Gisborne has reached its highest temperature since the records began in 1940.
The town sizzled under 38-degree heat on Friday - the hottest day in New Zealand this summer.
It's nine degrees hotter than the warmest day in Auckland so far, reports NIWA.
Hot dry weather is stuck in place over the North Island and it looks likely to stay that way.
The dry spells could extend at least halfway into January if not longer, reports weatherwatch.co.nz.
Hawke's Bay will see temperatures in the mid to late 30s for the first few days of February before temperatures drop to the 20s.
However, for some regions, February will feel more like autumn. The South Island will have strong wind and colder airflows.
It's hoped the cooler weather will bring much-needed rain to dry eastern areas of the South Island.