High country farmers caught by an unseasonal snow storm could have lost up to 200 lambs each.
MetService reports that some areas got up to 50cm of snow from Sunday to early Monday morning.
Forecaster Andy Downs said one report from a roading contractor said 20cm fell in just four hours on Sunday.
The heavy snows caught some high country farmers in the middle of lambing season and Federated Farmers said the lambs born during the storm "have a pretty slim chance of survival".
Hawkes Bay meat and fibre chairman Will Foley said there are farmers up in the hills who have lost 200 lambs and with prices currently at $70 a head, the cost will be in the thousands.
Mr Foley said he has talked to another farmer who had just shorn his ewes before the storm. He said some of those ewes have died in the snow and that will have an impact on that farmer's season next year.
"Unfortunately it came out of the blue. It was pretty unseasonable," Mr Foley said.
He said Hawkes Bay farmers have just been hit by two droughts in the last two years but up to now they had been enjoying a good spring.
"It's just one thing after the other but that's the nature of farming," Mr Foley said.
The snow storm also caught hundreds of motorists on the Napier Taupo Highway and some had to be rescued by army personnel in unimogs before spending two nights in emergency accommodation.
At the peak of the snow storm, 900 homes and businesses were without power in the Napier to Taupo Rd region and on the Taupo plains.
More than 100 homes are still without power this morning between Napier and Taupo but the local lines company hopes they will have power restored today.
Unison spokesman Danny Gough said the company is "gunning" to restore power to everyone today but there may be the odd pocket of homes still without power tonight.
Trees came down on to power lines on the Napier to Taupo Rd during the storm causing wide-spread black-outs.
Lines crews worked through yesterday in cold conditions to restore power to about 300 homes.
Mr Gough said the weather is still cold this morning with the wind chill factor putting the temperature at around 1 degree in Hastings. He said the temperature is likely to be lower up in the hills between Napier and Taupo.
- NZHERALD STAFF