NZ weather forecast: Get the warm coats ready, temperatures set to plunge as MetService says 'golden weather's gone'

Whether you embraced or reviled New Zealand's hottest summer on record, it is now officially the "beginning of the end" for abnormally high temperatures in 2018, say meteorologists.

The autumnal swing towards cooler conditions is already taking place across the country says MetService meteorologist Georgina Griffiths - starting with a "short sharp" chill arriving this week.

"I think the golden weather's gone. The abnormal heat we saw, we had a record warm January, we had a really hot run before Christmas, we had a humid and warm February - that’s definitely gone," Griffiths says.

"The marine heat wave which is part of the driver has diminished, and we should start to see stock standard autumnal changes, short sharp changes."

TVNZ weather presenter Dan Corbett with the latest update. Source: 1 NEWS

And the first of these dips will arrive this Thursday in a "pretty intense change for New Zealand, even for autumn".

Much of the South Island will drop from the low 20 degrees today to low teen temperatures by Thursday.

Christchurch is set for a high of 26 degrees today down to a high of 13 by Thursday.

Wellington is set to dip from 22 today down to 15 by Friday.

However, further up the county the changes will be less marked, with Auckland only going from 24 degrees today to 21 degrees by Friday.

There is even snow forecast for some snow fields on the South Island this week.

"Given we've had five months of warmth it's going to be a bit of a shock to the system, the first decent cold change of the year," Griffiths says.

However, the chill won't be totally long standing, with warmer spells still expected into April.

"We will start to see some warmer spells, I don't think it's over for the whole year, but we are starting to see the decline," Griffiths says.

"It is the time of year when temperatures start to decrease, the autumnal dip."

And while there is no forecast yet for the entire winter, over the next six weeks the temperature is expected to be fairly erratic.

"All I'd say is my messaging for the coming four to six weeks is that we're going to see more changeable temperatures," Griffiths says.

"We start sliding down hill on temperatures and changeability, the mobile weather features, as we move towards mid autumn and into winter.

"The abnormal heat is gone and we would expect temperatures to look quite muted or closer to the average for the first time in quite some time."

Aerial panoramic view of Wellington Cityscape during Sunset - Twilight under beautiful summer cloudscape. Wellington, North Island, New Zealand, Oceania
Wellington is set to dip from 22 degrees today down to 15 by Friday. Source: 1 NEWS

Tracking down New Plymouth youth MP candidates after Andrew Little's 'hip' appeal

Labour MP Andrew Little released a tongue in cheek video encouraging young people from New Plymouth to get involved in politics today.

The video inspired TVNZ1's Seven Sharp to travel to Mr Little's old school to find the perfect candidate for its new youth MP.

Judge for yourself if New Plymouth Boys' High students Thomas Foy and Jarrod Wilson have what it takes in the video above.

Tamati Rimene-Sproat is on the case after the Labour MP's piece of political theatre. Source: Seven Sharp


Watch: Take a tour inside Kate Sheppard’s former house where suffragists worked to get women the right to vote

Suffragist Kate Sheppard's old house in Christchurch goes up for auction next month - so Seven Sharp host Hilary Barry took a tour.

Ms Sheppard was instrumental in gaining New Zealand women the right to vote in 1893. She carried out important work for the suffrage movement in the house during the late 19th Century.

Today saw celebrations around the country marking 125 years since women gained the right to vote in New Zealand.

Jacinda Ardern has indicated the Government is interested in buying the house for the nation. It's expected to fetch in excess of $3 million when it goes under the hammer on October 17.

Hilary Barry met with the home's current owner Julia Burbury who showed her around the dwelling set on one acre of gardens.

The house has a category one heritage listing.

The piece of New Zealand history in Christchurch, worth more than $3 million, is up for auction. Source: Seven Sharp


Mum distraught as son turned away from Hutt Valley High School because he didn't have permanent address

Being homeless has become an obstacle for one mother wanting to give her child an education.

Helen Taitapanui and her son were turned away from Hutt Valley High School last week because they don't have a permanent residential address.

Ms Taitapanui, is currently battling cancer and lives in a motel with her teenage son while they wait for a permanent home.

"We've got to be glad that we've got that when we know that a lot of our families are out there living in cars," Ms Taitapanui told 1 NEWS.

However, this was a problem when she tried to enrol her son at a local school.

"The response was it's against their policy to register children living out of a motel. you had to have a residential address," Ms Taitapanui said.

She complained to the Ministry of Education and shortly after Hutt Valley High School reversed its decision.

Ms Taitapanui says her son's excited about going back to school.

"I know once he steps back into the realm of education he'll be well and truly away."

She hopes by speaking out, another unnecessary obstacle will be removed for the homeless.

Being homeless threw up an unexpected obstacle for a mum wanting to educate her child. Source: 1 NEWS

More chlorination likely with water services set to be centralised

The Government is set to strip councils of their power over water following Havelock North's 2016 gastro crisis which was a wake up call for the country.  

Speaking to Water New Zealand's conference today, the Local Government Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, gave her strongest hint yet of change. 

Havelock North's gastro outbreak prompted a review of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater nationwide.

The estimated cost of ensuring drinking water is safe is $500 million, and to fix water infrastructure, at least $2 billion. 

"The Government doesn't have a bottomless pit of money to throw at this," Ms Mahuta said.

But water won't be privatised. Instead, services are likely to be moved into a national water regulator and responsibility for water service stripped from the 67 councils and handed to a small number of entities.

Water NZ chief executive John Pfahlert said that would mean "you get better quality water and it doesn't cost as much to provide". 

But change for the water industry is unlikely to be without controversy.

Any change is likely to see authority over water taken away from local councils, and Local Government New Zealand will not be happy about that.

"We would have issues if it was compulsory because we believe bigger is not always better. New Zealand is incredibly diverse from the Far North to the Deep South," said Stuart Crosbie of Local Government NZ. 

Twenty per cent of drinking water is unsafe - so a national agency is likely to mean more chlorination.

"It's there for a good public health reason. So it'll take time for the communities like Christchurch and Geraldine and other parts of New Zealand which have traditionally not had treated water, to get their head around that," Mr Pfahlert said.

Back in Hawke's Bay, the health board is studying the long-term impacts of the campylobacter outbreak.

John Buckley's family believe he could be the fifth victim of Havelock North's gastro outbreak.

The 78-year-old died three weeks ago of a stroke, but prior to the crisis, they say he'd been healthy.

"He's spent a lot of time in hospital. He's had a lot of unexpected surgeries and bleeds and heart problems, kidney problems, all due to the campylobacter," said Kat Sheridan, Mr Buckley's daughter.

Ms Sheridan says the family wishes, "you can turn your tap on again and trustfully drink the water. Surely that's all we want".

Before any changes can happen Cabinet will need to approve the recommendations made in the review of water management. 

It comes after Havelock North's gastro crisis was a wake-up call for New Zealand. Source: 1 NEWS