Time Changes in New Zealand

  

© 1996 Carol Squires, PMAFA, DTASNZ.
The following time change information has been gleaned from a number of sources. When I embarked on this project I had planned merely to reprint the Time Changes information published in "The Journal of the Seasons" Vol 2 1975, an article compiled by Mrs. M Graham, D.F.Astrol.S, and then update that to the present time. But then I decided (and there have been many times during the past few months that I have regretted this time consuming and frustrating decision!) to search public records and confirm the dates and times printed in the 1975 article. (I hasten to add here that Mrs. Graham's research to 1975 has proved to be correct.)

What follows is an updated list to the present time as well as some background information on time and time changes in New Zealand that I have come across during my super sleuthing over the past few months. My sources have included: the library at the High Court Auckland (with grateful thanks to Janet Wills, Librarian, for tracking down the many relevant statutes and parliamentary acts), the Auckland Public Library, the Dept. of Internal Affairs, DSIR, Carter Observatory and, last but not least fellow astrologers who have sent me copies of relevant articles they have collected over the years.

In the earliest days of European settlement in New Zealand each of the fledgling settlements effectively kept its own time - with up to 50 minutes variation between one part of the colony and another. Each locality kept time 12 hours ahead of Greenwich mean time (GMT) but because local time calculations were based on the meridian (noon, or when the Sun is highest in the sky) and New Zealand spreads over 12 degrees of longitude there was inevitably variation.

On 2 November 1868, New Zealand officially adopted a standard time to be observed nationally, and was perhaps the first country to do so. It was based on the approximate mean longitude of the islands of New Zealand, 172 degrees 30 minutes East of Greenwich, that is, 11 hours 30 minutes ahead of Greenwich mean time. This standard was known as New Zealand Mean Time, and was observed until 1927 when the clocks were advanced one hour for the summer period (NewZealand Summer Time) from the 1st Sunday in November to the 1st Sunday in March: The Summer Time Act 1927. This daylight-saving measure was not well received and in the following year the advance was reduced to half an hour from the 2nd Sunday in October to the 3rd Sunday in March.

By The Summer Time Amendment Act 1933, the period of summer time was extended from the last Sunday in September to the last Sunday in April, commencing in 1934.

During the Second World War the clocks in New Zealand were not put back for the winter and the 1/2 hour advance was continued for the duration of the War. Since this was equivalent to adopting a new standard time meridian, the position was made permanent, effective from 1 January 1946, by the Standard Time Act 1945 in effect changing what was formerly known as New Zealand summer time to New Zealand Standard Time. New Zealand Standard Time is defined in the Act as the time corresponding to the longitude of 180° east of Greenwich, being 12 hours in advance of Greenwich mean time. This continued unchanged until 1974.

The Time Act 1974 empowered the Governor-General to declare a period during which daylight time is to be observed by Order in Council, fixed as a one hour advance on New Zealand standard time and known as New Zealand Daylight Time. This corresponds to a longitude of 195° East of Greenwich that is 13 hours ahead of Greenwich mean time.

The public response to a trial period of daylight time, from the first Sunday in November 1974 to the last Sunday in February 1975, was generally favourable. Subsequently the New Zealand Time Order 1975 fixed the period of observance from the last Sunday in October each year to the 1st Sunday in March of the following year.

As a consequence of a survey conducted in 1985, after 10 years of experience with daylight time, a trial period of extended daylight time was held in 1989/90 from the 2nd Sunday in October to the 3rd Sunday in March. Again the public response was generally favourable and a new Daylight Time Order 1990 declared that daylight time would commence at 2.00am New Zealand standard time on the 1st Sunday of October in each year and ceasing at 2.00 am New Zealand standard time on the 3rd Sunday in March the following year. This period of daylight time has continued each year to the present time.

THE CHATHAM ISLANDS

First mention of the Chatham Islands (850km east of Christchurch) was made in the Standard Time Amendment Act 1956 which states that "The time for general purposes in the Chatham Islands shall be forty-five minutes in advance of NZ standard time". This Act is effective from 1 January 1957. The Time Act 1974 defines daylight time in the Chatham Islands as being 1 hour 45 minutes in advance of New Zealand standard time.
 
