Drought and the Christchurch rebuild are expected to dominate the GDP data out tomorrow, with economic activity expected to have grown by 0.7% in the three months ending in March.
Drought status may be lifted for some areas of the country as the Government begins talks with experts following extensive rain in recent weeks.
The extent of the drought in the North Island became more apparent yesterday when Contact Energy released its latest operating statistics.
Farmers must adapt their practices if droughts become more common rather than relying on state bailouts, the Government warns.
The parched North Island won't see rain for at least a week as hot, dry weather continues to dominate in what has been described as one of the worst droughts since the 1940s.
Northland has had its driest start to a year in more than six decades, with little short-term relief on the horizon for drought-stricken farmers.
The official declaration of a state of drought in Northland has been welcomed by farmers, who say it will bring much-needed support to those affected.
Federated Farmers leaders say they are worried that dry conditions starting to develop around the country may signal a summer drought.
Smatterings of rainfall throughout much of the country this week failed to bring drought relief to the most parched regions.
Otago may have been declared to be in drought in early April but by the end of the month some towns in the region had received their first significant rainfall in nearly a year.
It took two or three successive dry years to make the current drought, so it will take more than one significant rainfall to ease the situation - that was the message yesterday from Central Otago farmers.
The Government is extending drought relief to a further four regions - Otago, Bay of Plenty, South Taranaki and parts of South Canterbury.
The effects of drought on farming practice will be discussed at a meeting at Five Forks this month.
Irony was on the minds of those attending a drought meeting in Ranfurly yesterday as persistent rain fell on previously-parched farmland nearby.
Kauru Hill farmer Bryce Burnett admits that before a recent family holiday he was "getting a bit annoyed" about the dry conditions.
New Zealand farmers will have less to sell than usual this autumn as several regions slide into drought, creating a "weak tail" to the main primary production season, says a leading rural bank.
Residents of Kaitaia in the Far North have been told they could have their water turned off if they do not step up their conservation efforts.