Official New Zealand climate records for 2016 reveal the year was the hottest ever, with temperatures almost one degree above normal.
The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research says the average national temperature was 13.4C, based on readings at seven weather stations.
The result was 0.8C above average and the highest since records began in 1909.
2016 climate in the six main centres.
Of the six main centres, Auckland was the sunniest and warmest, Christchurch was the driest, Wellington was the wettest and Dunedin was the coldest.
The sunniest spot in the country was the top of the South Island.
Richmond recorded 2840 sunshine hours, the highest annual sunshine total on record, with neighbours Blenheim (2582 hours) and Takaka (2534 hours) not far behind.
The notoriously wet Milford Sound was drenched with 9259mm of rain, its highest total since records began in 1929.
In contrast, Cromwell remained dry, with just 338mm of rain falling in the Central Otago town.
Maori Public Health boss Lance Norman told politicians today that 35 per cent of Maori still smoke, along with 25 per cent of Pasifika and 12-13 per cent of all other ethnicities.