New Zealand's Prime Minister supports daylight savings extension

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Monday, March 12, 2007

The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark has expressed an interest of extending daylight saving time in New Zealand after a petition to extend daylight saving was closed, gathering 35,000 signatures.

The petition was launched by Peter Dunne, leader of the United Future party, and Nelson city councillor, Mark Holmes in October, 2006. The petition requests "...that the House call upon the Government to provide 3 extra weeks of daylight saving to begin on the last Sunday of September and end on the first Sunday in April."

Ms Clark says that daylight savings could be stretched at the end because our summer is now lasting through till March. Ms Clark does not support a change to the start of daylight savings. Ms Clark said, "I think the way our weather and seasons have moved around we are finding that at the start of the so-called summer it's not the best, but we've just seen the most glorious Indian summer lasting well through into March and daylight savings ends in about a week's time."

Ms Clark also says she supports moving the summer school holidays from January to February, although she says that this would be hard to do.

The Minister for the Department of Internal Affairs, Rick Barker, is considering the extension of daylight savings, as an extension does not require any law change, instead it is done by Order in Council signed by the Governor-General, acting under section 4(1) of the Time Act 1974.

Ms Clark claims that there is a lot of public support for the extension.

If any change was to occur, it would be implemented next year, as daylight savings finishes this coming weekend.

The United States and Canada have both recently extended their daylight savings periods.