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Power has been restored to 74,000 Bay of Plenty people after lightning strikes saw them without power for more than an hour.

Powerco network operations manager Ross Dixon said approximately 74,000 consumers in Tauranga, Mt Maunganui and Te Puke were without power from 5.20pm until 6.40pm following a fault on the Transpower network.

Police earlier said lightning strikes had caused power outages and traffic lights had been affected.

They asked everyone to delay non-urgent travel.

Inspector Jacqueline Whittaker said all traffic lights were expected to be restored by 10pm.

Concerned residents can check out the free lightning detector at weatherwatch.co.nz.

- NZPA