Kiwi kids wanting to take part in the Prime Minister's lockdown-styled Easter egg hunt will likely need a raincoat and gumboots as stormy weather is brewing for the festive weekend.
From Thursday, most of New Zealand - particularly the west coast - was expected to be hit with gale-force winds due to a "very low pressure" edging closer from the Southern Ocean.
WeatherWatch forecasters say by Sunday evening gusts could reach over 120km/h in some exposed places, "possibly even over 150km/h in some very extreme exposed areas in the south".
It comes after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern assured New Zealanders that the Easter Bunny was an essential service during the Covid-19 lockdown.
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This is a message for the kids of New Zealand. I've been asked by lots of you whether the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny are an essential service (I even got asked in a press conference today!) I have good news, the are! But because we're all in isolation at the moment, the Easter Bunny might not make it to every house this year (they probably have to look after their own Bunny family too). So just in case, I'm wondering if you'll help me create an Easter egg hunt for all the children in your neighbourhood? You can draw your own Easter egg, or you can colour in the one that some of my clever friends helped to make. All you have to do is colour it in or decorate it, and pop it in your window for other kids to find. I'd also love to see your designs. If you email them to email@example.com, or share them on social media using the hashtag #NZEggHunt, I'll pop a few of them here and on Facebook over the Easter Weekend. Have fun everyone! P.S you can print a copy of this colouring sheet over on my Facebook page.
To keep the festivities alive, Ardern suggested New Zealanders draw an Easter egg and pop it on their front window: "to help the children in your neighbourhood with their own Easter egg hunt because the Easter Bunny might not make it everywhere this year".
With the latest weather reports showing unsettled patches of gale-force winds and "squally showers", children are advised to wrap up and stay dry while embarking on their Easter egg hunt.
"We're seeing some sunny, calm, weather this long weekend and we're seeing some severe weather risks too – in both islands. It's not a whole weekend of stormy weather, it's unsettled with a burst of severe weather in some regions on Sunday and Monday," WeatherWatch head forecaster Philip Duncan said.
The forecast warned Easter Monday looked colder and windy nationwide, but winds do ease back a little later in the day – especially in the upper North Island.
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"Gales are likely in many coastal, hilly and exposed areas."
WeatherWatch forecasters said power cuts were possible on Sunday and Monday due to strong gales.
"With Covid-19 meaning most of us are in lockdown at home, it's worth thinking about what supplies you may need should the weather become more severe than forecast this Sunday and Monday.
"For the most part winds will be below damaging but this system is very large with many moving parts. Being prepared helps lower anxiety."