Weather: Tornado rips through West Coast settlement

A small tornado has ripped through a West Coast settlement.

It tore through Awatuna just before 6am on Wednesday, smashing rail crossing bells and road signs.

The tornado reportedly removed the roof of a house 10km north of Hokitika.

This comes after lightning struck a Department of Conservation building and three homes in Auckland's Manukau Heads.

The thunderstorm rolling over the North Island is expected to give way to showers for the morning, with storms renewing later in the day.