The last weekend of the year will be a rainy one for many in the North Island, as a low pressure system brings a warm, moist northerly flow over the top of the country.

The wettest areas of New Zealand were expected to be in the north of the country, with heavier rain in parts of Coromandel and Bay of Plenty, said MetService meteorologist John Law.

"We're keeping an eye on a developing area of low pressure which has the potential to make it a wet weekend, especially over the north of the country.''

New Plymouth is in for a cloudy weekend with showers turning to rain on Sunday morning, and showers are also on the way for Hawkes Bay.


However, the weather on New Year's Eve was looking more settled, with a brief ridge of high pressure pushing across the north and east of the North Island, with showers clearing in the west.

Mr Law said the West Coast of the South Island enjoyed some of the best weather for Boxing Day yesterday, with plenty of sunshine and the warmest temperatures.

Milford Sound recorded the highest temperature for the day of 25C, only a degree cooler than the maximum temperature recorded at Raoul Island in the subtropical Kermadecs yesterday.

While the West Coast basked in sunshine, the east of the South Island was on the receiving end of plenty of cloud and drizzle.

Rain is in store for the South Island this weekend but the forecast was looking better for New Year's Eve.

"There are still a few days left to firm up the timing and details of the forecast, but at the moment it looks like we should see a switch over the South Island to a wetter west and a drier east,'' Mr Law said.



Auckland: Cloud increasing on Saturday afternoon, rain in the evening, with northeasterlies and a high of 23C. The heavy rain should ease on Sunday with fresh northerlies and a high of 24C.

Hamilton: Afternoon and evening showers with a northeast breeze and a high of 23C on Saturday. On Sunday, the rain will ease in the afternoon, with northeasterlies and a high of 24C.

Wellington: Occasional showers on Saturday with heavy rain in the east. On Sunday, there will be a few showers and afternoon rain. A high of 21C on both days.

Christchurch: Southeasterlies and occasional rain on Saturday, mainly in the morning and night, and a high of 19C. Sunday will bring low cloud, occasional drizzle and a high of 21C.

Dunedin: Both days will be cloudy with a chance of drizzle, northeasterlies and a high of 18C.