Wanganui's climate is particularly moderate, and typical of western regions in New Zealand, Niwa principal scientist James Renwick says.

"Being on the coast, temperatures are quite strongly linked to those over the ocean to the west," he said. "So Wanganui is not prone to extremes of temperature."

Annually, Wanganui also clocked up average amounts of rain and sun. Dr Renwick said while the area was generally wetter than places in the east at a similar latitude (eg Hawke's Bay), it remained drier than many places to the north, sheltered from the more subtropical rainfall influences that affect the northern North Island.

According to the district council's Community Outcomes Survey 2011, 86 per cent say Wanganui has a pleasant climate.


Wanganui market gardener Paul Laugesen said prevailing onshore winds helped limit the frequency of frosts in the area and prevented moisture from settling on plants, meaning they were subjected to fewer diseases.

Federated Farmers Wanganui president Brian Doughty said the district's temperate climate meant any type of farming was viable. Although different areas of land suited particular farming disciplines, like the flat hinterland for fattening, cropping and dairy, the moderate climate enforced no limits on what could be farmed locally.

Mr Doughty said the majority of Wanganui's agricultural goods were supplied to local markets in Wellington, New Plymouth and Palmerston North. But that could expand considerably, he said, should the Royal New Zealand Air Force base in Ohakea become a major airline hub.

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