Major weather disruption around NZ

One Franklin resident holds a snowball as flurries of snow dust his truck.
One Franklin resident holds a snowball as flurries of snow dust his truck.
Snow covered driveways in Weymouth, south Auckland.
Snow covered driveways in Weymouth, south Auckland.
Two Franklin residents are caught out in fast-falling snow.
Two Franklin residents are caught out in fast-falling snow.
Auckland Zoo tweeted "sleety hail in Pridelands about 10 mins ago".
Auckland Zoo tweeted "sleety hail in Pridelands about 10 mins ago".
The Sitecam.co.nz website shows thick snow clouds over the Auckland CBD.
The Sitecam.co.nz website shows thick snow clouds over the Auckland CBD.
Heavy snow and soft hail over central Auckland.
Heavy snow and soft hail over central Auckland.
Snow blankets letterboxes and houses in Franklin County.
Snow blankets letterboxes and houses in Franklin County.
Kate Rowdon scoops up a handful of snow outside her workplace in Ponsonby.
Kate Rowdon scoops up a handful of snow outside her workplace in Ponsonby.
Snow and soft hail falls in Auckland CBD.
Snow and soft hail falls in Auckland CBD.
A photo taken from the Waitakere Ranges shows snow clouds over Auckland CBD.
A photo taken from the Waitakere Ranges shows snow clouds over Auckland CBD.
Tsai Lim's house in Mt Albert is covered is light snow.
Tsai Lim's house in Mt Albert is covered is light snow.
Snow falls on Anne Knight's dog out in Bombay.
Snow falls on Anne Knight's dog out in Bombay.
Sharon Hanson says there is snow in the Bombay region
Sharon Hanson says there is snow in the Bombay region
Snow in Drury, Auckland
Snow in Drury, Auckland
Twitter user @KarenDFrancis posted this photo of hail on her kids' trampoline in West Harbour, Auckland.
Twitter user @KarenDFrancis posted this photo of hail on her kids' trampoline in West Harbour, Auckland.
Looking out from horse stables towards Ararimu, just south of Drury.
Looking out from horse stables towards Ararimu, just south of Drury.
Snow falls near Ararimu, near Drury.
Snow falls near Ararimu, near Drury.
According to the SkyJump Facebook page, the temperature is a frigid 2.2 degrees at the top of the Sky Tower.
According to the SkyJump Facebook page, the temperature is a frigid 2.2 degrees at the top of the Sky Tower.
A tree which fell on a Pakuranga house is examined by workers.
A tree which fell on a Pakuranga house is examined by workers.
A Pakuranga house no longer has a lounge after a tree in a neighbouring reserve came through the roof.
A Pakuranga house no longer has a lounge after a tree in a neighbouring reserve came through the roof.
A mother and her two children received minor injuries while an older man at the property received moderate head injuries after a tree fell onto their house.
A mother and her two children received minor injuries while an older man at the property received moderate head injuries after a tree fell onto their house.
A Pakuranga house no longer has a lounge after a tree in a neighbouring reserve came through the roof.
A Pakuranga house no longer has a lounge after a tree in a neighbouring reserve came through the roof.
A boat washed up on rocks this morning in Bucklands Beach due to high sea winds.
A boat washed up on rocks this morning in Bucklands Beach due to high sea winds.
A boat washed up on rocks this morning in Bucklands Beach due to high sea winds.
A boat washed up on rocks this morning in Bucklands Beach due to high sea winds.
Snow falls in the Bombay region, south of Auckland in August.
Snow falls in the Bombay region, south of Auckland in August.

New Zealanders are being urged to stock-up on emergency food and water tonight as the worst winter storm in decades is set to continue.


Are you affected by the snow? Send your news, photos and videos to newstips@stuff.co.nz

