Hi there. By law, employers must not ‘unreasonably withhold’ approval for annual leave. If they decline, a reason must be given. You have a significant amount of accrued annual leave, and in normal circumstances you would expect an employer to have provisioned for this liability so the reason shouldn’t usually be ‘money’. I would encourage you to talk with your employer again, point them in the direction of this website (https://www.employment.govt.nz/leave-and-holidays/annual-holidays/taking-annual-holidays/) and if they remain unwilling to revisit the decision, then you should seek advice as Anna has suggested above, or from an employment lawyer, or from your union if you are a member of one. Best wishes Fiona