Fine weather is expected across many areas of the country this long weekend -- but not where it matters the most: Waitangi.

Rain is forecast for the North Island, starting on Friday and possibly continuing into early next week.

WeatherWatch said a fairly weak Tasman Sea low will merge with more low pressure over the weekend, tracking north of Northland on Saturday and Sunday.

"There may be a few heavy downpours in the north of New Zealand, especially on Saturday. Highest-risk regions for rain are Northland, Auckland and Coromandel Peninsula.


"There will be a mix of localised heavy rain and showers elsewhere. Friday and Saturday see the highest risk for precipitation."

A high of 24C and an overnight high of 20C is expected in Northland on Waitangi Day, according to the MetService.

That rain will ease slightly on Sunday.

Aucklanders can expect rain on Saturday as well, and a high of 26C.

Tauranga, Whangarei, Gisborne and Napier are all in for rain -- but temperatures look to stay around the mid-20 range. Those near the south of the North Island -- including Palmerston North, Wellington and New Plymouth -- will be happy to know their Waitangi Day will only see the odd showers or drizzle during the day.

Sunny Nelson will live up to its name, and morning cloud will give way to a crisp day of sea breezes and a high of 23C.

Christchurch and Invercargill will have showers throughout the day.