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Plan ahead for those statutory holidays in New Zealand

If you are heading to the other side of the world on your holidays, you don't want your carefully-prepared schedule to be wrecked by finding out the buses aren't running. Make a note of the dates of statutory holidays in New Zealand so you aren't caught out.

In the southern hemisphere spring, New Zealanders take a long weekend for Labour Day, which falls on Monday October 24 in 2011, and Monday October 22 in 2012.

Christmas and New Year are observed in much the same way as in the UK with Boxing Day and the day after New Year's Day also regarded as holidays.

The national holiday of Waitangi Day, which falls on February 6 celebrates the signing of the nation's founding document on that date in 1840.

Easter is observed in New Zealand as in the UK, with Good Friday and Easter Monday taken as public holidays. These fall on April 6 and April 9 in 2012.

ANZAC Day is a very important public holiday in New Zealand, commemorating the sacrifices of the soldiers killed in the World Wars and in subsequent conflicts. This is marked every April 25, which will be on a Wednesday in 2012.

New Zealanders also take a public holiday to mark the Queen's Birthday. This is always the first Monday in June, which in 2012 will be June 4.

There may be limited buses and trains running on statutory holidays in New Zealand, but it is advisable to check in advance, book tickets if possible, and not to plan on any shopping expeditions or restaurant outings on those dates.

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