Record-breaking rainfall and all-time low sunshine hours made last summer one of the wettest and greyest in New Zealand history, new data shows.

Figures released by Niwa this afternoon show much of the North Island received record amounts of cloud from December till March.

It was the cloudiest summer ever for main centres Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton and Wellington, the data shows.

Auckland's 479 sunshine hours were just 75 per cent of normal.


Rainfall was also high in much of the North Island and upper South Island, with many areas recording triple normal summer levels.

Takaka and Nelson had their wettest summers ever, partly due to a downpour which flooded both areas in mid-December.

Niwa said the 392mm of rain recorded on December 14 in Takaka was the largest single-day downpour in New Zealand this summer.

The town's summer total of 1310 mm of rainfall was "astounding", it said.

Meanwhile, it was a warm and dry summer over the west and south of the South Island.

The highest temperature recorded was 31.7 degrees Celsius at Lake Pukaki on January 4, while the lowest temperature was -0.9°C at Ranfurly on January 3.