Wrap up warm New Zealand - the first real taste of winter isn't taking a break anytime soon.

After the wild winds of yesterday - which caused widespread power outages across the Auckland region in particular - now it's time to wrap up against the first big chill of winter.

A polar blast which started moving up New Zealand last night will make its presence felt for most of the country today; with the South Island's West Coast and Southland regions expected to feel the brunt of it.

Sub-zero temperatures were expected overnight across the South Island - including down to -2C in Queenstown and -3C at Mt Cook - while many in the North Island could expect morning lows of just 8C degrees.


MetService duty forecaster Larissa Marintchenko said the winds and rain seen yesterday would ease off a bit today, and temperatures in the north could reach up to 15C, including in Auckland and Tauranga.

Both could expect a fine day, as could much of the upper North Island, with Whangārei getting the pick of the highs at 17C.

The wild weather is expected to clear in most parts of the country but it is only a temporary respite for the North Island, with rain returning to the West Coast over the next couple of days to then spread north again.

At the height of yesterday's wild weather, about 9000 Auckland properties were left without power as blustery winds battered the region.

A Vector spokesman said the outages were caused by strong winds causing lines to clash, or blowing trees on to lines.

Fire crews clear branches that buried a vehicle in Epsom, Auckland.
Fire crews clear branches that buried a vehicle in Epsom, Auckland.

People were advised that all lines should be treated as live at all times and to keep a safe distance away from any damaged power equipment or power lines down.

"Vector will continue to work through all outstanding jobs, and our focus remains on restoring power as quickly as possible while ensuring the safety of our crews and the public," a spokesman said.

Reported outages included in Mairangi Bay, Browns Bay, Rothesay Bay, Windsor Park, Sunnynook, Titirangi, Swanson and Glen Eden.


Vector said that "restoration work" was largely completed by about 7pm.

"The majority of the high voltage network, including zone substations and feeders, is operating as normal."

But a "number of smaller localised faults" remained which meant some customers could still be without power this morning.

Waves crash against the rocks at Muriwai Beach. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Waves crash against the rocks at Muriwai Beach. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Earlier in the day, a tourist bus was blown off the road and into a bank in the Waikato.

None of the 22 people on the bus were injured but they had to clamber out of the bus through an emergency escape, Hamilton Police Senior Sergeant Will Loughrin said yesterday.

"A significant gust of wind blew the tourist bus off the road into a bank. None of them required any medical attention but the passengers were shaken up," he said.


The tourists were from a range of countries and on their way south to Waitomo Caves when the gust of wind swept the bus off State Highway 39, north of Pirongia near Bell Rd.

"Everyone is safe and well but our message to the public is just be wary on the roads," Loughrin said.

"It's very windy and wet so drive within the conditions."

Loughrin said the bus was damaged in the incident and not able to be driven to the destination, which was about 90 minutes away.

A lone runner on Tamaki Drive, with bad weather keeping many indoors. Photo / Hayden Woodward
A lone runner on Tamaki Drive, with bad weather keeping many indoors. Photo / Hayden Woodward

Another bus was arranged to transport the tourists to Waitomo.

In Auckland, the Metservice reported winds of up to 92km/hr.


A tiny home being towed on a trailer overturned on State Highway 20 at Māngere Bridge around noon yesterday.

An NZTA spokeswoman said the vehicle and trailer had jack-knifed into the southbound bus lane, but the incident did not badly affect traffic.

And a tree fell across State Highway 1 near Pūhoi about 8:50am creating a queue of traffic in both directions.

Police were called out to the scene but the tree had already been cleared by a chainsaw-wielding local and traffic was flowing again about 9:15am.

Giant waves up to seven metres high thrashed the country's western coasts and prompted warnings to anyone considering fishing off rocks. This was expected to ease today.

But all of the blustery weather wasn't enough to keep the kids inside with plenty decked out in beanies, jackets and gloves to enjoy the cold stuff at Royal Reserve in Massey, West Auckland, for the annual Snow in the Park.