School terms and holidays

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

About school holidays

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 dates, 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.

2021 school terms and holidays

 START DATEEND DATEHOLIDAYS
Term 1

Between 10-11 weeks
Between Monday 1 February (at the earliest); and Tuesday 9 February (at the latest) Friday 16 April

Public holidays: Waitangi Day (observed) Monday 8 February

Easter: Good Friday 2 April, Easter Monday 5 April
and Easter Tuesday 6 April (a school holiday)

School holiday: Saturday 17 April – Sunday 2 May (includes ANZAC Day 25 April).

Term 2

10 weeks
Monday 3 May Friday 9 July

Public holiday: Queen’s Birthday Monday 7 June

School holiday: Saturday 10 July – Sunday 25 July

Term 3

10 weeks
Monday 26 July Friday 1 October  School holidays: Saturday 2 October – Sunday 17 October
Term 4

Up to 10 weeks
Monday 18 October All schools no later than Monday 20 December*

Public holidays: Labour Day Monday 25 October, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day

School holiday: five or six weeks (from school’s closing date until opening date of school the following year)

* Or to a day in December which ensures that the school has been open for instruction for a minimum of 380 half-days in 2021.

2022 school terms and holidays

 START DATEEND DATEHOLIDAYS
Term 1

Between 10-11 weeks
Between Monday 31 January (at the earliest); and
Tuesday 8 February (at the latest)
Thursday 14 April 

Public holidays: Waitangi Day (observed) Monday 7 February

Easter: Good Friday 15 April

School holidays: Saturday 16 April – Sunday 1 May (includes Easter Monday 18 April, Easter Tuesday 19 April (a school holiday), and ANZAC Day Monday 25 April)

Term 2

10 weeks
Monday 2 May Friday 8 July

Public holiday: Queen’s Birthday 6 June, Matariki 24 June

School holidays: Saturday 9 July – Sunday 24 July

Term 3

10 weeks
Monday 25 July Friday 30 September School holidays: Saturday 1 October – Sunday 16 October
Term 4

Up to 10 weeks
Monday 17 October No later than Tuesday 20 December* Public holidays: Labour Day Monday 24 October, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day

School holidays: five or six weeks (from school’s closing date until opening date of school the following year)

 * For primary, intermediate and special schools: or to a day in December which ensures that the school has been open for instruction for a minimum of 384 half-days in 2022.

For secondary and composite schools: or to a day in December which ensures that the school has been open for instruction for 378 half-days in 2022.

2023 school terms and holidays

 

START DATE

END DATE

HOLIDAYS

Term 1

10 weeks

Between Monday 30 January (at the earliest) and
Tuesday 7 February (at the latest)

Thursday 6 April 

Public holidays: Waitangi Day Monday 6 February.

School holidays: Friday 7 April to Sunday 23 April (includes Good Friday 7 April, Easter Monday 10 April, Easter Tuesday 11 April (a school holiday))

Term 2

10 weeks

Monday 24 April

Friday 30 June

Public holiday: ANZAC Day Tuesday 25 April and Queen’s Birthday Monday 5 June

School holidays: Saturday 1 July – Sunday 16 July

Term 3

10 weeks

Monday 17 July

Friday 22 September

School holidays: Saturday 23 September – Sunday 8 October

Term 4

Up to 10 weeks

Monday 9 October

No later than Tuesday 20 December*

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

School holidays: five or six weeks (from school’s closing date until opening date of school the following year)





* For primary, intermediate and special schools: or to a day in December which ensures that the school has been open for instruction for a minimum of 386 half-days in 2023.

For secondary and composite schools: or to a day in December which ensures that the school has been open for instruction for 380 half-days in 2023

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, we align 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. If 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 services and private schools?

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

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

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