Emergency services have had a busy night, with up to 50 weather-related call-outs around Auckland, Northland and Waikato.

Severe weather wreaked havoc as a downpour of heavy rain and wild winds ripped through those areas late last night.

Fire crews received up to 50 call-outs to incidents including fallen powerlines, downed trees and roofs lifted off homes and buildings.

Damian Hawe's CCTV footage captured the strong winds in Rotorua.

Part of Auckland's Tāmaki Drive was closed just before 9pm from the Ngāpipi Rd intersection city-bound.

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A "travel with care" warning was posted to the Auckland Transport Twitter page at 8.52pm; saying the closure was due to "inundation and strong winds".

A Coastguard spokesman said around the region overnight, winds picked up to 60 to 65 knots - around 120km/h. There were no call-outs overnight, he said.

Members of the public were told that access to the port from the city remained opened.

Tāmaki Drive is back open early this morning.

Bus services were affected, and people were encouraged to look for alternative routes in and around the area.

Just before 9.30pm, a multiple-vehicle crash on the Southern Motorway, near Mt Wellington, resulted in the closure of the motorway for just under two hours.

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One person suffered moderate injuries.

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Emergency services worked to clean oil off the road before it was reopened about 11pm.

An Auckland man, Bruce Buckman, posted a photo of his wife's car pinned under a tree that had fallen in last night's weather chaos.

"We were out at my mum's and came home in the pouring rain to find the tragic scene," he wrote on Twitter.

"My wife's (car). Poor little car took us all around NZ last year only to get hammered by a tree in its own garden."

Deadly crashes

Meanwhile, three separate crashes resulted in the deaths of three people last night.

A pedestrian was struck on High St, in Masterton, just after 7pm. They initially suffered critical injuries and was taken to Wellington Hospital.

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Police confirmed the victim later died.

Authorities also confirmed the deaths of two people involved in different crashes in the Canterbury region within about 10 minutes of each other.

A motorcyclist crashed into a fence at North Parade in Richmond, Christchurch, about 9.20pm. They suffered serious injuries, but also later died, authorities confirmed this morning.

The other person killed last night was the driver of a vehicle that crashed at the intersection of State Highway 75 (Christchurch-Akaroa Rd) and McQueens Spur Rd about 9.30pm.

They too were initially said to have suffered serious injuries.

Today's weather

Heavy rain and strong wind warnings and watches have all lifted overnight except for a heavy rain watch in the South Island.

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A heavy rain watch is in place for eastern parts of Dunedin and Clutha, about and south of the Otago Peninsula.

Authorities are telling locals to keep up to date later today as persistent rain is expected from 4pm today until 11am tomorrow.

"Rainfall accumulations could approach warning amounts," the warning said.

The MetService is forecasting showers - some heavy, with thunderstorms possible - in areas including Northland to Taranaki, Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty, Taupō and Taumarunui.

Aucklanders can expect frequent showers - some heavy and possibly thundery - and westerly winds from this afternoon. Those winds will be strong in exposed places, locals are warned.

A high of 15C is forecast in Auckland and an overnight low of 10C.

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A period of rain and then a few showers are on the cards for those in Whanganui, Manawatū, Horowhenua Kapiti Coast, Wellington, Wairarapa, Hawke's Bay and Gisborne.

Temperatures highs in those areas range from 12C in Gisborne and Rotorua and Wellington, to warmer temperatures in New Plymouth and Napier, which are in for highs of up to 15C.

Those in Christchurch are in for a fine day - apart from high cloud with a few spots of rain this morning.

A high of 14C is on the cards for the Garden City, while an overnight low of 0C will mean for extra blankets tonight.