Sufficient rain to end the drought is predicted next week in some of the driest parts of the North Island.
Climate scientist Jim Salinger said New Zealand often gets a significant storm in mid-April and weather models show there will be such a storm from Monday - Wednesday next week.
Dr Salinger said this is expected to mainly affect Bay of Plenty and Northland, although most of New Zealand should get some rain.
He said the storm will come from the north Tasman, bringing with it warm and moist air from sub-tropical latitudes, which is exactly what the drought-hit areas need.
Despite the fewer hours of sunshine now being experienced, Dr Salinger said these conditions would allow grass growth.