New Zealand Time

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The Measurement Standards Laboratory maintains New Zealand's time standard.

If you need accurate time please refer to our services below.

Time and Frequency Standards Services

Talking Clock

MSL operates a talking clock that is available to the New Zealand public via the Spark 0800 service. On dialing 0800 MSLTIME (0800 675846), the user will hear a time announcement followed by three “pips” of a 1000 Hz tone. The start of the third pip marks the time announced. The announcement and the pips are repeated at 10 second intervals to give six time announcements in all, ensuring that a full minute is always included.

One of the aims of this service is to disseminate the New Zealand Time Standard to enable traceable calibration of stopwatches and other clocks. To perform such a calibration, it is necessary to document at least two calls to the talking clock. With a modern crystal-controlled timepiece, there should not be any difference between the time interval indicated by the talking clock and the interval indicated by the timepiece, unless the time interval between the calls is several days. A technical guide is available with more details about the calibration procedure here.


NTP Server

A number of Network Time Protocol (NTP) stratum 1 servers are available for connections within New Zealand. NTP is a standard internet protocol for the synchronisation of computer time. A simpler version (called Simple Network Time Protocol or SNTP), which is a subset of NTP, is supported by the MSL servers and can be used to set the time on any computer. The servers are referenced to the New Zealand Time Standard, UTC(MSL), by direct connection of a pulse per second signal. Further details about using the servers can be found here.