Motorists are being advised to limit their speed to 50 kilometres per hour across the Auckland harbour bridge as strong winds hit the country.
The warning, displayed on electronic signage as motorists approach the bridge, has been in place since earlier this morning but remains in place as at 4.30pm. A Waka Kotahi spokeswoman said it appeared wind speed in the area was easing.
Earlier today, gale-force winds have blown over three trucks in Wellington, as officials plead with residents to stay away from the region's coastline amid monster swells and chaotic weather conditions.
Fire and Emergency shift manager Mike Wanoa told The Herald it's been a busy day for them, and there is no end in sight.
Since the early hours of the morning, there have been 52 wind-related incidents – including three trucks being blown over on State Highway 2 between Carterton and Masterton.
The three trucks were bowled over within a single hour as winds reached up to 115km/h.
"Luckily, no one was injured," Wanoa said.
He says roofs have been blown off, trampolines have gone flying and fences have been knocked down because of the weather battering the region.
MetService issued the capital with a strong wind warning which will last until 7pm today, and James Jefferson, the Kapiti Coast District Council group manager for regulatory services, told The Herald the weather is "pretty wild".
"There's an increased risk of swell, inundation across the road and swells of up to four and a half metres."
He says the wind has been vicious and he half expected "the roof to go" in the early hours of this morning. He added it's crucial people respect the conditions.
"As attractive as some people might find it to go down to the coast, my plea is that people stay away because it is wild out there and no good will come of it. Just pop on the traffic cameras and have a look, but stay away from the beach please."
Heavy swells could flood State Highway 1 between Paekakariki and Pukerua Bay.
Waka Kotahi NZTA will be monitoring the situation to see if traffic will need to be diverted
Moving into the evening, the strong winds are expected to abate slightly but will likely be replaced by heavy rain and thunderstorms.
Heavy rain is expected in northern Wellington where 10mm to 15mm is forecast per hour.
The storms will also affect places further south such as Buller and Nelson.
It comes as severe weather batters the South Island, causing power outages and fires across the island.
Emergency services are battling several fires across the South Island caused by downed powerlines and strong winds are fanning the flames.
As of 6.30am, Fire and Emergency had about 30 crews responding to about 10 wildfires from South Canterbury to Hurunui, Southern Communications Centre shift manager Kevin Barbara said.
According to Orion, about 2700 Canterbury homes are without power as the gale-force winds continue to tear across the region.
"Damaging gales" in the Canterbury high country are due to continue till 11am with gusts up to 140km/h, according to MetService.
Strong gales are also expected around Christchurch.