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North Island region officially — and surprisingly — takes title of Aotearoa's sunshine capital

Taranaki is officially – and surprisingly - the sunshine capital of Aotearoa so far this year, taking the title from the normal sun-soaked areas like Marlborough, Bay of Plenty and Hawke’s Bay.

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The region beat out notoriously sunny spots like Marlborough, Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay after recording over 1000 golden hours so far this year. Source: Seven Sharp

Stats from NIWA show Taranaki has enjoyed 1123 hours of sunshine so far this year.

Compare that with the usual sunshine spots: Bay of Plenty not plentiful enough with 1090 sunshine hours, Marlborough on 1090 and Hawke's Bay with 1058.

"It’s been a pretty sunny start to the year for Aotearoa as a while but in Taranaki in particular, generally we get a lot of westerly winds there we haven't had that we've had a lot of high pressure and settled weather, that's contributed to the sunny skies,” Nava Fedaeff from NIWA said.

"That has contributed to the prevalence of high-pressure systems and a bit more of an easterly wind flow so that’s something that doesn’t favour cloud in Taranaki."

Taranaki's sunshine hours are tallied up at a climate station at New Plymouth's airport, but locals should hold off on boasting for now.

"It’s a little bit early for Taranaki to boast. Just like the turtle and the hare this is a marathon you don’t want to celebrate your win too early. We're not even halfway through 2021 yet so still a few months to go."