Weather: Thunder and heavy rain warnings for North Island, upper South Island

High winds and heavy rain have caused problems across New Zealand.

A motorcyclist is dead and a major route into Taranaki closed after an accident caused by storms that are hitting much of the North Island.

Severe thunderstorms, heavy rain, and fierce winds gusting to 140kmh are bearing down on large areas of the country, causing chaos from coast to coast. 

How's the weather affecting you? Send your videos/photos/stories to


Photo of a trampoline being blown over a fence in Wainuiomata.

A car drives around the coast on Evans Bay Parade in rough weather

Clyde Quay boat harbour boaties say waves in the marina have become much bigger since an underwater car park was put in at Clyde Quay wharf apartments.

Driving gales made for some hairy landings at Wellington Airport on Friday.

Windy wet Wellington central city rainy day weather rain people street

Pedestrians shelter from the weather in central Wellington.

This tree could not stand up to the wind at a house in Hataitai, Wellington, bringing down the neighbours' clothes line.

A bedroom window blown out by strong winds in Brooklyn Wellington.

Wild weather hit Wellington on Friday.

1  of  9
« Previous « Previous Next » Next »

Police have called for caution on the roads, after saying the wet weather contributed to the fatal motorbike accident.

The man died after colliding with a truck on State Highway 3, about 2km north of the Awakino tunnel around 12.40pm Friday. The road was closed, meaning the only way into north Taranaki was via Whanganui.

Invercargill pocket park gets a mow, as wet and windy weather returns to Southland
Cancelled flights and road closures as wild weather hits
Thunderstorms and downpours forecast for Auckland

Paul Harper

Winds in the Wellington suburb of Brooklyn were strong enough to shatter windows

A helicopter was called in from New Plymouth to airlift the rider but St John said the man had died before it arrived.

The bad weather has also contributed to significant delays on State Highway One between Manakau and Otaki as holidaymakers return to Wellington, NZ Transport Angency spokesman Anthony Frith said.

Frith said most of the congestion was affecting southbound traffic on the north side of the Otaki roundabout while traffic heading north was flowing relatively freely. 

A car drives around the coast on Evans Bay Parade in rough weather
Cameron Burnell/Fairfax NZ

A car drives around the coast on Evans Bay Parade in rough weather

A truck struck a barrier closing a major highway and trucking route through the Hauraki Plains and in Auckland a crash city-bound on the Northern Motorway at Constellation Drive had traffic backed up to Greville Road.

Ad Feedback

Northern Fire shift manager Megan Ruru said firefighters had been called on to help  pump out flooded properties in Titirangi and Te Atatu after hours of heavy rainfall.

A "mini tornado" hit near Picton, seeing holidaymakers pack up their tents and head home early.

"This morning a mini tornado hit the camp ground and up lifted our tent with all its contents," camper Katherine Monson said from Parklands Marina Holiday Park on Friday afternoon.

"Fortunately we were not there at the time. There has been severe winds and rain last night and all through the day so far," she said.

Selma Lassueur, the owner of Parklands Marina Holiday Park, said it had been windy and rainy but nothing out of the ordinary. Only one tent in the camp had blown over, she said.

The Interislander ferry is towed into port in Picton.

The Interislander ferry is towed into port in Picton.

MetService meteorologist Lisa Murray said anyone tramping or venturing into the back country should take care.


The West Coast was the first to feel the force of the storm which has since moved over the upper South Island and onto the North Island.

A severe thunderstorm was issued by Metservice covering Northland to Taranaki until 10pm Friday, which was expected to bring heavy rain. Downpour intensities could reach 45mm an hour, and winds gusts to 100kmh during the thunderstorms.

Surface water has been reported on Auckland's North Western motorway after Lincoln Road and congestion is causing delays north of Auckland on SH1 between Te Hana and Warkworth.

The NZ Transport Agency is warning drivers to be cautious of strong winds on the Desert Rd, and on SH2 over the Rimutaka Hill between Wellington and Wairarapa.

The flight path of JQ167 diverted to Christchurch due to high winds in Wellington on Jan 8, 2016.

The flight path of JQ167 diverted to Christchurch due to high winds in Wellington on Jan 8, 2016.

In the South Island, NZTA told motorists to watch out for strong winds on SH80 between Omarama and Fairlie,  SH80 from SH8 to Mt Cook, SH73 from Springfield to Arthur's Pass and SH7 from Springs Junction to Hanmer Springs.

Areas likely to have the heaviest rain are north Westland, Buller, the ranges of northwest Nelson and Nelson Lakes, the Tararua Range, and the ranges of eastern Bay of Plenty.