 

SUMMER TIME/DAYLIGHT TIME IN NEW ZEALAND

Hours Ahead of GMT..
Advanced 1 hour on NZ Mean Time

1927.........06 Nov...... 2:00am...... to.......04 Mar 1928......2:00am.........12h 30m

Advanced 1/2 hour

1928.........14 Oct...... 2:00am...... to.......17 Mar 1929...... 2:00am.........12 h 00m

1929........ 13 Oct ......2:00am...... to...... 16 Mar 1930...... 2:00am

1930 ........12 Oct ......2:00am ......to ......15 Mar 1931...... 2:00am

1931 ........11 Oct ......2:00am ......to ......20 Mar 1932 ......2:00am

1932 ........09 Oct ......2:00am ......to ......19 Mar 1933 ......2:00am

1933 ........08 Oct ......2:00am ......to ......29 Apr 1934 .......2:00am

1934 ........30 Sep ......2:00am ......to ......28 Apr 1935 .......2:00am

1935 ........29 Sep ......2:00am ......to ......26 Apr 1936 .......2:00am

1936 ........27 Sep ......2:00am ......to ......25 Apr 1937 .......2:00am

1937 ........26 Sep ......2:00am ......to ......24 Apr 1938 .......2:00am

1938 ........25 Sep ......2:00am ......to ......30 Apr 1939 .......2:00am

1939 ........24 Sep ......2:00am ......to ......28 Apr 1940 .......2:00am .........12h 00m

1940 ........29 Sep ......2:00am ......to ....continued as "New Zealand Standard Time"
                                                                                  ( ie, - 12 hours) until...

"New Zealand Daylight Time" advanced 1 hour on New Zealand Standard Time

1974 ........03 Nov ......2:00am .....to ......23 Feb 1975 .......2:00am .........13h 00m

1975 ........26 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......07 Mar 1976 .......2:00am

1976 ........31 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......06 Mar 1977 .......2:00am

1977 ........30 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......05 Mar 1978 .......2:00am

1978 ........29 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......04 Mar 1979 .......2:00am

1979 ........28 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......02 Mar 1980 .......2:00am

1980 ........26 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......01 Mar 1981 .......2:00am

1981 ........25 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......07 Mar 1982 .......2:00am

1982 ........31 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......06 Mar 1983 .......2:00am

1983 ........30 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......04 Mar 1984 .......2:00am

1984 ........28 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......03 Mar 1985 .......2:00am

1985 ........27 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......02 Mar 1986 .......2:00am

1986 ........26 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......01 Mar 1987 .......2:00am

1987 ........25 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......06 Mar 1988 .......2:00am

1988 ........30 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......05 Mar 1989 .......2:00am

1989 ........08 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......18 Mar 1990 .......2:00am

1990 ........07 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......17 Mar 1991 .......2:00am

1991 ........06 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......15 Mar 1992 .......2:00am

1992 ........04 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......21 Mar 1993 .......2:00am

1993 ........03 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......20 Mar 1994 .......2:00am

1994 ........02 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......19 Mar 1995 .......2:00am

1995 ........01 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......17 Mar 1996 .......2:00am

1996 ........06 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......16 Mar 1997 .......2:00am

1997 ........05 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......15 Mar 1998 .......2:00am

1998 ........04 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......21 Mar 1999 .......2:00am

1999 ........03 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......19 Mar 2000 .......2:00am

Assuming New Zealand will continue to observe the current daylight time conditions the following is a projection to the year 2005:

2000 ........01 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......18 Mar 2001 .......2:00am .........13h 00m

2001 ........07 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......17 Mar 2002 .......2:00am

2002 ........06 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......16 Mar 2003 .......2:00am

2003 ........05 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......21 Mar 2004 .......2:00am

2004 ........03 Oct .......2:00am .....to ......20 Mar 2005 .......2:00am


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