Auckland has experienced its coldest weather of the year so far, with parts of the city reaching sub-zero temperatures yesterday.
Metservice meteorologist Nick Zacher said just before sunrise yesterday morning — between 5 and 6am — Whenuapai in Auckland's north-west reached a bone-chilling -2.6°C, and Ardmore Airport in the south was -1.1°C.
The big chill continued to freeze those living in the Poverty Bay and East Coast regions.
Up to 100 properties on the outskirts of Gisborne were without power due to snow — the first time snow had fallen in the city for 51 years.
"The lower temperatures were caused by a large high pressure system over the country and very little winds, which allowed the cold air to settle low to the ground," Zacher said. "The air was originally from Antarctica. It wasn't record breaking across the country but certainly it was the coldest it's been in Auckland all year."
The coldest place in the country overnight Friday was Mt Cook, which dropped to -9.6°C, and Alexandra and Hamner recorded temperatures of -8°C.
The chilly temperatures are set to be replaced by rain for much of the country next week, including heavy falls in the north and east of both islands.
During the worst of the snow fall in and around Gisborne over the past 24 hours, power was cut to at least 300 properties.
Eastland Network general manager Brent Stewart said crews were heading to the area, although many roads were still closed.
There was no guarantee full power would be restored today.
"In some of these places there's half a metre of snow. We're still working hard at it but at this time we've still got about 100 connections to go.
"It's proving fairly arduous — they are fairly remote locations and hard to get to. We're working at it, but there may be some that are without power into Monday."
He expected residents would cope.
"They're very resilient. I'd be very surprised if any of them don't have a wood stove, and very surprised if most of them don't have a small petrol generator."
The New Zealand Transport Agency advised people to drive with caution. Slips and flooding closed sections of State Highway 4.