NZ summer: How much sun protection do you need today?

New Zealand has the highest rate of melanoma (the serious kind of skin cancer) in the world. So it’s imperative that we are proactive in keeping our families safe from the dangers of the sun.

Remember, to slip, slop, slap and wrap …






Most Kiwis know the sun safety rules, but knowing when to effect them can be confusing, especially if it’s a cooler day, there’s cloud cover, or it’s outside of the summer season.

UV levels

Protection from the sun is required when the UV levels are 3 or higher. Generally this is between the hours of 10am and 4pm during summer. Even if it’s cloudy or cooler weather, you can still suffer from the effects of the sun if you’re unprotected. You can view today’s UV levels at the NIWA website.

Sun protection alerts

To help you know when to be on alert for sun protection, provides a Sun Protection Alert for various centres around New Zealand. The alerts update each day, for easy reference. For more locations, click on the settings ‘cog’ in the top right corner of any of the alerts and choose your nearest location.

North Island



South Island



This article was written by Julie Scanlon, Editor for Kidspot NZ.

Read more on Kidspot:



  1. dawnblyth 06/01/2019 at 10:49 pm

    Remembering that you can still get burnt on cloudy days is something that I think needs to be publicized more. We often forget this and then get burnt.

  2. Bevik1971 06/01/2019 at 10:34 pm

    Really good information. Our rule is to always slip, slop, slap but we also save our trips in the sunshine to late afternoon/early evening to be safe. If we do have to go out in the heat of the day keep protected and find shade 😀

  3. Alezandra 05/01/2019 at 11:14 pm

    I’ve never visited the sunsmart website. This is such a good info. I need to share if to some of my family members who says it’s cloudy out so we don’t need sunscreen. Sometimes they just need to be convinced from a trusted website and not just be being such a “put sunscreen” dictator all the time.

  4. Shorrty4life1 04/01/2019 at 8:11 pm

    Love how you can get sun smart alerts. I must look into this as it would be handy to know when are the more dangerous times to be out in the sun. I’m terrible at forgetting to put sunscreen on but an alert would be perfect then I’d never be stranded without sunscreen again as I’d already have it on. The sun is so harsh these days we need to be so bloody careful.

  5. kymmage 04/01/2019 at 4:30 pm

    I did an experiment with school aged kids once for a science show. We did uv beads, and coated them in sunscreen. Then we showed how despite the sunscreen the uv still got through. Hence why you need to also slip on that tee-shirt and slap a hat on too. Wrapping sunnies on – I’m bad at because I have glasses and my prescription sunnies make me feel sick. But they are definitely important.

  6. Micht 04/01/2019 at 3:56 pm

    Being born and raised in another country that does not place importance on Sun care and protection against skin cancer … i am so grateful to be in a country that does take time to care about these things. This info is so valuable and helps me to make the best choicea in protecting my family… thank you for this much needed guide

Leave A Comment