The year's weather was crazy as snow fell in summer and winter was one of warmest ever.
January's icy blast
We were just a few weeks into the new year when the first major storm struck the country.
A weather bomb wreaked havoc across both islands bringing destructive gales, extensive flooding and widespread travel disruption.
It hit the West Coast of the South Island on January 18 before sweeping up the country over several days.
Temperatures took a wintry turn as the wild weather moved in. It was so cold 30cm of fresh snow coated Cardrona ski field in the middle of summer.
Everywhere in the South Island plummeted below 10C and even the North Island shivered on wintry temperatures with Masterton recording 8C and Taupo 9C.
Hurricane-strength winds of up to 160km/h pummelled the North Island disrupting transport, blowing out windows and lifting roofs.
Thousands were left in the dark as trees toppled powerlines and caused serious accidents, including a car crushed by a falling tree on Auckland's Southern Motorway.
A swathe of highways across the country were blocked by slips and floods with the widespread storm costing $8.6m in insurance claims.
Autumn was a month of extremes with the upper half of the North Island hit by three major storms in quick succession including the remnants of two tropical cyclones.
At the same time parts of the South Island were far drier than normal.
The first storm - dubbed the Tasman Tempest - struck in the first week of March leaving many parts of Auckland underwater and stranding hundreds of school children on camps in the Hunua Ranges and Coromandel.
A month's worth of rain fell in 48 hours saturating eastern and southern parts of Auckland and the Coromandel.
The phenomenal deluge, which struck in the dead of night, cut off communities as roads across the regions disappeared under water.
Emergency evacuations involving the army began before daybreak as tents started to float away as a torrent of water swept through Camp Adair at the foot of Auckland's Hunua Ranges.
The worst affected areas included Auckland's south-eastern suburbs Papakura, Clevedon, Beachlands, Maraetai and Waiheke Island.
Stormy weather across the Auckland region broke record rain levels, caused widespread flooding, slips, blocked roads and tore signs off buildings, damaged power lines and drowned livestock.
As the mop-up got up underway a final afternoon burst of rain flooded around 50 homes in West Auckland with roads turning to rivers. The downpour was so intense a culvert collapsed in New Lynn near a set of shops.
The five days of flooding across the upper North Island left a whopping $61.7m insurance bill.
April's Cyclone Debbie aftermath
The autumnal weather chaos continued as the remnants of Cyclone Debbie lashed the North Island in early April.
The country was put on high alert as the large storm moved in with virtually no region escaping the wrath of the tropical torrent.
Many regions, already dealing with saturated land from the Tasman Tempest, were drenched by the torrential rain causing homes to flood, roads to disappear underwater and cutting power to thousands.
A state of emergency was declared in Whanganui and Rangitikei districts. Residents spent the night huddled in halls to escape pending disaster as the swollen Whanganui River threatened to burst its banks.
Scores of roads across the North Island were left impassable and schools closed.
Auckland was soaked by a month's worth of rain in 24 hours leaving nearly 20,000 homes without power, and causing road closures and slips.
One of the most dramatic moments of the storm came when a landslide crashed through a block of flats at Kohimarama.
But the worst moment of the storm came on April 6 as Edgecumbe was swamped by a catastrophic stopbank failure.
Panicked residents were given 20 minutes to get out as a stopbank that protected homes from the Rangitaiki River was on the verge of collapsing. As muddy river water coursed through the streets of the small Bay of Plenty town its 2000 residents fled. The toll was devastating on the community with 15 homes destroyed and another 250 badly damaged.
A critical review said the catastrophic flood was caused by a number of factors dating back nearly half a century when the wall's foundations were laid and compounded by a major earthquake and recent repairs.
April's Cyclone Cook
Barely a week after Cyclone Debbie had blown out to sea a second ex-tropical Cyclone Cook took aim at New Zealand.
Cook was initially expected to make a direct hit on Auckland but instead tracked east at the last minute making landfall in Whakatane. It then worked its way quickly down the east coast of both islands unleashing torrents of rain and strong winds one Hawke's Bay resident described as "enormous gusts like freight trains".
Thames, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty declared a state of emergency with people warned to reconsider travelling at Easter with many major highways to holiday destinations closed by flooding and slips.
The phenomenal rain led to 35 places recording their wettest or near-wettest autumn on record – including most main centres. Whangaparaoa recorded 791mm - a massive 294 per cent of normal.
Wintry July storms
The tropical-fuelled storms of April gave way to a winter that became our 11th warmest on record.
But after a balmy June a brutal winter storm hit on July 12 bringing heavy snow to low levels in Otago and Canterbury and the central North Island.
Towering seas, punishing gales and heavy snow and rain lashed central New Zealand for three days.
Road and air travel in both islands was disrupted as the fierce blast brought icy conditions, rain and high winds to much of the country.
While snow blanketed many communities across Otago sailings were cancelled on the Interislander due to towering 11m waves that buffeted the channel fuelled by winds of up to 167 km/h.
Around a dozen motorists were rescued from their vehicles after they became snowbound on the Napier-Taupo highway.
Thousands were left without power in isolated rural settlements in the Manawatu ranges.
It was followed by a potent second winter storm that led to widespread flooding in Canterbury and Otago.
Many towns were cut off and a state of emergency was declared across Otago and several Canterbury districts as floodwaters rose to near-historical levels.
Welfare centres were set up and communities evacuated as record rainfall lashed southern regions and plunged the area into chaos.
Oamaru had its wettest July day ever recording 161mm in 24 hours.
The army were called in to help with the emergency relief effort in Timaru and hundreds of homes were left ruined by floodwaters.
November's Roxburgh flash flood
A violent thunderstorm late November swept through the central Otago town of Roxburgh sending silt-laden floodwaters pouring through streets and large boulders spilling across roads.
Up to 50mm of rain fell in just 30 minutes forcing people from their homes - and trapping others inside.
Roxburgh and nearby Roxburgh village were left without water after the reservoir pipe was damaged in the electrical storm.
A final icy blast saw temperatures dive as snow fell in parts of the South Island for the last time this year.
The short-lived cold snap saw winds ramp up to more than 100km/h in the centre of the country and snow to low levels in the south and heavy rain in most areas as it swept north.
Sizzling summer leading up to Christmas
The cold snap was a brief interruption to a warm month with record dryness and hot temperatures rewriting the record books.
Lincoln had a 35-day dry stretch with less than 1mm of rain on any day and Orari had no rainfall at all during November, the first time in 120 years.
Cromwell had 12 consecutive days where the temperature was at 25C or above – with three of those higher than 30C - which is the most ever for November.
The year is closing on a parched note with much of the lower North Island and north Marlborough experiencing meteorological drought, including a large portion of Taranaki, coastal Manawatu-Whanganui, and most of Wellington. Niwa said in addition, severe meteorological drought is in place from Manawatu District south to Kapiti Coast.
As the year comes to an end Canterbury clocked up a new record going 46 days without rain and breaking a 64-year-old record of continuous days without rain.
But rain did come late on Christmas night - a boon for firefighters trying to contain a destructive wildfire in tinder-dry conditions near Hororata, 56km west of Christchurch.
Homes had been evacuated earlier as firefighters scrambled to prevent the blaze from spreading but the steady rain overnight helped lower the risk of it reigniting.