Wheelie bin down! Wellington City Council had warned residents not to put their bins out to avoid this situation.

Wheelie bin down! Wellington City Council had warned residents not to put their bins out to avoid this situation.

In Wellington, high winds forced the cancellation of numerous flights.

Planes of all sizes were struggling in the strong, driving winds, and the delays and cancellations were expected to continue for the rest of the day, Wellington Airport spokeswoman Briarley Kirk said.

"The winds are driving and then dropping off, which is causing problems to all planes across the network."

Landing conditions had caused a Jetstar flight, JQ 167, from the Gold Coast to be diverted to Christchurch. The return flight would also be affected. Jetstar said via its website Gold Coast-bound passengers could expect an update in due course.

Brisbane resident Jo Connolly and her family waited in a moving queue at Christchurch Airport, for details of a new flight to Wellington, where they were headed for a holiday.

Connolly and fellow passenger Brenda Slieker said they were "thankful" the plane had circled Wellington airport just once, before it headed south to Christchurch.

"Just terrifying," Connolly said. "It was the worst I've ever had. I've flown out of Wellington hundreds of times and never had it like that before."

The plane rocked, rolled and was thrown up and down in the turbulent weather.

"My little one screamed and then I couldn't let her go for 30 minutes after," Connolly said, of her three year-old daughter.

"I had that little moment when I didn't know if we were going to make it."

Winds are expected to be strongest in Marlborough, Wellington, Wairarapa, with other areas at risk including inland north Canterbury, Kapiti Coast, Hawke's Bay, and coastal Southland and Clutha.

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers

5 of the best winter soups

The ginger in this chicken udon soup brings it to life.

What better way to warm up your day than with a hearty soup?

Police celebrate first parade gallery

Police dogs from the canine unit joined the parade.

Hundreds of Waitemata police parade through west Auckland for the first time.

Investment into Whangarei water quality

Paul Dimery and the council's Farm Plan manager Lorna Douglas are thrilled with extra funding to help improve water ...

A $400,000 will help improve water quality at Otuihau/Whangarei Falls.

Ref pushes boundaries

Referee Natarsha Ganley officiating in the Farah Palmer Cup rugby match in 2016.

Woman rugby referee takes control of men's game.


Win: Tickets to second Lions test

Watch the All Blacks take on the Lions in the second test in Wellington.

The July 1 game in Wellington is sold out - but we can still get you there.

Yacht found, crew safe

Roger Foley, left, confirmed Havana Coffee's Geoff Marsland, right, was on the yacht.

Air Force spots Wellingtonians missing "miles from land in the open ocean".

'He was our man of steel'

In 2010, Calavrias became an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year honours, for services to ...

Young man weeps at sentencing for mowing down cycling Wellington businessman while doing 100kmh.

Marriage-scam victim lost $35k

Li Jun Xue, left, committed fraud after taking $35,000 from a Wellington man and saying it was a downpayment as a ...

He fell in love with "Jessica", his Singaporean bride, but the honey-trap woman was Malaysian and already married.


Festival goes to the dogs gallery

Russell Wilson and Tedd at the Monteith's Dog Derby on the opening day of the Queenstown Winter Festival at Coronet Peak ...

Capable dogs and their confused owners have been barrelling down Coronet Peak ski field.

$35k marriage scam

Li Jun Xue, left, committed fraud after taking $35,000 from a Wellington man and saying it was a downpayment as a ...

He fell in love with "Jessica", his Singaporean bride, but the honey-trap was married and Malaysian.

Teenage murder-accused named

Moses Hurrell, 16, Cyle Jetson, 20, and Deborah Tihema, 38, are charged with murdering Pierclaudio Raviola, who was ...

16-year-old is charged with the murder of a man who was found injured in a car park.

Father 'evil' - grief-stricken mum 

Police staff at the Riverton home where three-month-old Honour Ashworth was injured.

Her soul "ripped to pieces" when she learnt her partner caused their baby son's death.


One night out helping

Jason Huang volunteers with Hamilton's Zeal street youth workers helping keep kids out of trouble.

Volunteer Jason Huang sees the good and bad of life on Hamilton's streets.

Teen dies at work

A man who died after a work place accident at Torpedo7 on Wednesday has been named (file).

Teenager Jacob Woods was killed while working at a Hamilton distribution centre.

Hamilton woman dies in crash

Jenny Hera Hughes, 65, died following a collision between three cars and two trucks at a road works site at Lichfield (file).

Police name two people who died in vehicle crashes in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

Maitland's Top 5 this weekend

In celebration of Matariki, check out the list of Waikato restaurants and cafes creating a dish inspired by the Maori ...

