Far Northlanders are to batten down the hatches after a "severe thunderstorm warning" was issued for Far Northland.

MetService says 50-80mm of rain is expected in the north and east.

Severe thunderstorms are expected to hit Kerikeri just before noon, and move toward Kawakawa, Paihia, Kerikeri and Moerewa.

Torrential rain may cause dangerous surface and/or flash flooding, making driving conditions extremely hazardous.


Heavy rain warnings have also been issued for Northland and east regions.

About 30-60mm is expected to fall in Whangarei and Dargaville from the afternoon until late tonight.

And 60-90mm of rain is expected to hit Gisborne north of Tolaga Bay until late tonight.

Wild weather in the region has caused the cancellation of Good Vibes NZ Festival. This comes after heavy rain and wind battered the Coromandel overnight.

While in the deep south, midday frost was spotted.

MetService says most towns in Otago and Southland did not see the sun and many did not escape freezing sub-zero temperatures.

Queenstown had a frosty start to the morning with a recorded -4.5C just before dawn.

Waikato areas, including Te Aroha, and the Coromandel Peninsula have been hardest hit by a deluge of rain and strong winds that dragged down powerlines and left locals without power.


Power outages were reported in nearly 150 homes, as strong winds ripped powerlines and trees to the ground.

Cyclone-strength winds battering Te Aroha for the past few days left 86 homes in the dark, while trees flattening powerlines have affected a further 65 properties in Tapu on the Thames coast.

Thirteen people were forced to stay an extra night at the Pinnacles Hut and are set to be escorted down today.

Winds gusting to 100km/h continued into the night and residents were warned to prepare for further power outages as trees and roofs came down on the network.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz) were kept busy as the weather wreaked havoc, with one crew responding to a toppled-over shed in Te Aroha shortly before 11pm.

The National Emergency Management Agency is advising Northlanders to:


β€’ Take shelter, preferably indoors away from windows.
β€’ Avoid sheltering under trees, if outside.
β€’ Get back to land, if outdoors on the water.
β€’ Move cars under cover or away from trees.
β€’ Secure any loose objects around your property.
β€’ Check that drains and gutters are clear.
β€’ Be ready to slow down or stop, if driving.

During and after the storm, you should also:

β€’ Beware of fallen trees and powerlines.
β€’ Avoid streams and drains as you may be swept away in flash flooding.