Careers advice

Making the most of your annual leave in 2024 (including regional anniversary days)

Time to get those calendars out.

Last updated: 7 November 2023

With summer just around the corner, you might find your mind wandering to holiday plans for the year ahead.

As well as thinking about what you’ll do with the range of statutory and bank holidays coming up over the next few months, you might also be thinking about soaking up some extra sun overseas when winter returns (yes, sadly, that will happen).

Below, you’ll find all the useful hacks you need to make the most of your annual leave in 2024 to make sure that your work-life balance is where it needs to be.

Christmas and New Year’s 2023/24

  • 25th December: Christmas Day
  • 26th December: Boxing Day
  • 1st January: New Year’s Day
  • 2nd January: Day after New Year's Day

You can get 11 days off for the price of only three days annual leave, thanks to Christmas Day and Boxing Day falling on Monday the 25th and Tuesday the 26th respectively. So, if you book December 27th – December 29th with annual leave, you’ll be off work from December 23rd – January 2nd. Now, if that isn’t worth celebrating, we don’t know what is.

January 2024 - Wellington, Auckland and Nelson Anniversary Days

Other than the the nationwide holidays on Jan 1st and Jan 2nd mentioned above, three regions have their respective anniversary dates in January, all of which fall on Mondays:

  • January 23rd: Wellington Anniversary Day.
  • January 29th: Auckland Anniversary Day.
  • January 29th: Nelson Anniversary Day.

If you live in any of those regions, and take off the Friday before (the 20th for Wellington, and the 27th for Auckland and Nelson), then hey presto, you have four days off for the price of one annual leave day.

February 2024 - Waitangi Day

This year, Waitangi Day falls on a Tuesday (February 6th). This means that, if you book off Monday, February 5th using your annual leave, you’ll get a lovely four-day weekend to enjoy the sun (fingers crossed!).

March 2024 - Taranaki and Otago Anniversary Days, and Good Friday

March is host to two regional anniversary days, which, again, both fall on Mondays:

  • March 11th: Taranaki Anniversary Day.
  • March 25th: Otago Anniversary Day.

So, if you live in Taranaki, you could take off Friday, March 8th, or, if you live in Otago, you could take off Friday, March 22nd, and upgrade your three-day long weekend to four days.

This year, Good Friday is also in March (on the 29th), but we’ll link this into the other Easter Bank Holidays below.

April 2024 - Easter, Southland Anniversary Day and ANZAC Day

April is always a bonanza time for public holidays, and 2024 is no exception.

Let’s start with Easter, and you’ll find this year, Good Friday falls on March 29th, followed by Easter Monday on April 1st – meaning you get an instant four-day weekend without using any annual leave.

If, however, you want 10 days off for the price of only four annual leave days, you can take off Tuesday, April 2nd – Friday, April 5th, which would mean no work between March 29th - April 8th. How good!

In an extra piece of good news for Southlanders, Southland Anniversary Day is April 2nd, meaning you can get that same 10 days of holiday for just three days of annual leave!

ANZAC Day follows hot on the heels of Easter, on Thursday, April 25th. So, if you take off Friday, April 26th, you’ll grab yourself another four-day weekend.

June 2024 - King’s Birthday and Matariki

The King’s Birthday weekend offers another opportunity for a four-day weekend. The bank holiday itself is Monday, June 3rd so all you need to do is take Friday, May 31st as annual leave.

This year, the Matariki public holiday is on Friday, June 28th. By now, you know what this means – take off Monday, July 1st, and you have a four-day break for the price of one annual leave day.

September 2024 - South Canterbury Anniversary Day

South Cantabrians, your anniversary day in 2024 is Monday, September 23rd. If you’re keen to turn three days off into four, simply book off Friday, September 20th using your annual leave.

October 2024 - Hawke’s Bay Anniversary Day, Labour Day, Marlborough Anniversary Day

October is always a good time to be working in the Hawke’s Bay, thanks to the region’s anniversary day (Friday 25th) and the nationwide Labour Day (Monday 28th) bank holiday bookending the final weekend of the month. An easy four-day weekend right there. For the rest of us, we’ll need to book off Friday, October 25th using annual leave if we want to enjoy the same break

November 2024 - Marlborough Anniversary Day, Canterbury Anniversary Day

For inhabitants of beautiful Marlborough, you could score yourself a sweet 10-day break for the price of four annual leave dates. You only need to take annual leave from Tuesday, October 29th – Friday, November 1st to enjoy a 10 day respite thanks to Labour Day falling on the 28th and Marlborough Anniversary Day on Monday, November 4th.

Canterbury Anniversary Day falls on Friday, November 15th, meaning a four-day weekend will be yours to enjoy if you decide to use your annual leave to take off Monday, November 18th.

Likewise, for Chatham Islanders, your anniversary day is on a Monday (November 27th). So all you need to do is take Friday, November 14th off to get your four-day weekend fix.

December 2024 - Westland Anniversary Day, Chatham Islands Anniversary Day

Both Westland Anniversary Day and Chatham Islands Anniversary Day fall on Monday, December 2nd. This means you can turn the first weekend of summer into a four-dayer by taking off Friday, November 29th.


Al Hall
Al Hall

Al Hall is a regular contributor at Trade Me Jobs and Trade Me Property. He’s dedicated to helping people succeed in their aspirations to find their dream job and place to live.