Snow in Christchurch's earthquake-shattered CBD including the Cathedral (centre).
Snow in Christchurch's earthquake-shattered CBD including the Cathedral (centre).
Brad Marshall boogie-boarding down Sunrise Boulevard in Tawa.
Brad Marshall boogie-boarding down Sunrise Boulevard in Tawa.
View of TVNZ building in Hutt Valley.
View of TVNZ building in Hutt Valley.
Photograph from the Atkins family, who live on the slopes of Mt Pirongia.
Photograph from the Atkins family, who live on the slopes of Mt Pirongia.
Jamie makes snow angels in Aotea, Porirua.
Jamie makes snow angels in Aotea, Porirua.
Mckayla, Tyrell, Mako and Titan have enjoyed snow only for the second time.
Mckayla, Tyrell, Mako and Titan have enjoyed snow only for the second time.
A snowman built on Halswater Drive, Churton Park by Jono and Kirsty Vautier.
A snowman built on Halswater Drive, Churton Park by Jono and Kirsty Vautier.
Staff of Victoria University of Wellington in Kelburn.
Staff of Victoria University of Wellington in Kelburn.
Water trough frozen over near Patearoa, Central Otago.
Water trough frozen over near Patearoa, Central Otago.
Zachery Gilligan at Titahi Bay beach on Sunday.
Zachery Gilligan at Titahi Bay beach on Sunday.
Snow in Wellington.
Snow in Wellington.
Snow falls in Khandallah on Sunday night.
Snow falls in Khandallah on Sunday night.
Snow in Wellington.
Snow in Wellington.
Anjali Gupta with a snow man she made on Ashton Fitchett Dr in Brooklyn.
Anjali Gupta with a snow man she made on Ashton Fitchett Dr in Brooklyn.
Michelle Campbell built her cat an igloo.
Michelle Campbell built her cat an igloo.
Happy Independence Day from Christchurch.
Happy Independence Day from Christchurch.
An igloo built by Aaron and Jared in New Brighton, Christchurch.
An igloo built by Aaron and Jared in New Brighton, Christchurch.
A chilean snowman created after Sunday's flurry.
A chilean snowman created after Sunday's flurry.
Egmont Village School pupils, from left, Mason Keightley-Trigg, Shanika Beard, Olivia Keightley-Trigg and Lukah Gibb make a snow man from the fallen powder.
Egmont Village School pupils, from left, Mason Keightley-Trigg, Shanika Beard, Olivia Keightley-Trigg and Lukah Gibb make a snow man from the fallen powder.
The dadffodils are usually a symbol that spring has arrived. The flowers in bloom already at Egmont Village School got a frosty fright.
The dadffodils are usually a symbol that spring has arrived. The flowers in bloom already at Egmont Village School got a frosty fright.
From left, Ella Clarke, Caitlin Clarke, Jessie Williams, Lucy Clarke, Ollie Williams and Timmy Williams enjoy the snow on Sunday.
From left, Ella Clarke, Caitlin Clarke, Jessie Williams, Lucy Clarke, Ollie Williams and Timmy Williams enjoy the snow on Sunday.
Snow on Willis St, Wellington.
Snow on Willis St, Wellington.
Snowfall around Willis Street, Wellington.
Snowfall around Willis Street, Wellington.
Eleanor Currier poses for a photo in the snow in Elsdon, Porirua.
Eleanor Currier poses for a photo in the snow in Elsdon, Porirua.
Snowfall around Willis Street, Wellington.
Snowfall around Willis Street, Wellington.
Snowfall around Willis Street, Wellington.
Snowfall around Willis Street, Wellington.
The Packman family of Inglewood made use of the snow by making figures for each family member. From left they are (in person) Mackenzie, 1, Mike, Aria, 2, Jess, Alex, 3 months and Riley, 4.
The Packman family of Inglewood made use of the snow by making figures for each family member. From left they are (in person) Mackenzie, 1, Mike, Aria, 2, Jess, Alex, 3 months and Riley, 4.
Monica Murray, 8, of Whitby, playing in the snow on Sunday night.
Monica Murray, 8, of Whitby, playing in the snow on Sunday night.
A cow munches away in a white field while the snow falls.
A cow munches away in a white field while the snow falls.
Kerry and Dave photographed this chicken in Normandale, Lower Hutt.
Kerry and Dave photographed this chicken in Normandale, Lower Hutt.
