6 Jan 2015

More support for Feb holiday

9:48 am on 6 January 2015

The Holiday Parks Association says moving the official summer holiday to February is a good idea that could reduce domestic tourism peaks.

A survey conducted by Research New Zealand found nearly half of the respondents were in favour of moving the official summer holiday period to February when the weather is generally better.

Research shows more people support New Zealand's summer holidays to be moved to February.

Research shows more people support New Zealand's summer holidays to be moved to February. Photo: 123RF

Figures from the National Institute of Weather and Atmospheric research show most of the country is warmer in February than in either January or December.

Holiday Parks Association Chief Executive Fergus Brown said the timing of the country's official summer holiday should reflect that.

"We think there's a couple of main reasons, one: the children themselves. January can quite often have some pretty changeable weather and the weather usually settles down by February. So children get a much better holiday if it is February."

Second, it would help spread the domestic tourism load, he said.

Currently, when domestic tourism peaked over the summer period, it often meant the no vacancy signs went up at campgrounds around the country, meaning fewer choices for holiday makers.

President of the Principals' Federation Denise Torrey could see the appeal but said it would require a reconfiguration of the entire academic year from primary through to tertiary education.

"If it's going to happen, I think there would be a lot of people very happy but I think a lot of thought needs to go into it to make sure that it's the best thing for kids and their families."

She said just as half of those respondents in the poll were in favour, schools and parents would probably be split in the same way.