Whakatane takes its place in the sun
Whakatane is basking in the glory of retaining its spot as the sunniest place in New Zealand.
The Eastern Bay of Plenty town was 190 hours sunnier in 2013 than 2012, with an average of more than 7.5 hours of sunshine a day, said Whakatane mayor Tony Bonne.
“With all due respect to the other centres vying for top spot, that means Whakatane was more than an average sunshine fortnight ahead of the next sunniest location, New Plymouth, and more than a month ahead of Tauranga, Gisborne, and Nelson.”
Whakatane had been the national “sunshine capital” in three of the last four years, said Bonne.
The sunshine hour totals were taken from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research database.
Whakatane was placed first with 2792 sunshine hours, with New Plymouth in second on 2668 hours.
Gisborne came third with 2483 hours, and Lake Tekapo fourth with 2482 hours.
Nelson was the fifth most sunny spot, with 2411 hours.
Tauranga and Napier could still make it into the top five, however, because December readings have yet to be included, said Bonne.
Bonne said the statistics made Whakatane a natural holiday destination choice.
“Come to Whakatane – we’ll make you welcome and the chances are the sun will be shining,” he said.
Whakatane was so proud of its sunshine dominance it created cans of “100% Pure Whakatane Sunshine” around 40 years ago.
The idea belonged to local man John Dreifuss, who managed the town’s promotions at the time.
Several versions of the can have been released since then.