sunday of April.

The extension is due primarily to a petition signed by 42,000 New Zealanders backed by Mark Holmes, Nelson city councillor, who says it will benefit those workers who work from 9.00 a.m. till 5.00 p.m.. It was also backed by politician Peter Dunne, leader of minor political party, United Future.

The change is done by an Order-in-Council signed by the Governor-General, Anand Satyanand, acting under section 4(1) of the 1974 Time Act.

The Department of Internal Affairs and the Internal Affairs minister, Rick Barker, also received a lot of support for a change, including from the Federated Farmers. Farmers had usually opposed a change to the daylight saving period because it hampered with operations.

Helen Clark, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, stated that she personally did not support a change to the start of daylight saving in March. However the main reason that the start was altered was to avoid clashes with the fourth school term.

Rick Barker says that they will be working with various companies in the information technology sector to make sure computers are updated and ready for the first new daylight saving period change since 1990.

The Department of Internal Affairs will monitor the amount of energy has been saved because of the longer amount of daylight, and the effects it has on the economy.

In a press release, Mr Barker said, "The decision means people will have an extra hour of daylight in the evenings from late September to early April to enjoy the outdoors. This builds upon the extra half an hour already built into New Zealand’s time throughout the year."

The United States and Canada have both also recently extended their daylight saving to a 34-week period.