Rain is beginning to ease in the Tasman district this morning where heavy downpours yesterday caused a landslip that destroyed a home and claimed the life of a woman inside.

Areas at the top of the South Island received upwards of 270mm of rain in the 24 hours to 6am today. Relentless rain caused a 200m-long landslide at Kaiteriteri, demolishing a house and killing a 63-year-old woman about 1.15pm yesterday.

MetService meteorologist Rochelle Fleming said heavy falls were still anticipated today but most of the rain was easing.

"We're still expecting some showers for Nelson today. Some of those could be heavy but not that persistent rain like we had yesterday," she said.


"At Marlborough, a band of rain is going across there now. That should ease in the next few hours.

"The last of the real heavy stuff is on its way out of there."

A spokesman for police said surface flooding may close some roads and make others dangerous to drive on this morning.

Multiple landslips have closed several roads in the Nelson region.

Ms Fleming said a heavy rain warning for the Bay of Plenty had been revised, and showers were expected through areas of the North Island today.

"In Auckland ... there is a band of showers out to the west at the moment, some quite heavy showers. Later on this morning we could get a few showers in Auckland but we're not expecting huge amounts of rain with those," she said.

The weather pattern that saturated the Tasman region yesterday would move over Canterbury and Otago today, but was unlikely to produce as much rain.

"We're expecting rain to continue down there for most of today, looking at 8pm tonight [before it eases]," Ms Fleming said.

MetService meteorologist Daniel Corbett told Radio New Zealand the rain in the Tasman region yesterday was "very heavy, very intense" with up to 30mm in an hour in some areas.


WeatherWatch.co.nz said a "cold snap" later this week would bring "rain with snow to basically sea level for eastern areas of the South Island and low levels about Wellington and the North Island's east coast plus central areas to boot".

"Big southerlies are likely to hammer parts of the Wellington region and also Wairarapa as well, with conditions bleak for many areas across New Zealand."

It said there was potential for significant falls in the Christchurch area.