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Zealand is getting drier – Media release

27 May 2021

While there is natural variation in precipitation
due to seasons and cycles, New Zealand appears to be getting drier, Stats
NZ said today.

Average annual rainfall for the five years
2016–2020 was 3.1 percent below the previous five-year average and 10.7
percent below the five-year average for 1996–2000.

Between 2016 and 2020, New Zealand’s average
precipitation, which includes rain, sleet, snow, and hail, was 504,988
million cubic metres. This was down from the average of 520,890 million
cubic metres in the previous five years and down from an average of 565,691
million cubic metres in 1996–2000.

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