Today is officially recognised as a Public Holiday in New Zealand. In this particular year, it doesn't matter much to most folk, because it falls on a weekend anyway. But it does matter to those whose job requires them to work, because the law of the land requires their employers to pay them at one-and-a-half times the usual hourly rate and also requires that they are allowed a day off in lieu at some later date. It matters to employers for the same reason.
I wonder how many countries have a public holiday on January 2, simply because it happens to be the day after the first day of the year. It doesn't happen across the ditch in Australia and I don't imagine it happens in too many other countries.
There are other public holidays which seem superfluous as well (although I have no problem with my employer being required to pay me for staying home). The Queen's Birthday holiday is celebrated on the nearest Monday to June 4, because June 4 was the birthday of one of QE2's uncles or great uncles (I think). Does anyone really care a toss, or consider it a significant date?
I would wager that most New Zealanders have no idea that October's Labour Day commemorates the introduction, at some time in the country's obscure past, of a universal eight hour working day (which, incidentally, hasn't been recognised for God knows how many years, either in law or common practice). My understanding is that in earlier days, working folk and their families flocked to communal picnics, organised by respective trade unions, on this holiday, but not many people living today would even remember that.
The founding of each respective New Zealand province is celebrated by a day off work for those in each province on a date unique to their place of domicile and is called Anniversary Day. Never mind that provincial government was abolished in this country more than a hundred years ago and there is no longer any clear definition of geographical provincial boundaries. In my "province" (Otago), Anniversary Day falls in April, so many employers, schools, etc tack it onto Easter weekend, making the officially designated date a curious phenomenon when some institutions are closed and some are not (likewise the Tuesday following Easter Monday).
And then there's Waitangi Day, which is just too complex and controversial to even try to explain!
My solution, which, sadly, is not going to happen because the present system of public holidays is firmly entrenched in Kiwi culture, is to abolish all of the aforementioned holidays, give every employee an extra week's annual leave to be taken at a time of their choice and add a week to school, college and university holidays. Business operators would be in favour as short weeks are not conducive to good business.