Police fear opportunist thieves may target a North Canterbury region hit by a power cut today.

A power cut is affecting the wider Hanmer area, including Leslie Hills, Waiau, Marble Point and Lewis Pass.

Police this morning advised anyone planning to visit attractions such as Hanmer Springs to check it was open before setting out as "many have been forced to close until power is restored".

"Engineers are hoping to restore power within the next couple of hours," said Senior Constable Graham Flynn.

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"In the meantime, homeowners and business owners are encouraged to take extra security precautions wherever possible as some alarms may be affected.

"Anyone who thinks they can take advantage of the situation is reminded that there will be a zero tolerance approach to any offending."

If anyone notices any suspicious activity, people should call police immediately on 111.

Motorists are also asked to exercise caution and take extra care on the roads.