Wild winds taper off after lashing NZ

A number of cars were damaged in Bellevue Rd, Mt Eden, yesterday when this tree brought down power lines. Photo / SNPA
A number of cars were damaged in Bellevue Rd, Mt Eden, yesterday when this tree brought down power lines. Photo / SNPA

Wild winds which lashed the country yesterday causing flight delays and injuring bystanders have since tapered off.

Flights, ferries and even a Christmas parade were cancelled after winds topped 100km/h in Wellington yesterday.

However, MetService duty forecaster Steve Rawdon said it was a "different kettle of fish'' today with clear, blue skies in the capital.

A good high would be coming over the country until about Wednesday, he said.

"There's an ex-tropical low in the north Tasman, so we'll have to keep an eye on that, but in the meantime the weather looks pretty settled.''

A "very weak front'' was moving over Christchurch and the Banks Peninsula and would push a slight southerly change towards Wellington later today, Mr Rawdon said.

A 2-month-old baby boy and his mother were seriously hurt in the wild weather yesterday.

A piece of plywood blew off a construction site in central Christchurch yesterday afternoon, striking the baby, his young mum, and a middle-aged man.

"It blew off the building because of the wind,'' St John Ambulance spokesman Ian Henderson said. "This is a very unpleasant incident.''

The mother and the man, aged in his 50s, suffered serious head injuries.

The baby and the two adults were in a stable condition in Christchurch Hospital last night.

Air New Zealand said at least 19 flights in or out of the capital were cancelled yesterday, most in the morning but passengers went on later flights. A morning ferry service between Wellington and Eastbourne was also cancelled.01

However, a Wellington airport spokesman said the wind had not caused any problems today.

In Auckland, high winds in the afternoon toppled trees and cut power yesterday.

Ranui residents Alan Dickey and his neighbour Derek Judge watched anxiously as a 20m high tree cracked and leaned above their homes yesterday evening, threatening buildings and power lines. "If the wind gets up I can imagine it going,'' Mr Dickey said.

Vector spokeswoman Sandy Hodge said the north Auckland suburbs of Belmont, Waiwera, Greenhithe and South Head were the worst affected by power cuts, but crews restored electricity to most customers before dark. A crew also isolated power to parts of Glenfield after fears live wires could be exposed.

- additional reporting Herald On Sunday

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 27 Dec 2014 05:31:11 Processing Time: 499ms