As more brutal weather closes in on Auckland Vector has crews on standby for power cuts caused by gales and heavy rain.

Last night, a large-scale power outage over Pt Chevalier, Westmere and Ponsonby was caused by a fault from excess water caused by the weather.

Vector's head of network field services Marko Simunac said the power company is monitoring the weather and has crews ready to respond to any power outages.

He was responding to MetService advice for Auckland with the potential for heavy rain and southwest gales, becoming severe in exposed places.


Strong wind gusts have the potential to damage power lines directly or cause vegetation and debris to blow into lines.

Simunac said if the weather causes power lines to come down, Vector would remotely shut down power to that area as a public safety precaution until crews arrive on site.

Bad weather can mean this can sometimes take more time than usual, he said.

"We remind people to stay away from damaged electrical equipment and report issues by phoning us on 0508 VECTOR.

"In the event that your power goes out, you can keep up to date with restoration work relevant to your specific address through our Outage Centre, available on"

His message to Aucklanders comes as WeatherWatch said sea level snow was likely in Fiordland and South Westland today, but right now parts of Hokitika and Greymouth have isolated snow flurries.

The polar blast is moving up the South Island and will track over the North Island later today, dropping temperatures nationwide as we head into Monday.

South Island radio broadcaster Andy Thompson said snow was falling to "sea level".


Snow has also fallen near Invercargill and Mataura, about 40m above sea level.

Hail showers and heavy squally downpours are affecting the western North Island and will likely increase as we head through Sunday as the colder air advances northwards to cover all of Aotearoa by midnight tonight, WeatherWatch said.

Tasman Police advise motorists using Arthur's Pass, SH73 to exercise caution when travelling this route due to wintry conditions. The area has been experiencing snow showers and more are expected.

If snow begins to fall heavily later today, the highway may close overnight if there is a risk of drivers getting stuck, police said.

SH7 between Springs Junction, Reefton and Hanmer is now closed until further notice due to snowfall.

Police are advising people to delay their trip if possible, and, if not, assess local road conditions, use snow chains where necessary and drive to the conditions.

The Auckland Music Theatre company was forced to cancel a performance following the power cut.

The 100 Years of Song concert, a showcase of a century of Auckland Music Theatre productions, was being staged at the Westpoint Performing Arts Centre.

In a post on Facebook, the company said health and safety for both audience and cast is paramount.

Refunds are available through iTicket.

Meanwhile, several well-known Aucklanders posted photos of fireplaces, rugs, wine and candle-lit dinners soon after 7.30pm.