Northland Anniversary Day

Observed in the northern half of the North Island of New Zealand, Northland Anniversary Day is a holiday that is observed on the Monday closest to January 29th every year. Also known as Auckland Anniversary Day, this holiday commemorates the date when British Royal Navy officer William Hobson arrived in the region in 1840.

This holiday was established two years later in 1842 after Hobson (who was by then the Governor of the area) proclaimed Saturday, January 29th, 1842, as the second anniversary of the colony and a day during which public offices should be closed.

The History of Northland Anniversary Day in New Zealand

In 1837, William Hobson was dispatched to New Zealand by Governor Bourke to report on the area. After delivering an impressive report, Hobson was appointed as the Consul to New Zealand the following year in December. When he finally accepted the position in February of 1839, he was given explicit directions to establish a British colony in New Zealand.

On January 29th, 1840, Hobson set sail to meet with the Governor of New Zealand. He arrived on January 29th but didn’t officially land until the following day. He then met with Maori chiefs at Waitangi while the Treaty of Waitangi was being drafted.

The 40 Maori chiefs signed the treaty, which transferred sovereign control to Great Britain in exchange for guarantees that their possessions and lands would be protected and respected.

Hobson would declare British sovereignty over New Zealand three months later and choose Auckland as the capital. In 1841, New Zealand would become a Crown Colony. Hobson was promoted to commander-in-chief and governor of the colony.

In 1842, Hobson proclaimed January 29th to be Northland Anniversary Day to commemorate the second anniversary of the settlement. Later, when the provincial holidays were passed, this holiday would end up being moved to the Monday closest to January 29th every year.

Observing Northland Anniversary Day in New Zealand

This day is essentially observed as a three-day weekend in New Zealand since many government offices and businesses are closed for the day. It’s a day to enjoy time with family and friends.

This is also a day when there might be a few events commemorating the anniversary of the establishment of this region. Around this day, students also learn about William Hobson and his visit to New Zealand. People can spread the word about this month using the hashtag #NorthlandAnniversaryDay on social media.

Where is it celebrated?
New Zealand (Local holiday) - Northland
When is it?
This year (2024)
January 29 Monday
Next year (2025)
January 27 Monday
Last year (2023)
January 30 Monday