Emergency services are dealing with a number of fires around Hawke's Bay in the region's dry, windy conditions.

Central Fire Communications shift manager Jan Wills said there had been several grass fires which were not helped by today's wind.

"If any fire starts it obviously spreads fire more quickly and we have power lines down too," she said.

Grass fires were reported in both Tutira and Putorino today and blazed at areas of 4 by 15 metres and 50 square meters respectively. Fire services were able to control the fires and soon returned to their stations.


It is understood fire services are currently attending two sizeable fires in both Puketapu and Bridge Pa.

Police have also said there is also a lengthy tailback on State Highway 5 cause by a single crash at Tarawera which left in the vehicle in the centre of the road.

Traffic is backed up for many kilometres in both directions on State Highway 5 between Napier and Hastings.

Motorists should expect delays until the vehicle is removed.

Gale-force winds were earlier reported to be sweeping Hawke's Bay, with a 160km/h gust recorded at Mahia Peninsula at 10am.

In Te Haroto, near the Napier-to-Taupo road, lines down on Waitara Rd started a grass fire at 10.15am and nearby on State Highway 5 in Te Pohue a truck rolled at 11.30am.

Police said there were no injuries in the truck crash but long delays expected as the truck was moved from a difficult position, closing the southbound lane.

Unison power lines company relationship manager Danny Gough said 140 customers were without electricity in Te Haroto and in Clive 70 were without electricity thanks to downed lines.

In Hastings' St Georges Rd shortly before noon a telephone pole was blown over.

At 12.40pm police responded to a report of a car blown off the road at the Pakipaki roundabout on State Highway 2 south of Hastings. An elderly driver was taken to hospital with moderate injuries.

In Havelock North a grass fire was caused by downed lines and the fire service was also called to Eskdale where trees blocked a road.

MetService meteorologist Tuporo Marsters said the East Coast and Wairarapa were experiencing gale-force north-easterly winds, with the Mahia gust the strongest wind recorded in the country.

In Auckland the same weather system left 15000 Auckland homes without power overnight and a blew a tree onto a car, seriously injuring the motorist.

More to come.