Wet and wintery conditions continue to wreak havoc for motorists tonight, but just one road is closed due to poor weather.

The Desert Rd, in the central North Island, was closed about 7pm due to snow and ice. It was closed for much of last night and was only reopened early this afternoon.

Rimutaka Hill Rd, north of Wellington, was also closed briefly this evening. Police reopened the road shortly before 7pm but warned motorists to take "extreme care" in the slippery conditions.

Warnings were also issued for Napier-Taupo Rd, Stewart Island, Otago, Nelson and central South Island, where ice or snow was expected.

MetService today issued a severe weather warning for parts of the North Island as a strong and cold southerly flow develops and a large low pressure system moves east over the central and northern parts of the country.

State Highway at the Rakaia Bridge, in central Canterbury, is also closed due to a fatal crash.

- NZPA