High pressure frequently sat east of the country, and over the south of the South Island, during January.
In contrast, several very intense lows developed over the north Tasman Sea during the month (4th, 10-11th and 16-18th).
These lows intermittently produced extremely heavy rain for northern regions of both Islands.
The most significant of these systems occurred on 4 January, producing extreme heavy rain and gales across most of the North Island, as well as in the northern South Island.
This event also resulted in coastal inundation in lower-lying coastal areas of the upper North Island.
January rainfall totals were subsequently well above normal across the North Island (excluding Gisborne and Hawke's Bay), as well as in Nelson, Marlborough and Canterbury.
However, the lack of rainmakers over the far south of the country was striking in comparison.
The extended heat and dryness over southern New Zealand resulted in an extension of the drought classification into Otago and Southland on 30 January.
Humid northeast winds prevailed across New Zealand during the month, and the combination of these winds, and the pre-existing marine heat-wave, produced record-breaking January heat.
Watch the full forecast above with RadioLIVE's weather commentator, Richard Green. Rural Weather on REX thanks to our friends at Novus.