back to article Samoa takes day off to skip International Date Line

Samoans have lost a day overnight, as the country jumped straight to 31 December by shifting to the opposite side of the International Date Line. The Independent State of Samoa, decided to skip the day in order to align its clock more closely with that of its main trading neighbors: Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The time …


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  1. stuartnz
    Thumb Up

    Since there are at lest s many Samoans here in Aotearoa as there are in Samoa, the switch makes sense. As did the changeover to driving on the left they made a couple of years ago to facilitate the import of cheaper used cars from here and Australia. That change was also supposed to end in Ragnarok, but instead went pretty much without a hitch.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Or you could just call it New Zealand like pretty much every other English speaker on the planet.

      When will you be changing your handle to stuarta?

      1. Local Group

        Hear Hear

        Let Aotearoa join Albion in the Old Age Home of National Prehistoric Handles.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Given that the Māori gave this name to the Island(s) before the arrival of the Europeans, I think they are more than entitled to continue using it.

          Can you imagine the fuss if we invaded France and renamed it "Frogland"?

          (I'll admit it is tempting though).

          1. deadlockvictim

            It has been done before

            Name-Entitlement: I didn't think that it worked that way. I was always under the impression that the victors got to call the shots.

            On the topic of invading and renaming France, the Germans (well, Franks actually) invaded what is mostly France some 1,300 years ago and renamed the old Roman provinces of Gallia to 'France'. Bloody Germans.

          2. PJI

            You old romantic, though what this has to do with Samoan and Tokolauen clocks ...

            Very doubtful that the Maoris had a name for the whole place and, then again, which Maoris? What about the Moriori? Also, what the hell is Ragnorok? Some other fanciful takeover of a Europeanised Maori word from one of the old dialects or, as it sounds, some kind of adoption of fantastical Norse?

            Or are you just one of those Pakehas keen to hold the "Maori" back in their pre-European state, untainted by the advantages of modern medicine, education, food, transport, housing and the gift of a mother tongue that happens to have become a world language? Into the ghetto, you Maoris. Let's reintroduce cannibalism and slavery and none of this feminist nonsense about women on Maraes. Let's get them to use their old weights and measures, that should help them along the way.

            By the way, it must be between 50 years and a century since there were any "pure" Maoris. Perhaps there is a handy operation to remover the impure genes. Racialist horror, I find you.

            And do not tell me how disadvantaged "Maoris" are: I remember in the 1980s when both the Police minister and the head of the armed forces were "Maori", poor, repressed souls. They can vote on the general roll and have a couple of reserved parliamentary seats and there are, sadly, nowadays some no-go areas for non-maoris (especially in the North, plus lots of formerly public land and coast for which you now need permission from "Maori" and DOC to go there).

            Pay them proper respect as modern, capable people and do not patronise them by stealing their original language to satisfy your feelings of inadequacy.

            Perhaps you should learn to take pride in the many good things that Europeans (that's you according to your name) achieved in their whole history and specifically their courage and success in New Zealand (Is n't it nice that the British colonists respected the Dutch name? Dig dig). Mind you, if the French had been a day or two earlier, we could all be speaking French.

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  3. davenewman

    Aotearoa is a more accurate description

    "The long white cloud" tells you that it is cloudy and rains all the time, as it was in Rotorua two weeks ago.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Revisionist clap trap.

    2. stuartnz

      Aotearoa it is, for reasons of euphony

      Yep, that's a good summary of Rotorua. I grew up there, but even my mawkish memories of childhood do not include rosy nostalgia for halcyon summers.

  4. Term

    Sydney time isn't GMT

    "...has shifted from being 23 hours behind to three hours ahead of GMT."

    Three hours ahead of GMT (GMT+3) would surly put Samoa somewhere in the Middle East?

    Three hours ahead of Sydney time would leave the country where it is in the Pacific.

  5. Dave Ingram

    Time diffs

    The time diff with Sydney is 3 hours, not '3 hours ahead of GMT.' Samoa will be UTC+13, Sydney is UTC+10 etc. I hate to break it to you Poms, but it ain't GMT anymore.

    Poor copy writing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Biggest mistake we made letting the world's time be regulated and controlled from France. No way they were going to live with a huge reminder like GMT of who originally regulated and organised time.

      Oh well, we've still got a f*ck off great laser and a big brass strip on our meridian, they haven't found a way to steal that, although it won't be long before the gypsies have a go at getting the brass.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        You might want to check your history. I seem to recall that _before_ the Prime Meridian was in Greenwich, it was in, gasp, Paris.

        Just saying'

        1. ChrisM
          Paris Hilton

          There were competing Prime Meridians. Greenwich won, Paris lost

          Paris because..... Just because

          1. PJI

            GMT is still OK

            What's more, I think it was agreed at a conference in the USA as a tribute to the work and formalisation of time zones by those awful people (now, clear out your chromosomes), the British (hence the passing of the line through Greenwich, England.


            What's so clever about discarding history?

  6. Steve Evans

    Oooooh gawd...

    I hope a certain brand of smart phone isn't popular there... Can you begin to imagine how wrong the alarm clock will be?!!

  7. Bela Lubkin

    Tourism solution

    They shouldn't have changed the whole island. Leave a narrow strip on the beach in UTC-11 (or whatever it is). Then they can still advertise "last island to see the sunset" PLUS "walk back and forth across the international date line" (time travel the easy way...)

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge


      If you decide to shell 2k on plane tickets from EU or USA it ain't going to be just for the sunset.

      The switch to driving on the left is interesting though. Someone should show that one to Polish legislators (I know that safety has little to do with them sprouting bullshit and banning registration of right wheel drive - it is all to protect those precious "indigineous" car manufacturing in violation of the EU treaties).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "them sprouting bullshit"

        Sounds like a nasty, possibly novel, medical condition.

        1. ChrisM

          Or someone who has been traumatised by tubgirl

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        3. Local Group

          "them sprouting bullshit"

          That's going around like the flu.

          Spouting too.

  8. Infobludger

    If Samoa went from 23 hours behind Sydney to 3 hours ahead, there would have to be 26 hours in a day :-)

    Sydney is now 1 hour behind Samoa, which is one hour behind both Aotearoa and New Zealand. In the AU/NZ winter, Sydneysiders will be two hours behind the Samoans, who will be idemchronous (is that a word?) with the Kiwis.

    1. Velv

      23 hours behind to 3 hours ahead is possible, and has nothing to do with how many hours are in a day. Each time zone is nominal anyway, proven by the fact they have changed to a different zone.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hat off to you for what must be the clearest explanation I have read in a while.

      ...on the other hand, maybe I should stop trying to read EU directives.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So ...

    A one day empire.*

    *this will be lost totally on non Doctor Who fans.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pardon me... are mistaken me for someone who actually gives a damn.

  11. Anonymous IV

    If they'd waited until 28 February...

    ... they could have just lost this year's leap day, and gone straight to 1st March.

    Minimal problems?

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