Barely a week after Cyclone Gita, the South Island and lower North Island is being asked to brace for another severe weather event.

MetService has issued severe weather and wind warnings, with gale force winds up to 130km and heavy rain that could cause surface flooding and slips as a front moves northwards up the country.

The front will move across the South Island today, reaching the lower North Island on Monday morning, delivering rain to the west of the South Island and parts of the lower North Island.

Severe northwest gales will hit the eastern areas of central and southern New Zealand.


The front comes a week after ex-Cyclone Gita hit the country, bringing flooding, slips and closed roads.

"This warning is for a period of heavy rain in Fiordland, Westland, the headwaters of Otago and Canterbury Lakes and Rivers from Arthurs Pass southwards, Buller and the Tararua Range," said MetService meteorologist Andy Best.

"In addition ... a period of severe gale northwesterlies in Fiordland, Southland including Stewart Island, Otago, Canterbury, Marlborough, Wellington and Wairarapa including the Tararua District."

Fiordland is expected to get rain of up to 200mm by 9pm this evening. Northwest winds of up to 95kmh was expected in the Cook Strait by 1am Monday.

WeatherWatch says most of northern New Zealand will enjoy lots of sunshine today, but the cold front moving in means the high will slip away.

"The low will move eastward on Monday, and the main areas of heavy rain will change into the southern parts of the North Island," WeatherWatch analyst Phil Duncan said.

"About the south island, rain will also continue across the north part on Monday."

But by Tuesday, sunshine will return to both islands as high pressure in the Tasman sea cover the country.