is this now?

so it turns out my timezone data was all over the place. Even though everything was set to GMT+12 the date stated was 12 hours behind GMT. Anyways, to deal with being in GMT+13 thanks to daylight savings, the correct command is actually

ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/Pacific/Auckland /etc/localtime

My dates should now all be accurate. Next step is to get the default markdown templates for draft and post to line up correctly and include some defaults.