Matthew Backhouse

Matthew Backhouse is an APNZ news reporter based in Wellington.

Ice and snow keep Gaga fans on edge

Hayden Karena and Caleb Warren brave the wild weather at Huia Beach in Auckland as an extreme high tide and a large swell combined with spectacular effect. Picture / Greg Bowker.
Hayden Karena and Caleb Warren brave the wild weather at Huia Beach in Auckland as an extreme high tide and a large swell combined with spectacular effect. Picture / Greg Bowker.


Wild weather disrupted flights and knocked out power lines in parts of New Zealand yesterday.

Hundreds of Cantabrians were set to spend a second cold night without power as damage and transport difficulties hampered repair efforts.

Snow and black ice have continued to cause havoc throughout the region with roads closed, power lines down and flights in and out of Christchurch cancelled or delayed.

Temperatures plummeted to near-record lows for the first week of June, with reports of temperatures as low as minus 11C in inland Canterbury.

Power company Orion said fewer than 300 customers were still without power in Christchurch and central Canterbury last night, down from 1700 customers yesterday morning.

Ice and freezing temperatures at Christchurch Airport disrupted or cancelled flights, causing anxiety for Lady Gaga fans travelling to Auckland to see the pop star's show at Vector Arena.

Airport spokeswoman Yvonne Densem said she had spoken to some "anxious" Lady Gaga fans at the airport. "They're very, very keen to get there. I spoke to a few in the terminal and they seemed very relieved they had got onto other flights."

Some fans took to Twitter to vent their frustrations. Robyn said she had to pay another $429 for Air New Zealand tickets after her Jetstar flight was twice delayed before being cancelled.

On Facebook, Dani Robinson said she was at Wellington Airport for three hours "crying and doing anything to get a flight".

Jetstar issued a statement on Facebook saying it had confirmed with the venue that Lady Gaga would not arrive onstage until at least 8.30pm.

But that would be too late for passengers on flight JQ266 from Wellington to Auckland, which was estimated to depart at 8.35pm.

Air New Zealand said flights in and out of Christchurch were operating from midday and most of the passenger backlog had been cleared.

Its flights would operate as scheduled today if conditions did not worsen.

Police said there had been about 15 crashes but no serious injuries in Christchurch, North Canterbury and Selwyn. Most people were driving to the conditions but motorists were urged to remain cautious.

-APNZ

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n1 at 19 Sep 2014 20:17:17 Processing Time: 544ms