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Friday, September 26, 2008

South & North islands on different Daylight Savings start dates

[UPDATE 3:50PM SAT. - The govt. reckons people love the new DST dates - really?:

A survey of public attitudes showed that 82 percent of the population approved of the extension and only 11 percent disapproved. The survey also found that 90 percent of the population approved of daylight saving in general with only six percent disapproving. The margin of error for these results is ±3.6 percent.
Dairy farmers were also specifically surveyed for their opinions. These results have a margin of error of ±4.5 percent.

"While this is a group traditionally opposed to daylight saving, 54 percent approved of the extension compared with 41 percent who disapproved", Mr Barker said. "Of daylight saving in general, 82 percent approved and just 15 percent disapproved. This shows that all New Zealanders benefit from the extra daylight hours, not just city-folk."

Well that makes me one of the 11%. 82% can't account for just the ignorant and those who don't really care, so there must be some support for it - but 82%!?

[UPDATE 3:30PM: Love the Scoop image for this one. Our becardiganed Time Lord and modern-day Maui proclaims:
Press Release: United Future NZ Party
Friday, 26 September 2008

UnitedFuture delivering an extended summer

UnitedFuture Leader Peter Dunne is thrilled that New Zealanders will be able to enjoy this year’s summer a little bit more due to the three-week extension of daylight saving secured by UnitedFuture last year.

“Daylight Saving officially begins this Sunday, 28 September, a week earlier than in previous years,” said Mr Dunne.
“Two extra weeks are also added to the end of the daylight saving period, meaning it does not finish until April, allowing New Zealanders to gain greater enjoyment out of the often stable weather at the end of summer.”
“I hope the extended period of daylight saving will allow more people more time to participate in this country’s diverse range of sporting and recreational activities,” said Mr Dunne.

Sounds great, but not everyone is into recreation so early in the year. He can talk leisure all he wants but it doesn't feel like bbq season just yet. At least not for Aucklanders - there's still a nip in the air, maybe up North it might be near right, but this seasonal marker must seem quite early for the Southerners.]

(click on images to enlarge)

My standard Collins 2008 diary - the type piled in great stacks in stationers every December - says underneath the table of NZ holidays:

Daylight Saving dates are under review by Government and may change from those shown in this diary.

And they do. The first Sunday (5th) is listed as when Daylight Saving begins. Peter Dunne changed this to the last Sunday in September (this weekend). I think this is slightly too early. And ending summer time in April - a fortnight later than previously - is too late. People were complaining in April that it was still dark when they were going to work - something that had not happened when it was at the earlier time. Rural folk, however, feel these measures more acutely. Homepaddock:

This Sunday the clocks go forward an hour, far too early for postponing sunset by an hour in the evening to make up for losing an hour of light in the morning.

The trade off between lighter dawns and longer dusks has escaped the people who pressed for daylight saving to be extended, as has the knowledge that early spring and late autumn weather, down here in North Otago at least, is rarely warm enough to enjoy outdoor activities in the evenings.

The time tables of sunrise and sunset linked to provide some evidence that the daylight saving may be long enough already.

If 7:30 am is the latest reasonable sunrise time then Auckland and Wellington's preferred daylight savings date finish would be the Sunday of April 1, Christchurch March 22, and Dunedin March 12.

The start of DST in my opinion has more to do with the start of good weather and a rise in temperature - than it has to do with the sunrise/sunset.

My other thoughts on the holidays regime were articulated some three years ago. I am prepared to move on the later date of DST, but the concept of aligning a double-ended holiday weekend to a seasonal change represented by DST seems a natural one to make. Because a DST start/finish is also an effective 4 day weekend where families and people will vacation it is important that the temperature is not too low - that would suggest moving it later into October to have a higher chance that a cold snap on that weekend is avoided.

The other remedy would be to have the North Island start DST a fortnight or so later than the South and maybe a week or two earlier at the other end. Southlanders and Otagwegians are already in the dark at 8am by the time DST kicks in - Aucklanders and Northlanders have another 20 or 30 minutes on them. I think the South Islanders would like the idea of recognition of their seasons. It would be a parochial and harmless exercise in Island-building. It would be very confusing of course. "Why is the news on at 5pm?"... "I said I would meet him at the airport at nine - and he was an hour late!" etc. etc. File this one under: Kite Flying.


At 26/9/08 1:33 pm, Blogger homepaddock said...

When daylight saving was introduced it started at Labour Weekend which is mid to late October and a three day weekend, both of which are preferable to late September and no holiday.

Queensland doesn't have daylight saving but Australian states are in differing time zones east to west anyway.

As your examples show, it would be too confusing to have different time zones in the North & South Islands.

An alternative would be for people to be like the birds and move south for summer - it doesn't get dark down here until after 10 in December :)

At 27/9/08 6:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I'm well pretty much down the bottom of the country and everyone I know is very keen for daylight saving to begin as soon as possible. Obviously split times would be unworkable.


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