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New Zealand’s freaky summers: Drought in the north, soaking wet in the south | Instant News

Total rainfall across New Zealand this month has varied widely, such as 483 percent of normal in Central Otago, and zero percent in the lower North Island. Photo / Michael Craig

January may fall as one of the oddest months in the weather book, with a picture of feast-or-famine rainfall saturating the south – and the northern tip again in severe drought.

Total rainfall across New Zealand this month varied as much as 483 percent from normal, in Central Otago, to zero percent in the lower North Island.

“Obviously it’s unusual to see this spatial pattern, which looks so random,” said astrologer Niwa Ben Noll.

The regional contrast can be seen clearly on the Niwa rainfall map for most of the month to date, showing patches of green, or rainfall much higher than average, and orange, indicating much drier places.

Among the wetest places are northern, central and southern Otago – receiving 335, 483 and 202 percent of normal rain for January – along with southern Northland, northern Waikato and the Bay of Plenty, which have received about 150 percent of their usual total.

It is a very different picture for the lower North Island and the upper South Island, with totals of zero and 25 percent, respectively.

Total numbers were also significantly less around the East Cape on the North Island (62 percent), Hawke’s Bay (58 percent), northern Canterbury (51 percent) and Christchurch (33 percent).

“This is really very high rainfall,” he said.

“Another interesting observation is that we saw another major flood event this month, making it the third in as many months.”

Noll said the three major floods that hit Napier in November, Plimmerton in December and central Otago this month could be attributed to the presence of eccentric climate drivers.

The La Nina climate system with moderate strength has a clear influence on our summer weather – but this year, it is behaving very out of line with traditional patterns.

Under classic La Nina conditions, northern and eastern New Zealand will be wetter now, given its tradition of bringing storms and rain from the northeast to those places, and drought in the south and southwest.

In contrast, the northern region is currently abnormally dry – the tip of the North Island is now classified as severe meteorological drought – while the fire hazard in the south and southwest ranges from low to moderate.

Added to this unusual image is a “destructive disturbance” to La Nina’s classic taste of a separate natural phenomenon.

It is the Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) – a system that forms the greatest element of intra-seasonal variability in the tropical atmosphere.

“So we’ve seen until January, La Nina and other coercive patterns like the MJO are basically pedaling in the opposite direction,” he said.

“It makes it difficult to say which will dominate our weather patterns – and what remains is mixed conditions across the country.

“Trying to summarize that picture can be very difficult, so, put simply, be nice to your local weather forecaster.”

Noll said there was potential for summer to take another interesting turn, with a possible spike in tropical cyclone activity in the southwest Pacific in late January and early February.

“And while there are increasing opportunities for activity, where it is happening over the wider region is the million dollar question,” he said.

“The whole picture here is we need to be alert, and maybe even alert, for such activity to start here after a slight lull in mid-summer.”

Niwa’s forecast for January to March estimates temperatures are likely to be warmer than normal in all regions.

They will be punctuated with brief but very unstable weather periods, with rainfall likely almost above normal everywhere except in the western part of the South Island.

More swelling is also taking place, with spells of high humidity expected over time – especially in the north.


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Hot houses: How do you keep your place cool this summer? | Instant News

Many homes in New Zealand are deeply saddened by the scorching heat of the summer. Photo / 123RF

Whether it’s see-through curtains or cool sheets, the Kiwi has long had its own tricks for cooling a hot home without air conditioning – now a researcher wants to hear more about it.

Many homes in New Zealand are deeply saddened by the scorching heat of the summer.

A recent NZ Stats survey of the 6,700 homes found 36 percent sat at 25C or more during the summer – and sometimes even above 30C – compared to a comfortable room range of 20C to 25C.

A third is also colder than 18C during winter – or below World Health Organization standards – something related to people renting less isolated homes and struggling to pay for their daily needs.

This winter’s “energy poverty” and its broad public health impacts have been a major focus of Dr Kimberley O’Sullivan’s research at the University of Otago.

“Much of that means we’re focusing on whether people can get warm enough in winter – but actually it means it’s pretty cool in summer too.”

He pointed out that six of New Zealand’s 10 warmest years have occurred in the past decade, and the country is experiencing more frequent and severe hot days, which come with their own implications for health and energy use.

“Over the last 20 years we also have fast absorption heat pumps, and more than half of New Zealand households with heat pumps have reported using them for cooling in the summer,” he said.

“So now households have a mechanism for active cooling – and a greater need to reduce home temperatures in the summer.”

