School terms and holidays

The New Zealand school year is divided into four terms for state and state-integrated schools and kura.

Schools and kura (Māori Medium schools) have some flexibility around their start and finish dates. Terms 2 and 3 are fixed.

Schools and kura close for public holidays and anniversary days, teacher-only days, Saturdays and Sundays. They can also close in an emergency.

During the school day there are breaks in the morning and at lunchtime so that your child can eat and play. You need to provide morning tea and lunch.

2017

 TermStart dateEnd dateHolidays
1

(10-11 weeks)
Between Monday 30 January
and Tuesday 7 February
Thursday 13 April School holidays: Friday 14 April - Sunday 30 April. Includes Easter Friday, Easter Monday, and Easter Tuesday (an official school holiday). Also includes ANZAC day

Public holiday: Waitangi Day Monday 6 February
2

(10 weeks)
Monday 1 May Friday 7 July School holidays: Saturday 8 July - Sunday 23 July

Public holiday: Queen's Birthday Monday 5 June
3

(10 weeks)
Monday 24 July Friday 29 September School holidays: Saturday 30 September - Sunday 15 October
4

(up to 10 weeks)
Monday 16 October Primary and intermediate:
No later than Wednesday 20 December*

Secondary and composite:
No later than Thursday 14 December**
School holidays:  From school's closing date until opening date the next year

Public holidays: Labour Day 23 October, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day, day after New Year's Day

* so that school has been open for instruction for 388 half-days.

** so that school has been open for instruction for 380 half-days.

2018

TermStart dateEnd dateHolidays
1

(11 weeks)
Between Monday 29 January and Wednesday 7 February Friday 13 April School holidays: Saturday 14 April - Sunday 29 April (includes ANZAC day 25 April)

Public holidays: Waitangi Day 6 February, Easter: Good Friday 30 March, Easter Monday 2 April

and Easter Tuesday 3 April (a school holiday)
2

(10 weeks)
Monday 30 April Friday 6 July School holidays: Saturday 7 July – Sunday 22 July

Public holiday: Queen’s Birthday 4 June.
3

(10 weeks)
Monday 23 July Friday 28 September School holidays: Saturday 29 September – Sunday 14 October
4

(up to 10 weeks)
Monday 15 October Primary, intermediate and special schools:

No later than Thursday 20 December*

Secondary and composite:

No later than Tuesday 18 December**
School holidays: 5 or 6 weeks (from school’s closing date until opening date of school the following year)

Public holidays: Labour Day 22 October, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day

* so that school has been open for instruction for 384 half days.
** so that school has been open for instruction for 380 half days.

2019

 TermStart dateEnd date Holidays    
1

(11 weeks)
Between Monday 28 January and Thursday 7 February Friday 12 April School holidays: Saturday 13 April - Sunday 28 April (includes Easter and Easter Tuesday and ANZAC day)

Public holidays: Waitangi Day 6 February
2

(10 weeks)
Monday 29 April Friday 5 July School holidays: Saturday 6 July – Sunday 21 July

Public holiday: Queen’s Birthday 3 June
3

(10 weeks)
Monday 22 July Friday 27 September School holidays: Saturday 28 September – Sunday 13 October
4

(up to 10 weeks)
Monday 14 October Primary, intermediate and special schools: No later than Friday 20 December*

Secondary and composite: No later than Friday 13 December**
School holidays: 5 or 6 weeks (from school’s closing date until opening date of school the following year)

Public holidays: Labour Day 28 October, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day

* so that school has been open for instruction for 390 half days
** so that school has been open for instruction for 380 half days.

2020

 TermStart dateEnd date Holidays    
1

(11 weeks)
Between Monday 27 January and Friday 7 February Thursday 9 April School holidays: Saturday 11 April - Sunday 26 April (includes Easter, Easter Tuesday and ANZAC day)

Public holiday: Waitangi Day.
2

(10 weeks)
Tuesday 28  April Friday 3 July School holidays: Saturday 4 July – Sunday 19 July

Public holiday: Queen’s Birthday
3

(10 weeks)
Monday 20 July Friday 25 September School holidays: Saturday 26 September – Sunday 11 October
4

(10 weeks)
Monday 12 October Primary, intermediate and special schools: No later than Friday 18 December*

Secondary and composite: No later than Wednesday 16 December**
School holidays: 5 or 6 weeks (from school’s closing date until opening date of school the following year)

Public holidays: Labour Day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day

* so that school has been open for instruction for 384 half days
** so that school has been open for instruction for 380 half days.

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Why aren't the school terms all the same length?

The main reasons for terms varying in length are:

  • schools, kura and their communities choosing to start at the earliest start date, which extends the first term by up to one week
  • where possible the Ministry aligns the end of the first term to Easter so that the Easter break falls within the school holidays - this can make term 1 shorter or longer depending on when Easter falls
  • schools and kura closing for teacher-only days and local events and having to make up the days at the end of the year - which makes term 4 slightly longer.

What can I do if I'm not happy with my school's start and finish dates?

Some parents have children attending different schools with different start and finish dates.  Schools are required to consult with schools in their communities to align their dates where possible to minimise disruption to families.  It that's not happening, talk to your principal about how they set the dates and the impact it's having on your family. 

What about early childhood centres, private schools and partnership schools?

Many early childhood centres follow the school terms and holidays. Full time daycare centres though are usually open through the school holidays but close over Christmas.  Check with your centre or service.

Private schools and partnership schools can have different terms and holidays.  They can also open on Easter Tuesday.  Check with the school.

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