Invercargill looks an unlikely winner of the sunniest-city title, and its local newspaper editor seems to be only too aware of that reality.
Hence he tartly points out (in respect of the spat between Blenheim and Whakatane about which of them is entitled to be crowned New Zealand’s sunshine capital) that this is
less widely known as the Melanoma-Risk Capital.
He does not go further and claim the least-melanoma-risky title for his city.
As for the city with the most sunshine:
Clearly both towns can claim to luxuriate in brightness and warmth, so what does it really matter if another town is doing so as well, to an ever-so-perceptibly greater or lesser degree?
It’s extremism, is what it is.
Moderation in all things mightn’t be a particularly stirring rallying cry, but look at us in Southland.
We’re having crisp autumnal weather. It’s a quite lovely climatic concoction. We can expect to feel tingles at the edges of the day and warm sunshine on our shoulders during the middle bit, and not a lot of wind.
But maybe the editor hadn’t read his own business pages, where he would have learned:
Environment Southland scientific officer Chris Jenkins said the Invercargill area had had 31mm of rainfall at Tisbury and 33mm at north Invercargill for the month of April up until yesterday.
“Normally we would expect around 75mm for this time frame. A dry event such as we are experiencing now occurs on average every 10 years.”
As a consequence:
Water-carrying companies say they have been busy during the past week or so as domestic water tanks that rely on rain water run dry.
Cleanways 2003 Ltd owner-operator Lloyd Phillips said yesterday he had been “absolutely snowed under” since last Wednesday carting water.
His two trucks were going flat out from dawn to dusk and had delivered about 660,000 litres in the past four days.
Yesterday’s rain had alleviated the situation slightly but “in all honesty it was not enough to wet your whistle”, Mr Phillips said.
Neptune Water Carriers owner Allen Anderson said his two trucks had been on the go most of the weekend, mainly to houses in such areas as Otatara, which rely on rain water to fill their tanks.
His company carted about 12 loads, each between 10,000L and 13,000L, on Sunday alone, Mr Anderson said.
Good grief. Would you believe water-carrying is a thriving business in Southland?