In a recently launched study, supported by the Marsden Fund, he seeks to answer how not only the Kiwis regulate the flow of summer heat through their homes, but also how this changes over time.

“I’m specifically looking for the kind of knowledge that’s sometimes called knowledge – or what people know from experience,” he said, adding that it includes how Kiwis use sizes ranging from curtains to heat pumps.

“This year, I’m going to start with a postal survey of areas with more extreme summer weather to get initial answers to questions like how comfortable people are to find their home in the summer, if they try to adjust the temperature, does it change over time, and whether they think they know enough about the matter. “

He is eager to hear from several generations of the same family, and what advice has been passed down.

“I also want to make sure that we include Māori whānau, Māori have lived in Aotearoa the longest and will have wisdom to offer.”

Finally, this three-year project will collect temperature and relative humidity records using a data logger on a sample of homes, and how people use energy throughout the day of the week.

“As far as I know, these approaches have never been combined like this before to look at these questions – and they certainly haven’t been used like this in New Zealand,” he said.

“One thing that would be quite challenging in my opinion would be to usefully weave all the data back together to make one big story or image, integrating it all at the end in such a way that the number is greater than the parts.

“The sections as an individual study would all be useful, but I hope to do something extra by combining them.

“If we have a very good picture of what people know and do, as well as what they need to manage summer at home, then we may be able to adapt various suggestions and policies where they are needed.

“The aim is that it will help increase our resilience to climate change and improve public health and well-being.”

Three tips for keeping the house cool

Easy fix: Avoid the sun by covering the curtains and blinds. Open doors and windows in different rooms to circulate air through your home. Adjust the safety lock to keep the windows open when you go out.

Make a shadow: Plant deciduous trees to shade your home in the summer. They will let the sun in when they lose their leaves in winter. Install external window blinds – such as blinds, awnings or grilles. The roof or roof hanging over the north facing window blocks out the summer sunshine.

Use a fan: The fans on the table, floor and ceiling use significantly less energy than air conditioning. If you have a heat pump, try setting the fan alone with the window open.

– Source: GenLess


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Australian Drag Race to be filmed in Auckland; RuPaul was granted a critical worker visa | Instant News

RuPaul is one of 16 granted visas to enter New Zealand. Photo / Provided

Kiwi, get ready to slide down the runway; one of the biggest reality shows in the world is being filmed in Auckland.

The Australian version of RuPaul’s Drag Race is gearing up to start production in Auckland later this month – and the Government has confirmed that RuPaul itself is in New Zealand to host the local iteration.

Rumors have been circulating for weeks that the production will be filmed in New Zealand, where our fight against Covid-19 has made global headlines.

Now that New Zealand Immigration has confirmed to Newstalk ZB has granted exemptions to the cast and crew from entering New Zealand.

“Immigration New Zealand (INZ) recently approved a request for 16 workers (cast and crew) under the ‘other critical worker’ border exclusion criteria for Warner Brothers for filming of RuPaul’s Drag Race,” the spokesman said.

“INZ can confirm that seven out of 16 workers have arrived in New Zealand, including RuPaul Charles.”

Warner Bros. and World of Wonder – which produce the US flagship show – have been approached for comment.

While borders are closed to international citizens – including Australia – an MBIE spokesperson said workers are allowed into the country for less than six months if they have “unique experience and technical or specialist skills that cannot be obtained in New Zealand” or they “exist” . perform an important role of time which is important for the implementation of “projects with significant benefits for the economy.

There are no confirmed dates or channels for the latest version of the hit reality TV, but Daily Mail Australia reports that Stan Originals will be airing the show.

The New Zealand transgender woman is also rumored to be appearing at the event alongside the Australian star. Local LGBT magazine Gay Express reports 10 Australians and two Kiwis will appear in 10 episodes of the season.

RuPaul’s Drag Race premiered in 2009, and is currently airing its 13th season on Netflix. In the show, a dozen transvestites each season compete for the title of the next Drag Superstar. American and Canadian contestants won $ 100,000 along with titles and crowns.

The show is the most praised reality show in Emmy Award history. RuPaul was included in the Guinness Book of World Records last year for the most consecutive wins for Best Reality Host.

The Australian version of the event will be the sixth international spin-off to be produced, but only the second will be delivered by RuPaul.

New Zealand’s Covid-free nature will likely mean a less socially distant version of the show. The American version of the 13th season, the sixth season of the “All Stars” spin-off, and the second season of the UK Drag Race were filmed during the pandemic.


