Matthew Theunissen

Matthew Theunissen is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Easter holiday bonus

Timing of days off gives some Kiwis an extra-long break away from work.

Ben Hope.
Ben Hope.

With the next Christmas break feeling an age away and summer holidays a thing of the past, most Kiwis are knuckling down for the mid-year slog at work.

Not Ben Hope. He is among the estimated one in 10 New Zealanders shrewdly take three days annual leave between Easter Weekend and Anzac Day this month, giving him a 10-day holiday.

"Someone at work told me about it in February and I was like, 'lock it in - middle of the year, 10 days off, go for it'."

The Auckland radio jock is off to the Coromandel, leaving his colleagues at Kiwi FM to cover his early morning shift.

Online travel company Expedia, which commissioned an online poll of 1000 New Zealanders, says there has been a 90 per cent rise in interest in holidays during this period on last year because of the opportunity for a long break.

Gen X travellers, aged 35-54, were the most likely to take advantage of the opportunity.

Domestic destinations were the most popular getaway but there was also significant growth in demand for overseas travel.

Work demands, saving up leave for the summer and failing to book leave in time were cited as reasons people didn't take time off.

Expedia spokeswoman Kelly Cull cautioned against stockpiling leave.

An earlier survey found many of employees had unused leave at the end of last year.

Employers and Manufacturers Association chief executive Kim Campbell had no concerns about the decreased workforce's effect on productivity over the period.

"People working is only partly responsible for productivity," he said. "The true measure of productivity is how much capital we have employed for each person and when you do the maths, a few extra days holiday isn't going to make a rat's difference."

"To me, it really isn't a big deal and I hope everyone enjoys their holiday."

- Herald on Sunday

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