Cooper McNeill gets his first snow experience at Mt Stewart, Fielding.
Cooper McNeill gets his first snow experience at Mt Stewart, Fielding.
Deck chairs covered with snow at Titahi Bay.
Deck chairs covered with snow at Titahi Bay.
Waiariki Polytechnic Taupo carpentry students used their skills to build a sled and try out a new snow run near Mapara Road, Taupo. Pictured (from left) Lane Bennet (sitting), John Wall, Luke Mitai and Jeremy Bryce (tutor).
Waiariki Polytechnic Taupo carpentry students used their skills to build a sled and try out a new snow run near Mapara Road, Taupo. Pictured (from left) Lane Bennet (sitting), John Wall, Luke Mitai and Jeremy Bryce (tutor).
Snow in Canterbury. Clinch family of Diamond Harbour building an igloo.
Snow in Canterbury. Clinch family of Diamond Harbour building an igloo.
Grace Stevens in Wellington suburb Khandallah.
Grace Stevens in Wellington suburb Khandallah.
This pic was taken by Anne Knight in Bombay of her dog covered in snow this morning.
This pic was taken by Anne Knight in Bombay of her dog covered in snow this morning.
Jim Matthews' dog Mica encountered snow for the first time this morning in Masterston
Jim Matthews' dog Mica encountered snow for the first time this morning in Masterston
This young Cantab knows trampolines are far more excitng when they are covered in snow.
This young Cantab knows trampolines are far more excitng when they are covered in snow.
A home in Marton blanketed in snow.
A home in Marton blanketed in snow.
Brent Doughty's car covered in snow in Feilding.
Brent Doughty's car covered in snow in Feilding.
Steve Anker from Inglewood, Taranaki sent this photo in.
Steve Anker from Inglewood, Taranaki sent this photo in.
Snow falling on Esther Roger's backyard in Feilding.
Snow falling on Esther Roger's backyard in Feilding.
Olivia Stevens wraps up warm to brave the snow in Broadmeadows.
Olivia Stevens wraps up warm to brave the snow in Broadmeadows.
Snow falling in Bunnythorpe on Sunday night.
Snow falling in Bunnythorpe on Sunday night.
Ally Ringrose, 13, makes a snow angel in Titahi Bay.
Ally Ringrose, 13, makes a snow angel in Titahi Bay.
Snow falls on the Parliament grounds.
Snow falls on the Parliament grounds.
Jeremy Flett saw this morning's snow as a good excuse to crack out the snowboard
Jeremy Flett saw this morning's snow as a good excuse to crack out the snowboard
Looking out from Jaunpur Crescent from Broadmeadows at 9:30 on Monday.
Looking out from Jaunpur Crescent from Broadmeadows at 9:30 on Monday.
A thick coating of snow remains on the ground in Broadmeadows - including dog tracks.
A thick coating of snow remains on the ground in Broadmeadows - including dog tracks.
Looking east over Lower Hutt towards Wainuiomata and the Rimutaka ranges at about 7am on Monday morning from Tirohanga Rd.
Looking east over Lower Hutt towards Wainuiomata and the Rimutaka ranges at about 7am on Monday morning from Tirohanga Rd.
This pair try to shelter from the snow underneath an umbrella
This pair try to shelter from the snow underneath an umbrella
Oliver and Mitchell show off their snowman in Johnsonville, Wellington.
Oliver and Mitchell show off their snowman in Johnsonville, Wellington.
Kilbirnie in Wellington is seeing its share of the white stuff.
Kilbirnie in Wellington is seeing its share of the white stuff.
Hamish Grigg with sheep dogs. Snow at Tempello farm, half-way up hills at the end of Fairhall Valley, Marlborough.
Hamish Grigg with sheep dogs. Snow at Tempello farm, half-way up hills at the end of Fairhall Valley, Marlborough.
Snowy road conditions in Christchurch on Monday morning.
Snowy road conditions in Christchurch on Monday morning.
An elm tree covered in snow in the Songbird Gardens in the Pohangina Valley, Manawatu.
An elm tree covered in snow in the Songbird Gardens in the Pohangina Valley, Manawatu.
Snow in Wither Hills, Marlborough
Snow in Wither Hills, Marlborough

