Damaging winds are pounding South Canterbury and Wellington as the country braces for another spring storm.
MetService meteorologist Ian Gall said an active front was moving over the country and Wellington should prepare for gale-force winds of up to 140kmh and heavy rain today.
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Strong winds had hit South Canterbury overnight, with reports of trees down and power outages in Temuka and Geraldine.
South Canterbury principal rural fire officer Rob Hands said the first call came in about 4am.
Fire services had about 20 calls rom the Geraldine area. Most of them were power line-related, he said.
A couple of controlled burn offs had been reignited, a garden shed had blown away and a roof had been blown off a farm shed. Fire service had been to a blaze at a plantation on Orari Station Rd.
Mr Hands reported no injuries.
He said fire services had found alternative routes and roads had now been reopened in places. "A lot of responses have been to cordon off areas with limited access in a couple of areas."
Alpine Energy chief executive Andrew Tombs said the damage seemed to be isolated to the north-east of Timaru including Winchester, Peel Forest and Rangitata. He said winds had died down.
About 500 people were without power in the region, he said.
Fire Service Senior Communications officer Mau Barbara said a small plantation fire caused by downed power lines near Geraldine had been dealt with this morning; however the situation was not as bad as the strong winds last month.
Wellington, Kapiti, Wairarapa and Hawke's Bay would all be affected by the strong north-west winds.
Gall said the weather in Wellington had been very changeable over the last few weeks.
"It's spring time and the weather is boisterous," he said.
He said that the forecast for Tuesday in Wellington was a relatively fine sunny day with winds dropping away.
"Wednesday is also forecast to be good but the northerly will start picking up again and by Thursday we're back to rain and strong winds."
Gall said tomorrow's wet and windy conditions would affect the whole country.
"There will be plenty of rain in the west and it will be significantly windy, especially in the east."
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