A fortnight back I returned (briefly) to New Zealand in supposedly mid winter to find, my hundreds of poplar trees aside, my property ablaze with normally mid Autumn red and golden leaves. Add to that lots of hydrangeas and the like, still in full flower etc. Climate change per chance? No.

A decade back when I was producing a weekly nation-wide newspaper column I wrote how we have our seasons wrong. Over my life-time there’s been a gradual shift by about two months, thus our seasons weather now align with the northern hemisphere.

Claiming summer begins on the 1st November, as it certainly did in the post-war years, is simply no longer the case. In New Zealand it begins in mid-January, as most gardeners will confirm.

It matters hugely, specially for school-children who return to school on the 1st February having endured the rain, winds and erratic temperatures characteristic of Spring in their two months holiday break starting on the 1st December. So too for the seemingly now minority of New Zealanders who actually work in employment and no longer enjoy a full summer break. It’s a simple matter to fix by mere declaration.

At the time my newspaper column induced a heavy response but noteworthy, a reaction from Peter Dunne who it transpired held the portfolio for public holidays, something I didn’t know existed. Peter volunteered he’d look into shifting the school holidays (and obviously with that, the annual workers holiday) but nothing happened.

This could be a good policy plan for ACT albeit not for the Nats who are averse to change other than talking about it.



Bravo! August is holiday time in the Northern Hemisphere and we should do likewise in February when the weather is settled. We can still enjoy a couple of days off over Christmas & New Year. It would be interesting to see how the New Zealand population copes with several million tourist fighting over the same attractions.

I returned to NZ for a Holiday Early March

as by my thinking.
Rugrats back at School and nice sunny weather.
Turned out to be fabulous weather (after all the cyclones and other storms )

Came to this conclusion (march being a good visit time) after being a glider pilot for 47 years and observing the same shift of weather pattern

NZ is still a scenic wonder
Shame about the road cones and the political situation.

fighting temeraire June 15, 2023 at 3:07 pm

Known as the Precession of the Equinoxes.

And the kids can help pick our apples and stonefruit. Perfect timing.

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