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Campaign launched to shift summer holidays

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/01/2017 Sean Martin
Lifeguard patrols by a flag. © Jeff Brass/Getty Images Lifeguard patrols by a flag.

Tired of your holiday being ruined by awful weather? Then check out an online petition launched by an MP who says summer should be shifted to warmer, sunnier times.

United Future leader Peter Dunne wants to find out whether that's what Kiwis want.

"Our weather patterns are changing and we are increasingly seeing our dreams of a sunny BBQ at a beach turn into keeping the kids at home while weather bombs explode around the country," he said on Thursday.

"Then, come February when the sun comes out, we all send the kids back to school to hot, stuffy classrooms."

Mr Dunne says that's not the kind of Kiwi summer most people want.

"Thankfully, we can change this as we did in 2007 when we extended daylight saving from the end of September to the beginning of April," he said.

The change was made after a campaign started by Mr Dunne gained wide public support.

"Today I'm launching an online petition to gauge interest and I am calling on New Zealanders from North Cape to the Bluff to state their views so we can then have a proper look at ensuring we can all enjoy a real Kiwi summer," he said.

Mr Dunne is Minister of Internal Affairs in the National-led government.

The idea of shifting the summer holidays was raised in an article published by the New Zealand Herald on Wednesday.

The Secondary Principals' Association said there would be some merit in starting the school year later, but it would have to fit in with the exam structure.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa said it would create some challenges, but there could be benefits.

"It would mean that operators running weather-dependent activities would have less disruption during their peak period," said chief executive Chris Roberts.

This summer has been so bad that Wellington City Council had to cancel several outdoor concerts and ditch its Pasifika Festival.

In Auckland, disgruntled customers demanded refunds after the weather wrecked the Ignite Light Show.

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