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Labour Day

In New Zealand, Labour Day is a public holiday held on the fourth Monday in October (last Monday). Its origins are traced back to the eight-hour working day movement that arose in the newly founded Wellington colony in 1840, primarily because of carpenter Samuel Parnell's refusal to work more than eight hours a day. 
He encouraged other tradesman to also only work for eight hours a day and in October 1840 a workers' meeting passed a resolution supporting the idea.  
On 28 October 1890, the 50th anniversary of the eight-hour day was commemorated with a parade. The event was then celebrated annually in late October as either Labour Day or Eight-Hour Demonstration Day.  
In 1899 government legislated that the day be a public holiday from 1900. The day was celebrated on different days in different provinces. This led to ship owners complaining that seamen were taking excessive holidays by having one Labour Day in one port then another in their next port. In 1910 the government "Mondayised" the holiday so that it would be observed on the same day throughout the nation. Nowadays for the majority of New Zealanders it's "just another days holiday"

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