Last year was New Zealand’s second warmest year on record, NIWA has revealed in its annual climate summary.

The nationwide average temperature was 13.61 degrees. Annual temperatures were above average (+0.51C to+1.20C above the annual average) or well above average (>1.20C above the annual average) for much of New Zealand.

NIWA said in a report this morning that Northland, Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, eastern Wairarapa, southern Marlborough, Canterbury high country, and Otago saw small pockets of near average temperatures (within -0.50C to +0.50C of average).

Rainfall was “well above normal” in 2023, for parts of Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Gisborne, and Hawke’s Bay (>149% of annual normal).

“While above normal rainfall (120-149% of annual normal) was observed through these same areas, as well as much of eastern Wairarapa, the eastern Tararua District, and Bay of Plenty. Near normal rainfall (80-119% of annual normal) was observed for the rest of the country, except for small and isolated areas of below normal rainfall (50-79% of annual normal) in the Central Plateau, West Coast, South Canterbury, and eastern Otago.

“Despite the number of extreme rainfall events during the year, 2023 was only New Zealand’s 21st wettest year on record,” the report said.

The Mackenzie Basin saw Aotearoa’s highest annual sunshine total in 2023, with 2658 hours recorded at Lake Tekapo/Takapō.