1 Apr 2018

Daylight saving ends - time for the clocks to go back

7:15 am on 1 April 2018

Daylight saving ends tomorrow, marking the descent into winter.


Photo: 123RF

Clocks need to be set back one hour before bed tonight - with the official time change happening at 2am.

But some are questioning the need for the twice-yearly change.

Peter Elliot on The Panel said daylight saving time as the country's permanent time would be great.

"I like the idea that the evenings are long and it keeps the light up so when you come home from work there's a little more light around and you get to enjoy a certain amount more home time, you can mow the lawn and that sort of thing."

He said changing the time for winter was depressing.

"You get to the end of March and it's all depression, everyone gets really depressed and it's not until you get through winter and you flick the switch and you brighten up again, why don't we just hold onto it?"

But Cromwell resident Isla Burgess disagreed and said permanent daylight saving time throughout winter would not be practical in the south.

"It wouldn't get light until about 9.30 in the morning, we're starting to notice it already, it's quite dark [in the mornings] and until daylight saving ends it just gets darker," she said.

Ms Burgess said it would be better to do away with daylight saving time all together.

"I know people love the later evenings, but here, it doesn't get dark until very late at night. At summer solstice I can be out reading on my porch until about 10.30 at night."

A brief history of daylight savings time.

In 1927 the Summer Time Act was passed and all clocks were moved forward one hour over the period 6 November 1927 until 4 March 1928.

The next year, and until 1945, the clocks went forward only half an hour over the summer.

The Summer Time Act was amended in 1933, which extended the summer period from from the first Sunday in September to the last Sunday in the following April.

The Standard Time Act was passed in 1945, which made daylight saving time permanent - and put New Zealand 12 hours ahead of Greenwich time - effectively ending daylight savings.

In 1974 New Zealand trialled daylight savings again. The next year it was reintroduced with the Time Act, but was met with some resistance.

A farming community in Northland, Ararua, decided to ignore daylight savings time. They erected a sign that read 'Welcome to Ararua time. Drive slowly you're an hour early anyway'.

In 2006 a petition presented to Parliament resulted in daylight saving time being extended to its current dates - the last Sunday in September to the first Sunday in April.