Matariki, quiz night, musical and wedding expo - here's your mid-winter Top 5.


A brief comment on Mt Messenger

Mt Messenger Tunnel on SH3

OPINION: Jim Tucker wanted to know more about the Mt Messenger bypass. The official briefing may not have helped.

A new way forward

New Plymouth District Council  and iwi leadership have created Te Huinga Taumatua Committee.

It's a fresh body, with fresh members looking for a fresh start.

By-election coming for Inglewood

Phil Rowe has resigned from the Inglewood Community Board and a by-election will be held in September.

Phil Rowe has resigned from Inglewood Community Board after a decade of service.

Air ambo rescue

A rescue chopper has been sent to Mt Taranaki.

A chopper is on its way to fly a  teenaged girl off Mt Taranaki.


Tunnel a training exercise

Phil Hooper, left, Jim Richards and Bridgette Murphy have started installing a living tunnel for the Esplanade Scenic ...

Esplanade Scenic Railway passengers have a new attraction to enjoy

Food or the doctor?

A visit to your doctor will cost the same whether you have a community services card or not.

Community services cards are pointless, critics say, as health costs cripple.

Fireball 'like a bomb'

Flames leaped 10m into the air as the blaze engulfed the Ngamoko Rd house, near the town of Norsewood.

There was a huge boom as flames from a house reached a nearby shed, exploding in a fireball.

Feilding warning

Kowhai park playground in Feilding.

A Manawatu mother stepped in as two girls were approached by a stranger.


Nelson songbird flies home again

Nelson-born songwriter Sharon O'Neill is returning home for two shows at the Boathouse in September.

One of Nelson's most successful musical exports is coming home for two September shows.

Rate rise confirmed

Rate rises

Rates are set to rise nearly three per cent as part of the NCC's annual plan.

Fatal fire investigation continues

Wednesday's fire sent a huge plume of thick, black smoke over the Nelson suburb of Stoke.

Police are yet to release any details about the victim of a fatal house fire in Stoke.

First SHAs in pipeline for Tasman

There could be hundreds of new homes built in Tasman district as eight proposed Special Housing Areas get TDC backing.

Richmond may get hundreds of new homes as TDC backs first proposed SHA.


Diarrhoea outbreak closes pool

Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000 will be closed for several days while it is tested for the parasite.

Seven swimmers have fallen ill after using a public pool in Blenheim.

Kiwis on NZ yacht lost off Fiji

Roger Foley, left, confirmed Havana Coffee's Geoff Marsland, right, was on the yacht.

Men missing in Pacific Ocean: "You're miles from land, totally in the open ocean and very exposed."

Hunting the 'Kiwi way'

The Gunshack Blenheim owner Peter Watson says hunters are being left with fewer places to shoot because of poachers.

Poachers, and even some young hunters, have "no respect for anyone or anything, not even the animals they're hunting".

Once bitten, not shy

The Employment Relations Authority has penalised KRSVP Limited $25,000 for failing to keep proper employment records.

Marlborough vineyard contractor stung for the same employment breach twice in two years.

South Canterbury

Prince rescued from steep cliff

Prince was cold, wet and hungry, but very vocal, as rescuers approached the area where he was stuck on Thursday.

Firefighters walk 22kms in cold, wet conditions to rescue dog from cliff near Fairlie.

$50k for rail case

Timaru Mayor Damon Odey is keen to see a Southern passenger rail service return.

Govt announces $50k to investigate return of Southern passenger rail service.

Drugs, guns 'don't mix'

A Pareora man has been given a warning after a cannabis bong and unsecured shotgun were found in his car as he left a ...

Police warn of dangers of mixing drugs, alcohol and guns after callout to bonfire

$500,000 aviary to protect stilts

A new breeding aviary for black stilt (kaki) will be built near Twizel.

A new $500,000 breeding aviary for the world's rarest wading bird will be built near Twizel.


Young performers face the music

Monique Clementson (Deloris), Annie Sherborne, and Rachael Scott (Sister Mary Patrick) at rehearsals for the ...

Young performers are gaining exposure and touring the country for Sister Act the musical.

Father 'evil', grief-stricken mum says

Police staff at the Riverton home where three-month-old Honour Ashworth was injured.

Grieving Southland mother says her soul was "ripped to pieces" when she found out her partner caused her infant son's death.

Green Party takes off

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand Invercargill candidate Rochelle Surendran speaks at a Green Party Launch in Invercargill.

Green Party co-leader comments on Clutha-Southland MP resignation during Invercargill visit.

Burglar sold nana's belongings

The Invercargill District Court.

Burglar who sold all his grandmother's belongings to second-hand dealers has been jailed.

Ad Feedback