Rain no worry to greenkeeper

Downpour on first day in the job

KIRSTY MCMURRAY
Last updated 05:00 05/02/2013
Daniel Stretton

Rainy day: Fitzroy Golf Club greenkeeper Daniel Stretton found yesterday’s downpours a relief after all the hot weather.

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Plenty of people welcomed yesterday's rain in Taranaki, but none more so than Fitzroy Golf Club greenkeeper Daniel Stretton.

"It was really good, the rain doesn't bother me at all, it was nice to be in it."

It was Mr Stretton's first day on the job yesterday after spending 17 years as a baker.

"I couldn't even mow the greens, they were just saturated."

He said the rain was good for the grass and would help it recover from heat stress caused by the straight run of sun in the past two weeks.

"Just because it's been so hot lately, the rain is real pleasant for a change."

Metservice says we should make the most of it while we can because rain is forecast to ease today, becoming clear and sunny again by tomorrow and staying that way until next week.

Taranaki Regional Council hydrology officer Andrew Cotter said January had been a fairly dry month for Taranaki, with the region receiving on average 71 per cent of normal rainfall. New Plymouth had 55mm of rain out of its average January rainfall of 97mm at the airport site, and Hawera had 70.4mm of its usual 71.

"Rainfall totals ranged from very dry at Cape Egmont where only half of the normal rain was recorded, and North Egmont receiving only 230.5mm [54pc] of its normal amount," Mr Cotter said.

Reports from Niwa show New Plymouth was also among the sunniest places in the country last month.

New Plymouth recorded 304 hours of sunshine, fourth after Cheviot and Cromwell with 306 hours, Gisborne with 308 and Lake Tekapo with 325 hours.

Yesterday's rain was not enough to lift a fire ban across all of South Taranaki, principal rural fire officer John Gunn said.

"We haven't had the rain here in Hawera, Eltham or Waverley that you've had in New Plymouth."

He said the fine forecast for the next week was concerning and would dry the region out even further.

"We need quite a lot more rain before I'll consider easing the restrictions back."

A total fire ban is in place for the bulk of the district including incinerators, wood or coal barbecues and hangi.

The ban covers Hawera, Eltham, Rahotu, Opunake and everywhere in between.

Only gas-fired barbecues are permitted.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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