Soaring temperatures have prompted a spike in people showing up at Tauranga Hospital with heat-related symptoms - while Federated Farmers says if the dry spell doesn't break ''there will be some hard calls to make''.

The concerns follow a balmy start to 2019 and MetService meteorologist Tui McInnes said although high temperatures in Tauranga would ease off, the likelihood of rain in the next couple of weeks was minimal.

''There is a ridge of high pressure over the North Island which basically squashes these fronts that come in. You might get a few showers as we go into Saturday morning...

"But we not expecting any persistent rain, just more cloudy conditions.''


According to Niwa, Tauranga has had 16mm of rain this month, only 20 per cent of the normal rainfall for January. Last year, Tauranga recorded 136mm of rain, which was 173 per cent of normal.

Tauranga Hospital Emergency Department clinical nurse manager Stephanie Watson said there have been more people presenting with issues which could be related to the heat.

The frail, elderly and young were the most affected by the heat, she said.

''Symptoms include headaches, faintness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and dehydration.''

Metlifecare Bay of Plenty operations manager Jo Coates-Reid said its village nurses were taking the lead with tips and encouraging residents to stay hydrated, stay out of the sun and use the swimming pool.

Ark Early Childhood Centre manager Rebecca Evans said staff were giving children water ice-blocks throughout the day and bringing them inside where it was air-conditioned when it got too hot.

The centre also had a shaded mud pit and a sun smart policy as ''well being is our most important priority''.

Meanwhile, Federated Farmers Bay of Plenty provincial president Darryl Jensen said in ''all honesty we could do with some rain right now''.


"If we have another week or 10 days of this sort of weather it's really going to turn things around and farmers will have to make some hard calls. The high winds and temperatures just suck the moisture out of the soil so it's a double whammy.''

Some dairy farmers he was aware of had opted to go to once a day milking but fortunately, a lot of hay had been made this year and maize crops would be harvested next month.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry for Primary Industries said the last time there was a drought in the area which met the criteria for a medium-scale event was 2013.

Niwa meteorologist Seth Carrier said the Bay of Plenty was not a hotspot at the moment but the upcoming dry weather could potentially change that.

New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc chief executive Nikki Johnson said the organisation had not received any reports of the warmer weather having an adverse effect on kiwifruit growth.

New Zealand Avocado market manager Bevan Jelley said avocado trees originated in Mexico where over half the avocados produced globally were grown so ''our current hot temperatures suit them pretty well''.

Tauranga SPCA animal inspector Jason Blair said there had been a marked increase of heat-related animal welfare complaints in December and January compared with last year.

''We are receiving heat-related complaints daily, with many of them relating to animals without shade or dogs locked in hot cars.''

On Tuesday he responded to an urgent call where a dog was suffering heat stress and had to be immediately removed from a car.

Temperature highs
Yesterday 25C
Rest of the week average daytime mid 20Cs
Highest temperature recorded for Tauranga was 33.7C on January 11 1983
- Source: MetService