Gale force winds and driving rain kept emergency services busy last night.

The wild weather and rough seas along Auckland's Tamaki Drive caused boats to break loose from their moorings and blow on to rocks at Okahu Bay. forecaster Philip Duncan said the northwesterly winds reached up to 85km/h along coastal areas.

"The northeasterly means rougher seas and bigger waves and it comes from an unusual direction, blowing in towards the rocks and cliffs fast," Duncan said.


Treacherous driving conditions brought on by the heavy rain also contributed to road accidents.

Police warned motorists to take extra care after a string of accidents.

A crash involving seven cars and a truck on the Waikato Expressway near Pokeno brought traffic to a standstill on State Highway 1.

An ambulance spokesman said no one was seriously injured.

A motorist died of medical complications at the Ellerslie onramp to the Southern Motorway. Police said the man had a medical crisis and was involved in a minor crash. Conditions were poor and motorists were advised to take particular care when negotiating the interchange.

The heavy rain which hit Auckland last night was expected to spread to other parts of the North Island today.