Bay of Plenty residents should keep their brolly handy as a few showers are possible on Sunday turning to rain overnight, with the chance of heavy rain in some areas on Monday.

A Metservice spokesperson said an active front is forecast to lie over central New Zealand on Sunday morning and then move across the North Island during Sunday and Monday.

"The front is preceded by a moist northerly flow and followed by unsettled south to southwest flow," the spokesperson said.

However, it was unlikely rainfall warnings would be needed for Buller, northwest Nelson, inland Canterbury, Marlborough and the Tararua Range on Sunday and over the hill country from Taranaki across to Eastern Bay of Plenty ranges and Gisborne on Sunday and Monday.

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On Sunday rain was expected to set in overnight, and looked to becomes heavy on Monday morning, then easing in the afternoon in Tauranga, Rotorua and Whakatane.

A few showers followed by some rain are also possible in Taupo on Sunday and Monday morning, but then the weather is expected to ease and clear on Monday afternoon.