It's quite possible Norsewood is one of the best places in the Tararua to be a farmer or a gardener, local weather watcher Lyn McConchie says.

"The average annual rainfall on my farm in upper Norsewood for the past six years (2012 to 2017) has been 1293mm. In that period the lowest rainfall was 1207mm in 2015 and the highest has been 1428 in 2017," Ms McConchie said.

"Despite other areas around - such as the Takapau Plains - having poor rainfall, we have not."

And with 27mm of rain falling overnight last Thursday, and 4mm "tricking" down in the 38 hours prior, Ms McConchie said it didn't look as though her area would be suffering from drought this month either.

"We'd had 31mm up until 6am Friday and more showers were forecast, so it's looking good," she said. "We are not short of water in upper Norsewood, thank goodness."

However, Eketahuna dairy farmer and Tararua District mayor Tracey Collis said until the rain at the end of last week, her district was very dry.

"Eketahuna has been the driest I've seen it, but last Wednesday we had 20mm of rain," she said. "It was needed and it came down very heavy, but it was also very localised."


The dry came after an exceptionally wet autumn and winter and, in contrast to this year, a horrendously wet summer.

Last summer Eketahuna farmers were just trying to keep their heads above water as it rained and rained, with dairy production falling dramatically.

In contrast, this summer many dairy farmers in Eketahuna, like the Collises, have been feeding out supplements.

"We've dropped 10 per cent of our cows and it's been tough going," Mrs Collis said. "The high temperatures haven't helped either."

Ms McConchie's weather records show upper Norsewood had almost six inches of rain in February and March last year, with 270mm (almost 11 inches) falling in April.

"More than half of that fell in the first week of April," she said.

October rainfall last year was 198mm (fractionally under 8 inches), and in the last two months of 2017 49mm and 47mm fell.

"The interesting result looking at those figures is that until last year, annual rainfall had been dropping a little each year - until 2017 when it came back solidly," Ms McConchie said.

"For this area of Tararua at least, 2017 wasn't a drought year and while I'll be interested to see what other Tararua areas have had in relation to my figures, it seems Norsewood is the best place in Tararua to farm or garden."

How it fell:
Previous rainfall in upper Norsewood:

* 2012 - 1401mm.
* 2013 - 1280mm.
* 2014 - 1249mm.
* 2015 - 1207mm.
* 2016 - 1198mm.
* 2017 - 1428mm.