Winds in Wellington to ease, a little bit
Severe wind warnings have been lifted for Wellington, Horowhenua and the Kapiti Coast.
Southerly gales are expected to ease in Wellington this morning and have been downgraded from severe.
Around Horowhenua and Kapiti southeasterly winds have eased but galeforce gusts are still expected tonight.
Heavy rain warnings for Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa including the Tararua district have also been lifted. Patchy rain is expected in the region but will not be heavy.
The low will fade out on Friday ahead of a Southern Ocean low which will bring a strong to brisk westerly change across the country this weekend - and more rain this weekend.
This morning, strong winds cut power in parts of Feilding about 7am.
It was expected to be restored by 10am. The town was the only one in Manawatu affected by the power cut, but several areas of Taranaki and Whanganui were also affected.
Wild weather grounded flights, ripped off roofs, forced several highways to close and cut power to thousands of homes and businesses yesterday.
Winds in the capital caused the mooring of a yacht to snap at Evans Bay and forced it on to nearby rocks.
Another yacht moored at Evans Bay sank about 3pm, said Sergeant David Houston of maritime police.
"It's going to take a lot to bring them back to life."
Yesterday's gusts reached 113kmh in New Plymouth and 93kmh in Kelburn.
About 500 Taupo residents are still without power. Unison spokesman Danny Gough said the weather front had caused significant challenges and there was a large amount of damage to the power network.
Gough said conditions had eased but crews still could not access some locations due to fallen trees and debris until forestry owners clear access.
Police and Civil Defence officials warned residents to stay indoors, away from flailing power lines and flying debris for the next 48 hours.
The onset of cold weather resulted in an average 10 per cent surge in electricity use across Wellington and the lower North Island from 7am yesterday, a TransPower spokesperson said.
Heavy rain and strong winds shut roads, caused slips and cut power to 2500 properties in Taranaki, which was dealt a second blow after the weather bomb two weeks ago.
Air New Zealand flights were cancelled or delayed in many parts of the North Island due to strong winds, with about 10 flights in and out of Wellington Airport cancelled yesterday.
Wellington's East by West ferry cancelled all sailings and high winds forced the rescheduling of Interislander sailings.