Letter: In defence of New Zealand's weather

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The Independent Online
Sir: Dr Penny Fitzharris's letter (2 September) presents a jaundiced picture of Wellington, New Zealand. I am in a position to comment, having lived in London and Essex for many years before emigrating to Wellington in 1962. The medical scene is her province and I won't comment, but I must defend our climate.

I doubt her contention that our average summer temperature is lower than London's. (Dust thrown up by the Philippines volcano upset weather everywhere in the Pacific during 1992-3 - recovering gradually this year - which may have deceived her.) Our summer is usually stable and reliable with very many warm days (40-50 per cent more sunshine hours than London). Rainfall is about 50 inches, as it is for western Britain. Snow at sea level is unknown, frost infrequent, and high humidity seldom, smog never.

However, Wellington is notorious for wind, strong and persistent, especially in spring. And there are earthquakes - one or two a year, with big ones every 150 years or so.

She mentions her salary - 72 per cent of what it was in Britain. However, food, petrol and other commodities are far cheaper, and her money, she will find, will stretch further.

There are many things British that I miss (notably the changing seasons - our landscape is dominated by evergreen bush) but the climate is not one of them.

Yours sincerely,


Wellington, New Zealand