Whakatane is the sunniest spot in New Zealand for the second year running.
Figures released by Niwa on Monday, said the Bay of Plenty town recorded 2792 sunshine hours in 2013, followed by Tauranga (2515 hours) and Gisborne (2483 hours).
Niwa said raw data from New Plymouth put it at the second sunniest spot, however the accuracy of the data was in question and further investigation was under way.
Whakatane placed top in 2010 and 2012 and came third in 2011.
Whakatane Mayor Tony Bonne said topping the list as the “sunshine capital” in three of the last four years sent a message to visitors seeking an outdoor lifestyle.
“Come to Whakatane (and) we’ll make you welcome and the chances are the sun will be shining.”
2013 was the third-warmest year on record New Zealand-wide.
The 2013 drought, which broke in most places in April, was one of the most extreme on record, Niwa said.
It affected almost all the North Island and parts of the South Island’s West Coast.
Nine parts of New Zealand also experienced record or near-record high annual sunshine hours: Kaitaia, Dargaville, Turangi, Dannevirke, Hokitika, Greymouth, Cheviot, Cromwell and Balclutha.
While, Mt Cook Village received the fewest sunshine hours in the country recording 1562 hours, much less than its neighbour, Lake Tekapo which recorded 2482 hours.
Niwa said this could be partly attributed to cloudiness along the Southern Alps.