Enjoy your long weekend, New Zealand - after tomorrow it will be 139 long, cold days until the next statutory holiday graces our working week.

In summer and the mild early weeks of autumn, we be rollin' in lovely, long, languid weekends. It's a feast of extra days off - eight in the four months from Christmas Day and a good bunch fall on a Friday or a Monday. In much of the country, including Auckland, Wellington, Nelson and Otago, that number bumps to nine when each celebrates an anniversary day holiday over that period.

Come winter, the party's over.

If you want to enjoy a statutory holiday between Queen's Birthday in June and Labour Day in October, you had better start packing your bags for Timaru, Tekapo or Temuka. Only South Canterbury celebrates its anniversary then, on September 26.

Advertisement

Or we could just add another holiday to the calendar. Why not? We have plenty to celebrate.

With just a little help from Google, the Herald on Sunday came up with five days worth taking a day off for in August - midpoint in the statutory holiday drought.

Of course, creating a new public holiday is no doddle. Adding one to the calendar would mean amending section 44 of the Holidays Act 2003.

That would require drafting a government or member's bill and then dispatching it through the normal parliamentary process.

There wasn't much support for our bright idea from those in charge, either.

Statutory holidays fall under the brief of Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse and the Herald on Sunday asked him which of our potential statutory days might be a goer. None, it seems.

"The minister is very fond of the fact that [the] majority of our long weekends are at a time when the weather is nice and not in the dead of winter," a spokeswoman responded on his behalf.

Jack Lovelock winning gold at the Olympics is definitely worth celebrating. Photo / Supplied
Jack Lovelock winning gold at the Olympics is definitely worth celebrating. Photo / Supplied

Minister of Internal Affairs Peter Dunne was not only reluctant to embrace an extra day off in the winter months, but keen to get rid of the sole one that remains. Queen's Birthday should be scrapped, he said through a spokesman, before offering an alternative.

"It is as irrelevant as it is outmoded. [I] would rather replace Queen's Birthday with Matariki Day in late June."

Perhaps the ministers are right. An extra day could just end up hitting you in the pocket - it's an excuse to go out and spend money. Actually, more money than usual - remember that statutory holiday surcharge cafes like to add to the bill? Better to head to work.

August options

August 1 The day in 1987 when Te Reo Maori became an official language.

August 2 The nuclear-powered warship USS Texas arrived - and Kiwis threw a spectacular strop.

August 6 In Hitler's Germany, West Coast hero Jack Lovelock won gold in the 1500m - New Zealand's first track triumph.

August 15 The day World War II ended in 1945 with Japan's surrender. Peace Day anyone?

August 18 A tough sell ... but four Prime Ministers - David Lange, Norman Kirk, Sir Robert Muldoon and Sir Sidney Holland - died in the month of August. As well, incumbent John Key was born on August 9, 1961. August 18 is the mid-point of Prime Ministers' Day comings and goings.