Severe weather to sweep Waikato

Severe weather is  expected to sweep across Waikato as Tropical Cyclone Lusi moves closer to New Zealand.

The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management has advised people to prepare for severe weather this weekend.

''Cyclone Lusi is expected to transition into a subtropical weather system as it approaches New Zealand, but it is still expected to be a dangerous storm,'' said John Hamilton, director of Civil Defence Emergency Management.

Metservice issued a severe weather watch with heavy rain expected in Northland, Auckland and Coromandel Peninsula.

Latest computer models expected Lusi to arrive over northern New Zealand on Saturday or early Sunday.

The weather system will track southwards over central New Zealand and move out to sea east of the South Island on Monday.

The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management and MetService were monitoring Lusi as it moved from Vanuatu, past Fiji towards New Zealand.

Lusi has already killed one person on Pentecost Island in Vanuatu, aid agencies report.

The man was hit by a falling tree.

Strong winds and heavy rainful have affected most of Vanuatu's northern provinces. Parts of Fiji's west are on alert for heavy rain from Lusi today.