Tauranga is in its longest dry spell in 30 years, according to the man in charge of the city's water under pressure supply.

The city has been without rain in almost a month, with the last recorded rain falling on January 16.

Temperatures are skyrocketing, reaching 30.8C yesterday - the highest in New Zealand according to the Metservice.

The maximum temperature for January also peaked at 30C, compared to the historic average of 28C for the months of January and February.


Tauranga City waters manager Steve Burton said this was the "longest dry spell in at least 30 years".

He said the sprinkler ban in place since January 30 may need to be upped to a hose ban if the dry spell continued and people did not start using less water.

The initial response to the sprinkler ban was good and water use dropped more than 10 per cent in the first week.

Tauranga's water use has risen after an initial drop when the sprinkler ban came in. Graphic / Tauranga City Council
Tauranga's water use has risen after an initial drop when the sprinkler ban came in. Graphic / Tauranga City Council

Burton said usage had since crept back up again.

People needed to be thoughtful about their water use, particularly in gardens.

"If everybody does their bit, there's enough water to go around. If we can manage this together, we can avoid more stringent restrictions."

Former Federated Farmers Bay of Plenty provincial president Rick Powdrell said he only had 42mm of rain on his Te Puke farm last month and none in February.

"To put it into perspective I measured just over 400mm in December and we had rain on 24 of the 31 days. The last time we had any rain was on January 24."


Powdrell said the hot weather was proving challenging and in the last two weeks the quality of feed had dropped which was affecting production.

The intense heat and strong winds had taken a toll on the land, he said.

Clover has frizzled and even the longer paddocks that have still got a bit of green on the bottom are browning off.

The sheep, beef and dairy support farmer said although the situation was not critical yet the bigger problem could be the big dry followed by significant rain.

''Then the grass turns to mush and there is a time frame before quality grass grows.''

Federated Farmers Te Puke chairman Steve Bailey said the heat was particularly affecting farmers in low lying regions but they were not in dire straits just yet.

These farmers, he said, were swamped with rain over Christmas. Now they were struggling at the opposite end of the spectrum, with the intense heat and dry earth.

Farmers were focusing on keeping cows in good condition.

Bailey said March and April would be vital months to see how things develop into winter.

Tauranga weather forecast

14 Feb: High 27C, low 17C. Fine apart from morning and evening cloud. Light winds and sea breezes.
15 Feb: High 29C, low 16C. Morning cloud then fine. Light winds and sea breezes.
16 Feb: High 28C, low 18C. Long fine spells, chance late shower. Winds mainly light.
17 Feb: High 25C, low 18C. Partly cloudy, chance shower. Northeasterlies developing.
Source: Metservice