Rotorua and the eastern Bay of Plenty have not escaped a polar blast sweeping through New Zealand this morning.

Rotorua temperatures dropped to as low at -2C by 6am today and are not expected to reach any higher than 9C.

A polar blast has brought snow to much of the central North Island, prompting slips and road closures.

This morning a large slip had come down across State Highway 2 East in the Bay of Plenty 4km south of Taneautua.


Last night, 400 homes were without power in the Taupo plains, Hawkes Bay and Rotorua areas and there are warnings it could stay that way for up to a week. SH5 between Hawkes Bay and Taupo remains closed this morning.

Heavy snow brought down 200 power poles across the Taupo Plains, which were now covered in snow about 1m deep.

NZTA warned motorists to take care in the central and lower North Island as roads continue to be heavily impacted by snow, flooding and road closures.

'We are reminding motorists to the drive to the conditions with rain, cool temperatures and the possibility of snow still contributing to challenging driving conditions," said NZTA highway manager Neil Walker.