Making forecasts

Computer modelling Data collected from observations of weather conditions is entered into a computer modelling system, which performs billions of calculations to predict future atmospheric

Part of story: Weather forecasting

Causes and consequences

Emotional and financial costs ‘All those people … the loss of all those people. I can’t get it out of my mind’: a young woman’s reaction sums up the

Part of story: Air crashes

The need for shelter

Shelter from wind and weather is a primary need for humans – and for animals and plants. Protection from extremes of weather helps them to survive and grow. Farmers often plant

Part of story: Shelter on farms

Highs – anticyclones

The fluctuations in New Zealand’s weather are caused by the passage of anticyclones (centres of high air pressure) separated by troughs of low pressure.

Part of story: Weather

Climate change

The climate is the result of a finely balanced system, but natural events and human activities can tip the balance.

Part of story: Climate change

Drilling the Māui gas field

In 1969, one of the largest gas fields yet discovered was found on New Zealand’s doorstep. The Māui gas field, as it came to be called, lay about 30–50 kilometres offshore from

Part of story: Engineering on the sea floor

The surfing way of life

Rift between surfers and lifesavers The new lighter boards revolutionised the sport of surfing. Heavy longboards had to be stored at the beach, but

Part of story: Lifesaving and surfing

Wind and storms

The four winds

Part of story: Tāwhirimātea – the weather

New Zealand’s number one hazard

Floods are the most frequent and costly natural disasters in New Zealand – between 1968 and 2017, the country experienced over 80 damaging floods.

Part of story: Floods


Most New Zealand deer graze on ryegrass and clover pasture, but some specialist pastures such as chicory are also used. Supplementary feeds in winter may include silage,

Part of story: Deer and deer farming


Topography Much of Northland is undulating to moderately steep hill country that has been weathered by the subtropical climate over a long period of time. As a result, most of the soils

Part of story: Soils and regional land use

The ocean’s role in climate change

Changes in climate are not caused only by conditions in the atmosphere. The top few metres of the ocean can store as much heat as the entire atmosphere, and relatively small

Part of story: Ocean currents and tides