North Island's worst drought in 70 years

Cattle forage for feed in a drought-stricken paddock on State Highway 5, just north of Taupo. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Cattle forage for feed in a drought-stricken paddock on State Highway 5, just north of Taupo. Photo / Sarah Ivey

A climate expert believes summers like this one will become the new norm for New Zealand.

Droughts have already been declared across much of the North Island.

Other regions including Manawatu and Canterbury are either asking for help, or about to do so.

Climate scientist Jim Salinger says if current weather patterns continue, New Zealand's climate will be similar to the Mediterranean.

"What it means is that if it just doesn't rain for at least four months of the year, it means you have to bring in your water from elsewhere."

Dr Salinger says the drought is the worst the North Island has seen in 70 years.

- Newstalk ZB

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