Holidaymakers visiting the Far North are being urged to conserve water - while the district's supply is stretched.
Kaitaia has raised its water restriction to level 3 after sustained dry weather over the holiday period.
Households and businesses connected to the council water supply can now only use a bucket or can to water gardens, and wash cars and buildings.
Garden hoses, sprinklers or any irrigation device is banned, along with water blasting and the filling of swimming pools.
Far North councillor Kelly Stratford said there were usually around 65,000 people in the area but that had tripled over Christmas and New Year.
"We're urging everyone, visitors and locals, to conserve water. Water is precious - just use it wisely."
NIWA meteorologist Ben Noll said the Far North district was even drier than normal.
Noll said sustained rainfall may only occur late this month or early February.
Kaitaia is still recovering from the drought last year.