Slip, slop, slap and wrap urged as summer sun heats up
The early summer sun is already catching some Kiwis off guard, and the Cancer Society says people need to be stocking up on summer essentials like sunscreen.
New Zealand has the highest rate of melanoma cancer in the world, with more than 400 people dying a year.
"It's more than 40 percent higher than our road toll," Cancer Society chief executive Claire Austin says.
NIWA's UV index shows the midday sun is hitting extreme levels in some places already and Ms Austin says with the country's extremely harsh sun, some sunscreens work better than others.
"[Use] SPF 30 and above, make sure it's water resistant, and make sure to reapply the sunscreen," she says.
According to Ms Austin, if you notice a freckle, spot or mole changing shape, itchy or bleeding you should get checked by your GP.
"What we're talking about really is that from cradle to grave, it's really important to protect our skin," she says.