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Soccer: Wellington Phoenix lost to Sydney FC in their opening A-League match | Instant News


Wellington Phoenix striker David Ball is handled by Trent Buhagiar of Sydney FC. Photos / Photosport

Sydney FC 2
Wellington Phoenix 1

Two exciting long-range strikes have seen Sydney FC beat Wellington Phoenix 2-1 in their season opener A-League tie at the WIN Stadium in Wollongong.

Entertaining the reigning champions at their temporary home, Wellington left empty-handed after goal-of-the-season contenders from teenage debutant Calem Nieuwenhof and 197 match veteran Luke Brattan.

New signing Mirza Muratovic scored on his debut for Phoenix, but despite a period of mutual pressure following the introduction of tent striker Tomer Hemed and captain Ulises Davila with 30 minutes remaining, Wellington was unable to find an equalizer. Wellington had the ball in injury time but Davila’s shot was deflected by Hemed who was in an offside position.

Sydney were better in the early exchanges but Wellington goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic was rarely in trouble, while Jaushua Sotirio and Luke DeVere both missed chances at the other end.

Nieuwenhof scored just before half an hour and it was a goal for the highlights. With Wellington retreating, the 19-year-old fired a superb right-footed shot into the top left corner from 25 yards to open the scoring in his first A-League game.

Calem Nieuwenhof's stunning shot defeats Stefan Marinovic in the Phoenix goal.  Photos / Photosport
Calem Nieuwenhof’s stunning shot defeats Stefan Marinovic in the Phoenix goal. Photos / Photosport

But Muratovic equalized in the shadows of halftime who had been a peripheral figure for much of the first 45 minutes. Unfortunately, the engineer saw the loss of television images by the time Muratovic scored, leaving Phoenix fans without a trail of their team’s first goal of the new season. That is not important; Wellington equalized and replays later showed Muratovic a right-footed volley from Tim Payne’s right-wing cross. Then, Brattan’s thundering free kick from distance in the 55th minute put the Sky Blues back in front.

The arrivals of Davila and Hemed were the catalyst for the onslaught, but the visitors managed to block everything thrown at them to record their fifth win in the last six meetings between the two.

Apart from Muratovic, coach Ufuk Talay gave early debuts to Joshua Laws, Clayton Lewis and back James McGarry. With Davila not yet fit enough to start the match, Alex Rufer was handed the armband.

He was partnered in the Wellington engine room by Cam Devlin who was definitely his team’s best player, running tirelessly and contributing significantly to both attack and defense. England striker David Ball was typically austere while Louis Fenton added a boost to the left when he replaced McGarry for the final quarter of the game, and Hemed showed he would be a useful acquisition with a number of dangerous moves and a neat twist.

Phoenix will next meet A-League’s newest team Macarthur FC next Saturday in Campbelltown.

Sydney FC 2 (Nieuwenhof 29, Brattan 55)
Wellington Phoenix 1 (Muratovic 45 + 1)
HT: 1-1


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GO NZ: Te Araroa changed my life walking across New Zealand | Instant News


Laura Waters, pictured at Masons Hut, the last shack on the South Island on the Te Araroa Trail. Photo / Laura Waters

My eyes cloud as I think about the time I walked from Cape Reinga to Bluff. Here it is again, my friends must be thinking as I talk about the joys, tribulations, and amazing sights encountered during a 3000 km journey through this country. As far as a once-in-a-lifetime trip, setting foot in Te Araroa has been transformative, and its long-term effects on my life have only made it even more memorable. With the challenges of today’s world, fleeing into the wild is again a tantalizing choice.

Long-distance lines are gaining popularity around the world and in 2011 New Zealand launched its own line, a linear route connecting many pre-existing lines with several new links. In the north it winds from the west coast to the east and back again, via secluded beaches, mossy forest, the volcanic desert of Tongariro National Park, and knife-tipped ridges across the Tararua Mountains. To the south, a more direct route up and along the dramatic Southern Alps is required. About once a week, sometimes more often, the walkway intersects the city where hot showers and general stores offer the opportunity to refresh and recharge.

The Te Araroa Trail takes hikers across the country, from remote beaches in the North, to country tracks in the South.  Photo / Laura Waters
The Te Araroa Trail takes hikers across the country, from remote beaches in the North, to country tracks in the South. Photo / Laura Waters

When I left in 2013, Te Araroa was an unknown quantity, a trail that few people have managed to complete. Even though I had walked a dozen or more days under my belt, none were even more than 65 km so it was an experiment with fire on body and mind. I need it. After the closure of toxic relationships and the stress of city life, my world has been taken over by crippling anxiety and depression, the symptoms miraculously and magically disappearing within weeks of being immersed in the peace and simplicity of nature.

