Why Auckland's dreary summer is taking toll on people's wellbeing

This summer is likely to go down in the record books as one of Auckland's dreariest.

The City of Sails has averaged just five hours of sunshine a day for the month of January, and it's taking a toll on its residents' wellbeing.

For Auckland and its visitors, their summer of fun has been anything but. In fact, they've spent more time soaking wet than they have soaking up the sun, with Auckland among the regions to have documented its least sunny January on record.

"It's like being back home in Britain. We're used to it," one tourist said.

"Only 60 percent of sunshine hours, only five hours and probably only six days of the entire month are considered to be really sunny," NIWA meteorologist Ben Noll said.

And it's fair to say it's dampening Aucklanders' spirits.

"It's understandable that you might be feeling quite low, quite anxious, quite angry. You might find the animals acting in different ways, the children acting in different ways," said registered psychologist Nikki Duke.

But Duke said this is normal,and there's a scientific explanation behind it.

"The idea with seasonal affective disorder is that because of the restricted sunlight we get during winter months, the brain's not producing serotonin, while at the same time the melatonin increases because things are dark so you get that imbalance happening," she said.

She said the devastation caused by the flooding is just another hurdle Aucklanders are facing while their resilience is at an all-time low.

"We've had to endure this life-changing world during COVID-19 and then following on from that all the cost of living crisis so to now be hit on top of that with not only lack of sunlight but monumental damage for some people, there's a lot of people who will be feeling that a lot."

And with the gloomy weather set to hang around for some time yet, there's advice for Aucklanders.

"Enjoy the sunshine when it does appear like we'll have next week because it might not last long," Noll said.