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National events and The New Zealand Curriculum

These materials highlight national days and weeks of importance. They explain how national events link to The New Zealand Curriculum and provide ideas, resources, and tools to help schools get involved. 

What's on in term 3?


Matariki from 13 July 2020
The pre-dawn rise of Matariki can be seen in June or July every year. By celebrating Matariki at your school you can bring a range of NZC principles to life. Students can explore values, develop key competencies, and examine social science concepts.

Techweek 2020 27 July – 2 August 2020
Techweek celebrates New Zealand’s fast growing technology and innovation sectors and raises awareness of the need for greater ICT skills and a "tech-savvy" culture for everyone. 


Cook Islands Language Week Sunday 2 August - Saturday 8 August 2020
Cook Islands Language Week /Te 'Epetoma o te Reo Kūki Airani celebrates the identity, languages, and culture of students from the Cook Islands and students whose families are from the Cook Islands; supporting this group of learners to engage and achieve success.

Money Week 10 - 16 August 2020
Money Week provides the opportunity to integrate numeracy with other learning areas, such as literacy, social sciences, learning languages, and the arts. It also offers the chance to engage parents, whānau, and local businesses with learning experiences and conversations.

Conservation Week 15 – 23 August 2020 
Capture your students' natural curiosity about the world they live in, and raise awareness about Aotearoa/New Zealand, by involving them in this year’s Conservation Week. This week is all about getting out and discovering the conservation areas that are just outside your door.


Tonga Language Week 6 - 12 September 2020
Tonga Language Week / Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga gives students of all ethnicities the chance to learn some basic Lea Faka-Tonga, and gives your students of Tongan origin the chance to be experts in the classroom.

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 14 – 20 September 2020
Te Wiki o te Reo Māori provides an opportunity to celebrate and learn te reo Māori, helping to secure its future as a dynamic and rich language.

New Zealand Sign Language Week 21 – 27 September 2020 
New Zealand Sign Language Week provides an opportunity for schools to reflect on the inclusion principle and explore the values of diversity and respect. Students can make use of key competencies, especially using language, symbols, and text and relating to others. Students will achieve learning outcomes described in the learning languages learning area.

New Zealand Chinese Language Week 20 – 26 September 2020 
New Zealand Chinese Language Week is a Kiwi-led initiative aimed at encouraging New Zealanders to discover Chinese language and culture. 


Tuvalu Language Week Sunday 27 September - Saturday 3 October 2020
This special week gives speakers of the Tuvalu language the chance to be experts in the classroom, and allows whānau and the wider Tuvalu community to see their language and culture being treasured in New Zealand schools.

Fijian Language Week Sunday 4 October - Saturday 10 October 2020
Fijian Language Week helps all New Zealanders journey towards shared cultural understandings. Learning a new language gives us insight into new ways of thinking, and into different beliefs and cultural practices.

General Election 17 October 2020
The General Election provides a useful context to build students' understanding of Parliament and the voting process. This resource page provides ideas and resources to help you plan programmes of learning around this significant event.

What's on in term 4?


Niue Language Week Sunday 18 October - Saturday 24 October 2020
This special week gives speakers of Vagahau Niue the chance to be experts in the classroom, and allows whānau and the wider Niue community to see their language and culture being treasured in New Zealand schools.

Gagana Tokelau Language Week Sunday 25 October - Saturday 31 October 2020
Gagana Tokelau Week provides the opportunity to celebrate and nurture the language and culture of Tokelau in your classroom and school community.


Diwali from 12 November 2020
Diwali, also known as Deepavali, or the Festival of Lights, is a five day long Hindu celebration. Diwali is a great opportunity to engage with the local Indian Hindu community, especially those members who are families at school. 

What's on in term 1?


Chinese New Year from 25 January 2020
By examining this celebration students can explore values such as diversity and respect, and develop conceptual understandings about culture, identity, and customs.


Waitangi Day 6 February 2020
Waitangi Day provides an opportunity for students to examine social science concepts and values, and develop key competencies. Schools can also consider how the Treaty of Waitangi principle is used as a foundation for curriculum decision making.

Seaweek – Kaupapa Moana 29 February – 8 March 2020
Seaweek is New Zealand’s annual national week about the sea. Hosted by the NZ Association for Environmental Education (NZAEE), Seaweek is a time for us to get to know our ocean, its habitats, characteristics, and inhabitants better.


Christchurch terror attacks – One year after, 15 March 2020 
15 March 2020 marks one year since acts of terror shook our nation to the core. Many communities and schools will pause and reflect on what happened to remember those we lost and those who continue to be affected. We have compiled a number of resources that support safe, welcoming, and inclusive environments for all students, while celebrating the diversity of our nation. 

What's on in term 2?


Earth Day 22 April 2020
Earth Day is a global event where people honour the natural environment and raise awareness of environmental issues that trouble the world. By taking part in Earth Day students have the opportunity to learn about the future focus issue of sustainability.

Anzac Day 25 April 2020
By examining this national event students can develop key competencies, explore values such as respect and honour, and examine the social science concepts of identity, continuity, and change.


New Zealand Music Month May 2020
By focusing on New Zealand Music Month you can explore the values of diversity and community and participation with your students. New Zealand Music Month provides a useful context for students to develop understandings in the arts and social sciences. 

Rotuman Language Week 10 – 16 May
Rotuman Language Week takes place in 2020 from Sunday 10 May to Saturday 16 May. The theme for this special week is "Putua ‘os fäega ma ‘os ag fak Rotuma. Nurturing our Rotuman identity through language and culture". 

Bullying Free NZ Week Postponed  
This event provides a week-long opportunity to raise awareness of bullying behaviour and promote what schools are doing to become bullying free.

Samoa Language Week Sunday 24 May - Saturday 30 May 2020
Samoa Language Week / Vaiaso o le gagana Samoa helps all New Zealanders journey towards shared cultural understandings. Learning a new language gives us insight into new ways of thinking, and to different beliefs and cultural practices. Everyone who learns Gagana Samoa helps to preserve it as a living and rich language.

International Languages Week Monday 25 May – Friday 29 May 2020
This week provides an opportunity to showcase and promote languages and cultures in your school and communities. 


Kiribati Language Week 12 – 18 July 2020 
Kiribati Language Week is organised by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to maintain and promote the language and culture of Kiribati (pronounced KiriBASS). The Kiribati language is also known as Gilbertese. 

Archived events

Census 2018 6 March 2018
Every five years, a census is run – the official count of how many people and dwellings there are in New Zealand. By asking everyone to complete a set of questions about themselves and their household, we can capture a snapshot of who is living in, and visiting, New Zealand.

Commonwealth Games 4–15 April 2018
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) will welcome more than 6600 athletes and team officials from 70 Commonwealth nations and territories to the Gold Coast and event cities Brisbane, Cairns, and Townsville, to share in the celebration of sport, entertainment, and culture.

2020 Tokyo Olympic Games
The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games (24 July to 9 August) and the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games (25 August to 6 September) provide unique and vast learning opportunities for your students. Here is a collection of teaching ideas to help you share the Olympic spirit with your school and community.

Updated on: 23 Jun 2020