Wild weather - and possibly a mini tornado - knocked out power and lifted a roof near Hokitika tonight.

Hokitika chief fire officer Harry Collett said a power pole transformer caught fire at Duffers Creek Road, at Awatuna, at about 8.30pm.

Mr Collett said trees were set alight and power was lost to the surrounding areas.

He said the high winds also lifted a house roof at Three Mile. It was possibly a small tornado.


"It wasn't from a house that you would expect. We will be back out in the morning to check the damage. It's a little bit too dark to say if there was a tornado or not.''

There were also reports of wind damage at Ross, again possibly a mini tornado, which took off flashings.

Parts of Greymouth lost power for almost an hour from 6.45pm.