A large gantry has fallen across a key road in north Auckland, as wind gusts whip the city.

Police confirmed there had been multiple reports of a pole falling across Whangaparāoa Rd in Red Beach, close to the Hibiscus Coast Highway.

The gantry appears to be part of a dynamic lane roading layout, with green and red arrow signs telling people which way they can drive at different times of the day.

A photo posted to social media showed it was now straddling the road.

Advertisement
A gantry has fallen across Whangaparaoa Rd in north Auckland. Photo / Harvey Zhang - Facebook
A gantry has fallen across Whangaparaoa Rd in north Auckland. Photo / Harvey Zhang - Facebook
A traffic camera shows snow blanketing the Desert Rd's Waihohonu Bridge, SH1, just before 11am. Photo / NZTA
A traffic camera shows snow blanketing the Desert Rd's Waihohonu Bridge, SH1, just before 11am. Photo / NZTA

Snow showers are expected to affect the Napier-Taupo Rd until early this afternoon, with around 1cm expected around the summit.

Although snow showers have cleared on the Remutaka Hill Rd, police are warning of delays as a truck has dropped its load on the road. Motorists are advised to avoid the area while emergency services clean up

A police spokeswoman said a crash in Erua on State Highway 4, west of Tongariro National Park, happened about 6am and involved two trucks.

"A truck got stuck on a hill and was then rammed by another truck,'' the spokeswoman said.

She said tow services had been organised to remove the vehicles.

The NZTA warned motorists they faced a four- to five-hour detour through Napier or New Plymouth as the Desert Rd was also closed, but by about 6.30am the SH4 crash had been cleared.

An arctic blast has also hit the Bay of Plenty, with snow falling in Mamaku near Rotorua this morning.

Some Mamaku residents woke up to a white layer carpeting the landscape.

Advertisement
Snow at a Mamaku property this morning. Photo / Bron Fleet
Snow at a Mamaku property this morning. Photo / Bron Fleet

Parts of the South Island shivered in below-zero temperatures this morning, with Wanaka recording the lowest at -2C and Christchurch and Blenheim at -1.

Areas in the deep south were isolated after snow closed SH1 between Milton and Balclutha and the main route from Central Otago to Dunedin.

Road snow warnings for Lewis Pass, Lindis Pass, the Dunedin to Waitati Highway and the Crown Range Rd were lifted at 10.30am as the snow showers have cleared.

However, Milford Rd remains closed, with road snow warnings in place until Tuesday evening as snow showers are expected on and off all day tomorrow.

The closures and disruptions come as a cold and showery southwesterly flow covers the country - bringing snow down to low levels in the South Island and resulting in heavy snow warnings and watches for the central North Island.

MetService has issued severe weather warnings for parts of Southland, Clutha and southern Fiordland, where heavy snow is expected to fall through to this afternoon.

Advertisement

Meteorologist Karl Loots said those warnings were for snowfall accumulations above 400m and another 10 to 15cm of snow could fall this morning in those places.

He warned motorists to be alert and to check weather and therefore road conditions before heading out.

"If you're travelling on high level roads, the best thing to do is possibly to check the latest forecast and also the [NZ Transport Agency] website to see whether the roads are currently open."

The severe weather warnings are all in place until up to 4pm today, he said.

"It's all on an easing trend from this morning onwards."

Severe gale warning

As well as the heavy snow warnings, those in Auckland and the lower North Island have a warning for west to southwest gales.

Advertisement

"West to southwest gales may become severe in exposed parts of southern Hawke's Bay and northern Wairarapa - and also in Auckland - and a strong wind watch is in for these areas," MetService said.

Aucklanders can expect a high of 12C and an overnight low of 9C. Just before 6.30am, the MetService's website had the temperature feeling like "4 clothing layers", however.

Showers - some heavy - and hail are expected in Northland to Manawatū today, as well as in the Bay of Plenty and the central high country.

Whangārei has a high of 13C and an overnight low of 8C.

People in Gisborne, Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa are in for some fine spells but with isolated showers and westerly gales at times.

Gisborne is expecting a mainly fine day but with a chance of showers. A high of 11C is forecast there. New Plymouth is in for a high of 11C and an overnight low of 7C.

Advertisement

If you're anywhere between the Horowhenua and Wellington, expect conditions to be fine, save for some showers this morning in the Capital and snow flurries above 500m. A high of 10C and low of 6C is forecast.

South of the country, Buller and Westland north of Hokitika get showers too - some heavy and thundery with hail. Snow to near sea level is also on the cards there, rising to 400m by this afternoon.

In Nelson and the remainder of Westland, Marlborough and Canterbury, it will be fine apart from a chance of showers for those in Banks Peninsula.

Nelson has a high of 11C forecast and a chilly overnight low of 3C.

In Christchurch, after an expected -1C overnight low, a high of 10C is forecast today. Dunedin is in for some fine spells but a few showers are possible.

You will need an umbrella if you are in Invercargill, as showers - possibly heavy - are forecast, as is snow and strong southwesterly winds. An overnight low of 5C is expected.

Advertisement

Showers, sleet and hail are all forecast in the Chatham Islands.

- Additional reporting, RNZ

A traffic camera shows snow blanketing the Desert Rd's Waihohonu Bridge, SH1, just before 11am. Photo / NZTA
A traffic camera shows snow blanketing the Desert Rd's Waihohonu Bridge, SH1, just before 11am. Photo / NZTA