Ex-Cyclone Cook has left New Zealand shores and although heavy rain is expected in some areas, the weather is looking better this weekend.

Severe weather warnings have been lifted, but the MetService has issued a severe weather watch for Buller and Westland, where heavy rain is forecast to continue this morning.

"Cyclone Cook has now moved away to the southeast of New Zealand and the threat of severe weather for the southeast regions of the South Island has now passed.

"However, warning amounts of rain are still possible for the ranges of Buller and Westland."


Heavy rain watches issued earlier for North Otago, Dunedin and Clutha have been lifted, as have warnings for severe gale winds in Banks Peninsula, North Otago, Dunedin and Clutha.

Those in hard-hit areas in the Bay of Plenty will be happy to know that things are looking positive for them over the next few days, with sunshine forecast early next week.

MetService meteorologist Sarah Haddon said: "The big message is that it's definitely an improving trend.

"So the big ex-tropical cyclone has moved away. We just have some scattered showers mainly in the west today.

"So the Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Bay of Plenty regions that were hit the worst, they kind of have a bit of a reprieve."

In Gisborne, conditions are forecast to be fine with a chance of afternoon showers. There is a high of 22C and an overnight low of 10C.

Tauranga has a few showers, clearing in the evening, and a high of 21C, while the Coromandel gets fine spells and a few showers clearing this afternoon.

Tomorrow will bring similar conditions, with a northwesterly flow and scattered showers mainly to the west of the country.

"And then on Monday we have the flow turning southerly, so they probably will clear from the west side, but a few will move up the east in the Hawke's Bay and Gisborne area.

"But it's just a continuing improving trend over the weekend, which is nice."

Haddon said there was a risk that some showers might be heavy over the weekend, but it would be nothing compared with the persistent rain that fell the last few days.

"It's definitely a positive story for them,'' she said.

Auckland is in for occasional showers today, with a high of 21C.

Hamilton and places further north - in Kaitaia and Whangarei - have similar conditions.

Temperatures are a bit colder in Wellington, where there is a high of 18C and overnight low of 13C.

Sunny conditions are expected in Christchurch and Dunedin.

Meanwhile, some people in the Gisborne-Tairawhiti region could be off the grid for another one or two days.

About 350 homes there were without power at the last count.

Crews will continue restoration work today.

Eastland Group says priority will be given to repairing faults that have the most significant effect on the most customers.

Because of continuing access issues and the sheer number of faults in some areas, there is a chance teams won't be able to repair all the faults until tomorrow or Monday.

The company says it is doing everything it can to get power back on as quickly and safely as possible.

Some people in the Whakatane and Opotiki districts could be without power for up to three days.

Ex-Cyclone Cook has caused significant damage to power infrastructure in those areas.

At the latest update, 1500 people were still without electricity.