The Antarctic blast, described by MetService as close to a one in 50 year event, has seen roads, schools and airports closed, cut power to thousands of homes and stopped mail deliveries in parts of the country.

The storm had also brought snow in places that don't usually see it, including Wellington and Auckland where snow hasn't fallen in more than 30 years.

Pilot William Barnes captured this image of the Taranaki region from 11,000 metres.
Pilot William Barnes captured this image of the Taranaki region from 11,000 metres.
Pilot William Barnes captured this image of the Taranaki region from 11,000 metres.
Pilot William Barnes captured this image of the Taranaki region from 11,000 metres.
Pilot William Barnes took this shot as he departed from Christchurch Airport.
Pilot William Barnes took this shot as he departed from Christchurch Airport.
Chilly train passengers wait at Tawa station on Sunday.
Chilly train passengers wait at Tawa station on Sunday.
Snow covers train tracks at Tawa.
Snow covers train tracks at Tawa.
Student Nick Hanover Snowboarding in Brooklyn, Wellington.
Student Nick Hanover Snowboarding in Brooklyn, Wellington.
The Beehive endures a blanketing of snow in Wellington.
The Beehive endures a blanketing of snow in Wellington.
Wendy Wu finda a good use of Pak n Save shopping bags.
Wendy Wu finda a good use of Pak n Save shopping bags.
William Donaldson, 2, playing in snow falling in Karori.
William Donaldson, 2, playing in snow falling in Karori.
Snow in Christchurch - an Oryx at Orana Park.
Snow in Christchurch - an Oryx at Orana Park.
A man on The Terrace crosses the road as it snows in Wellington city.
A man on The Terrace crosses the road as it snows in Wellington city.
Matthew Bouzaid, 15, of Auckland, puts the finishing touches to a snowman in Queenstown.
Matthew Bouzaid, 15, of Auckland, puts the finishing touches to a snowman in Queenstown.
Taranaki was blanketed in snow.
Taranaki was blanketed in snow.
Taranaki was blanketed in snow.
Taranaki was blanketed in snow.
Taranaki was blanketed with snow.
Taranaki was blanketed with snow.
A Bellbird at a frozen bird feeder. Snow in Queenstown.
A Bellbird at a frozen bird feeder. Snow in Queenstown.
South Canterbury awoke to a covering of Snow on Monday morning. pictured is Jen Bolt feeding her calves near Milford at Temuka.
South Canterbury awoke to a covering of Snow on Monday morning. pictured is Jen Bolt feeding her calves near Milford at Temuka.
Coal chases snowball thrown by her owners, Lisa and Stephen Counsell - snow in Queenstown.
Coal chases snowball thrown by her owners, Lisa and Stephen Counsell - snow in Queenstown.
Snow in Willis Street, Wellington. Youri, 6, and his brother Mathis, 9, Apparicio from Canada enjoy the snow in Willis Street.
Snow in Willis Street, Wellington. Youri, 6, and his brother Mathis, 9, Apparicio from Canada enjoy the snow in Willis Street.
Snow returns to Wellington on Monday morning.
Snow returns to Wellington on Monday morning.
Zeeva Cohen from Auckland walking down Papanui rd, Christchurch.
Zeeva Cohen from Auckland walking down Papanui rd, Christchurch.
St Andrews students on the center strip of Bealey Ave, Christchurch City.
St Andrews students on the center strip of Bealey Ave, Christchurch City.
John Burrows and kids play in the snow in the portaloo-equipped Silverdale Place, Avonside, Christchurch.
John Burrows and kids play in the snow in the portaloo-equipped Silverdale Place, Avonside, Christchurch.
Snow fall in and around the New Brighton area as a southerly front passes through. Sam and Chessa Crow of Christchurch around the New Brighton library.
Snow fall in and around the New Brighton area as a southerly front passes through. Sam and Chessa Crow of Christchurch around the New Brighton library.
Snow falling in Peck St, Pomare, Lower Hutt. Emil, 17 and Mika Ulberg, 8, gather snow to throw at family members.They have never seen snow before.
Snow falling in Peck St, Pomare, Lower Hutt. Emil, 17 and Mika Ulberg, 8, gather snow to throw at family members.They have never seen snow before.
Snow in Tokoroa
Snow in Tokoroa
Snow blankets the beach at  Shag rock and Moncks Bay, Christchurch, Monday morning.
Snow blankets the beach at Shag rock and Moncks Bay, Christchurch, Monday morning.
Snow fall in Carterton in the Wairarapa.
Snow fall in Carterton in the Wairarapa.
Eight-year-old Ki takes a bike ride in Churton Park, outside of Wellington.
Eight-year-old Ki takes a bike ride in Churton Park, outside of Wellington.
The southerly front approaching, as seen from Mt Oxford in North Canterbury.
The southerly front approaching, as seen from Mt Oxford in North Canterbury.
Belmont father and son Mike and Joey Palmer enjoying the snow.
Belmont father and son Mike and Joey Palmer enjoying the snow.
A car didn't handle the conditions on Dunedin's Whare Flat Road this afternoon
A car didn't handle the conditions on Dunedin's Whare Flat Road this afternoon
Flurries of snow settled on sheep near Te Anau this afternoon.
Flurries of snow settled on sheep near Te Anau this afternoon.
Snow tops the roofs on Dundas Street in North Dunedin.
Snow tops the roofs on Dundas Street in North Dunedin.
Wainuiomata residents were delighted by the unusual sight of snow.
Wainuiomata residents were delighted by the unusual sight of snow.

MetService spokesman Bob McDavitt said today was likely to be the coldest day and warned New Zealanders to prepare for more snow over the next few days.

"Snow is expected to move offshore during Wednesday," he said.

