2016 hottest year in New Zealand history

What's Fresh 09/01/2017

Scientists have confirmed what most of us had probably already suspected - that 2016 was the country's hottest year since records began in 1909

In the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research's (NIWA), annual climate summary on Monday, it revealed rising sea temperatures around New Zealand were responsible for the warmest temperatures since 1909.

It also revealed the first seven months of 2016 were remarkably hot in New Zealand, with each month's  nationwide average temperature above average.

The three warmest months were February (2.2degC above average), May (2.1degC) and June (1.6degC).

These months were New Zealand's warmest May, second-warmest February and third-warmest June on record.

The nationwide average temperature for 2016 was 13.4degC, 0.8degC above the 1981–2010 annual average.

Worldwide 2016 was the hottest year in history, breaking records set in 2015.


Annual temperatures were above average (0.51degC to 1.20degC above the annual average) throughout the country, with very few locations observing near average temperatures (within 0.5degC of the annual average) or lower.


Yearly rainfall in 2016 was above normal (120-149 percent of the annual normal) for parts of Kapiti Coast, Tasman, West Coast and Fiordland. In contrast, rainfall was below normal (50-79 percent of the annual normal) in parts of the eastern North Island south of Napier, and in parts of the eastern South Island north of Christchurch.


Annual sunshine was predominately near normal (90-109 percent of the annual normal) throughout New Zealand, although small sections of the country observed above average sunshine (110-125 percent of the annual normal). Richmond near Nelson experienced New Zealand's highest annual sunshine total on record. Sunshine was below normal (75-89 percent of the annual normal) in prts of Bay of Plenty.