Farm workers at a large station in the central North Island are snowed in - without power and battling minus 9C temperatures.
"It's pretty bleak. It's snowing quite hard. Nobody is working," general hand Michael Turfrey said on a landline from Ohinewairua Station, 30km north of Taihape.
Turfrey, his wife Mel and another worker are keeping warm with a camp fire at the cookhouse on the station after losing power about 9am today.
Snow has been falling steadily since Tuesday night - and is close to 1 metre deep.
Visibility is down to less than 100m. The outside temperature is heading for minus 9C.
"It's bloody cold," said Turfrey, who said the roads to the station are closed off and the six staff at the station are expected to be trapped all day and possibly until tomorrow.
Turfrey said there had been a fair bit of snow last winter, but staff were still able to work.
"This is far worse... it's pretty miserable," he said.