"As the clouds move away and the winds die down, you'll have frost and black ice on Thursday, maybe even moving into Thursday night or Friday in the central areas."

The heaviest snowfall was expected between Canterbury and Wairarapa, as well as Manawatu towards Taranaki.

"The conditions are cold enough to bring snow down to 300 metres, the height of the Sky Tower," McDavitt said.

St John regional operations manager for the South Island, Chris Haines, said people should make sure they have stockpiled enough emergency food, water and other essential supplies as a precaution.

While in Wellington, Civil Defence manager Rian Van Schalkwyk warned residents to stock up on supplies, in preparation for being trapped indoors.

"People should prepare for the worst, which means making sure they're ready in the event that they cannot leave home and may be without electricity and other amenities," he said.

Police have warned of treacherous driving conditions as the snow that blanketed New Zealand today will turn to ice.

Many state highways around New Zealand were closed, including the Desert Road and Rimutaka Hill road in the North Island and the Lewis Pass and Arthurs Pass in the South Island.

"We're warning drivers that, unlike today where the snow was a clearly visible hazard, there will be large areas of ice on the roads tomorrow, especially in rural and shaded areas, that you will not be able to see," Inspector Al Stewart, of Christchurch police, said.

Road users should assess their local road conditions and stay home or delay non-essential travel where possible, he said.

Today, flurries were reported in Clevedon, Flat Bush, Pukekohe and the Waitakeres, while strong winds brought down dozens of trees, toppled power lines and flipped trampolines in south Auckland.

Five people were taken to hospital with moderate injuries in Auckland. A Pakuranga family of four were taken to Middlemore Hospital after a tree fell on their house this morning, and an elderly man was taken to Auckland City Hospital after being blown over.

In the South Island, St John Ambulance attended to nine people, including three in Christchurch, who fell on ice or snow.

Haines said St John has not been as busy today as they were during the snow last month, but the workload had been steady.

"We will continue to monitor the situation for the rest of the day and overnight. We are still using four wheel drive ambulances, as well as other 4WD vehicles as rapid response vehicles," he said.

Eight motor vehicle crashes have been reported to Christchurch police between 6am and mid-afternoon, mostly of a minor nature with no serious injuries.

In the capital, another flurry of snow fell down to sea level in parts of the city, including Lambton Quay, Cuba St and Parliament. Residents in Newtown, Island Bay, and Newlands all reported further snow falls from around 11am.

MetService said the level of snow that fell in Wellington had not been seen since at least 1970s, and another 5cm was expected over the next 24 hours.

The weather today cut power to thousands of households across the country.

Over 2000 Powerco customers in South Taranaki, Wanganui, Manawatu and Wairarapa, and about 100 Orion customers in Christchurch were still without power this afternoon.

Powerco network operations manager Phil Marsh said power would be restored to about 1500 customers by tonight, but some areas would remain without supply overnight and more power cuts were likely tomorrow.

In Wellington, a power outage around 5.40pm tonight affected about 800 households in the Whitemans Valley and Makara areas.

The capital has also experienced power trouble with "voltage dips" this evening. A Wellington Electricity spokesman said it was caused by a rise in demand.

Mail deliveries were cancelled in Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa, Wellington, Canterbury and Otago.

Air and road travel was also disrupted with many roads in both islands closed this morning and flights out of Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin cancelled.

Wellington Airport has temporarily put all its flight on hold while the runway was cleared of excess ice and snow. A spokeswoman said the conditions would be constantly evaluated throughout the night.

Around 150 passengers were stranded at Dunedin Airport overnight, and in Auckland, flights to Queenstown have been cancelled and there were no seats available until Thursday.

In the North Island, snow has closed the Desert Road and the alternative route north, State Highway 4, as well as the Rimutaka Hill Rd in Wellington, and the Napier - Taupo Road (SH5).

In the South Island, SH1 between Kaikoura and Waipara is closed, as is the Lindis Pass (SH8), SH6 between Queenstown and Five Rivers, the Lyttelton Tunnel (SH74) in Christchurch, and the highways north and south from Dunedin.

Police advised people to avoid driving if possible in the worst snow-hit areas and to be cautious.

Meanwhile, about 1900 dairy farms in the South Island are dumping thousands of litres of milk as Fonterra's collection tankers are stranded because of the severe weather conditions.

Fonterra's sustainability teams were in contact with farms who need to dispose of milk, and were liasing with regional councils.

The company was unable to say at this stage how many litres it had lost, or whether it would compensate farmers.

- STUFF, with AUCKLAND NOW, THE DOMINION POST, and NZPA