Could it be that they just can't afford it?

Kiwis shun holidays in favour of chores
21 November 2006

New Zealanders are "martyrs" when it comes to taking holidays and would rather keep working or doing chores around the house than taking a well-earned break, according to psychologist John Aiken.

In research undertaken for Air New Zealand, Mr Aiken found that Kiwis rated as priorities paying off their mortgage, saving to buy a house and helping friends and family out financially well above taking an overseas or domestic holiday.

According to the research, while New Zealanders on average took 5.1 domestic trips a year - that is a trip of more than 200 kilometres from their home - only 1.3 of those included a holiday component.

Though most New Zealanders took between two and four weeks holiday a year, a significant proportion of that was spent at home, the research found.

Overall, the average person spends just under 20 nights away from home a year, including time spent travelling for work.

The findings were released as Air New Zealand launched its renamed Air New Zealand Holidays service.

Mr Aiken said many New Zealanders did not seem to value holidays, but were "martyrs", who thrashed themselves at work rather than taking a break. Many Kiwis were not taking time out to recharge their batteries, or viewed holidays as a luxury that could only be taken if earned through hard work and achievement.

"New Zealanders can have a tendency to compare themselves with others and feel bad about taking time off."

Taking holidays helped develop better balance between work and life, which contributed to an overall sense of wellbeing and prevented people from becoming overwhelmed by day-to-day responsibilities.

Without that balance, people's family life, relationships and friendships could suffer, Mr Aitken said.

- The Dominion Post