This map shows average sea-surface temperatures in winter (August) and summer (February) from data collected between 1993 and 2002. New Zealand waters tend to be colder in the south and warmer in the north. As spring arrives, the water gradually warms and reaches peak temperatures in late summer. Warmer waters in northern New Zealand bring with them subtropical reef fish as stragglers. Northern waters have more fish species than cooler southern waters.
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