A report by the national climate centre describes September weather patterns as a tale of two islands, with the South Island overly dry and the North Island wet.
Forecaster for the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research - Niwa - Chris Brandolino, said much of the South Island had below-normal rainfall.
He said Queenstown recorded its highest number of sunshine hours since 1930, when records began.
In contrast, there was above-average rainfall in many parts of the North Island, including Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Manawatu, Whanganui and Taranaki.
Niwa said temperatures for the month ranged from minus 6.9 in Middlemarch to 24 degrees at Leeston.