Then I fixed a problem I wasn’t even aware of. Walking the trails, I face countless challenges: steep, open mountains, sudden blizzards, a number of unobstructed river crossings, dubious trail signs, shoulder dislocations and, not least, loss of hiking companions. I got injured on the second day. But in overcoming this challenge I found a hitherto untapped inner intellect and courage. I learned to adapt to the environment, listen to my heart’s content and overcome fear. I found I was able to do more than I realized and I noticed how little you need to be happy – food, shelter, and a bag of belongings is enough. It is clear that life can be fun if you simplify it and eliminate the “noise.” The insights gained during those five months changed my life forever, leading to a career change and a substantial re-establishment of personal beliefs and worldviews.

Upper Travers Hut in Nelson Lakes National Park, one of the DoC huts on the Te Araroa trail.  Photo / Laura Waters
Upper Travers Hut in Nelson Lakes National Park, one of the DoC huts on the Te Araroa trail. Photo / Laura Waters

Taking the entire route will give you an experience like no other, but if you can’t spare the time or energy to wade the 3000 km, consider climbing the section, taking bite-sized stages over a long period of time. Alternatively, choose an interesting part of the cherry. The stretch from St Arnaud to Boyle Village, across from Nelson’s Lake National Park on the South Island, really evokes a few tears from me as I see its beautiful snow-capped mountains, fast-flowing rivers and vast boulder fields.

A solitary prostitute descending towards Lake Tekapo on the Te Araroa Line.  Photo / Laura Waters
A solitary prostitute descending towards Lake Tekapo on the Te Araroa Line. Photo / Laura Waters

If you’re curious to know what it’s like to have the beach all to yourself for four days, the first 100 kilometers south of Cape Reinga follows the secluded golden trail of Ninety Mile Beach. Mount Pirongia, in Waikato, marks the first true mountain range for hikers to the south and a two-day portion of its steep green mossy cliffs. Real delights are lesser-known finds such as the stunning jungle on North Island Hakarimata Road or Telford Tops on the Takitimu Trail to the south. The four-day Mavora Walkway, south of Queenstown, is also renowned for its lakes, mountains, beech forest and amazing sense of isolation.

The highlight of the trail – which incidentally doesn’t involve walking – is the 200 kilometers paddling up the Whanganui River. Kayaks and canoes can be rented at Taumarunui for a six-day paddle out to sea in Whanganui. About 200 rapids are scattered along the route, light enough for beginners to traverse yet foamy enough to get their heart racing. In some places, the river carves its way through steep-sided canyon walls dotted with ferns and gushing waterfalls, and campsites overlooking snaking water are some of the most beautiful places I have ever come across.

The Te Araroa Trail passes through the misty and misty forests of the Tararua Mountains.  Photo / Laura Waters
The Te Araroa Trail passes through the misty and misty forests of the Tararua Mountains. Photo / Laura Waters

Most of the nights on the North Island are spent in tents, but on the South Island, hikers can make use of many DoC huts on their way, especially when the weather turns challenging. Buying an inland cottage entry ticket will give you access to all the huts on the trail and while some have all the sophistication and comfort of a garden shed, others are double-layered masterpieces with cozy wood-burning stoves and five-star views.

I’m not going to cover it with sugar, walk all day, every day, need a little energy. I made it past the 10kg Whittakers in the five months it took me to complete the trail and I’m still losing weight (ah, those were the days). Te Araroa is also not for the faint of heart. The terrain is quite challenging at times and can be exposed to bad weather, but nothing compares to the feeling of being completely connected to the mainland as you peer through your flying tent as the moon rises over the remote Ahuriri River Valley. Or the shadow of a killer whale’s dorsal fin slicing through the surface of Queen Charlotte Sound as you follow the ridge trail above. Or a softer owl chirp in the dark northern forest night. Moments like magic make the trouble worth it.

Laura Waters is the author of Bewildered’s memoir, about her 3,000km hike along New Zealand.


The Te Araroa Trail stretches 3000km from Cape Reinga to Bluff and takes between 4-6 months to complete. Topographic maps, track records and further information can be downloaded from teararoa.org.nz

For more New Zealand travel ideas and inspiration, visit newzealand.com

This story was first published in the New Zealand Herald Travel on October 1

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