Teuila Fuatai

Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

Easter rain back for Anzac Day

Road toll at three as storm clouds ease after downpours

Robert Nikora died after crashing while on his way to a fishing contest.
Robert Nikora died after crashing while on his way to a fishing contest.

North Islanders can look forward to more settled weather for their short working week, but may want to keep their raincoats handy for Anzac weekend.

Downpours brought flooding to large areas as the tail of Cyclone Ita lashed the start of Easter.

Destructive weather on Thursday and Friday destroyed homes and caused slips and flooding in Nelson, the West Coast and Christchurch.

Grey District mayor Tony Kokshoorn predicted the damage bill could be up to $20 million for the West Coast alone.

WeatherWatch forecaster Aaron Wilkinson said the western North Island would have further showers today.

But the weather would clear tomorrow and, by Tuesday, the sun should be out for all areas.

On Wednesday, the top of the North Island and the lower East Coast could have more showers.

Unsettled weather was predicted for Anzac Day with showers in many areas, though this forecast could change before the end of the week, he said.

Some Aucklanders are likely to be without hot water today.

Lines company Vector said power cuts had affected hot water for some North Shore and West Auckland residents and crews were working to fix the problem yesterday.

MetService meteorologist Andy Downs said there had been plenty of warning of the extreme weather.

MetService had issued a severe weather outlook on Tuesday.

The Easter road toll stood at three last night.

Opotiki residents Gordon Douglas Nelson, 67 and Frederick Michael Ruff, 70, died when the tow truck they were in crashed 25m down a bank on Thursday.

Helensville woman Alofaifo Afaese, 40, also died on Thursday night when the Mitsubishi Pajero in which she was travelling collided head-on with a Subaru on State Highway 16, Northwest Auckland.

Police were searching for a mystery vehicle which may have forced an elderly driver to take evasive action before he crashed into a tree about midday on Thursday - before the official Easter toll count started.

Auckland man Robert Nikora died in hospital on Thursday night after his SUV crashed near the intersection of Tuakau and Bucklands Rds in rural South Auckland.

The 74-year-old was travelling to an Easter fishing competition.

"We are looking for any other vehicle that may have been involved, and are appealing for sightings of his vehicle or other vehicles on the road at the time the accident happened," said Constable Amy Weston.

Yesterday, Nikora's fishing friends were mourning the loss of the enthusiastic whitebaiter.

Port Waikato Fishing Club president Pete Pleydell said Nikora was a popular member of the settlement's fishing community.

"He was a real get-up-and-goer, a real true die-hard whitebaiter."

Weston said anyone with information could contact the Counties Manukau serious crash unit on (09) 261 1302 or call anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.


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