Strong winds have caused a tree to fall on State Highway 29 near Cambridge Rd in Tauranga.

The New Zealand Transport Agency reported the incident about 11.45am.

A strong wind watch is in place for the Bay of Plenty west of Pāpāmoa until 8pm tonight with caution advised along SH29 Kaimai to Tauriko.

"Due to stong wind gusts, potential for fallen trees and debris, caution is advised along this route," NZTA said.


The tree had come down in the eastbound lane heading down towards The Lakes, a Tauranga City Council spokesman said. Contractors were on their way and the police were onsite.

Meanwhile, 137 properties have been without power in Whakamarama since 11am, PowerCo was reporting.

A site investigation was underway.

MetService said a low was expected to move eastwards across the North Island today bringing strong west to southwest winds to upper parts of the North Island including west of Pāpāmoa.

Snow was also falling on State Highway 1 Desert Rd and State Highway 5 Napier to Taupō Rd.

MetService is expecting heavy snowfall for the Central Plateau this afternoon and evening with 5 to 10cm of snow due to settle with 1 to 2cm expected for the State Highway 5 Napier-Taupō Rd, between 2pm and 9pm.