Farmers in the upper South Island are welcoming the first decent rainfall in months, calling it a great start to the year.
Yesterday, Blenheim received nearly as much rain as it did in the entire month of December.
Federated Farmers North Canterbury president Frank Brenmuhl said he hoped there was enough rain to make a difference.
"It's the biggest amount of rain that we've had for quite some time, but we need slow and steady - not too much all at once.
"One of the biggest problems you can have when you have had no rain for a considerable length of time and then you get a big dump, is that 80 to 90 percent of it will run off rather than go into the soil."
The current El Nino weather pattern was marked by extremes and had made rainfall harder to predict, Mr Brenmuhl said.
More rainfall is predicted for later in the week, and Mr Brenmuhl said it should help farmers prepare crops and feed for the winter.