Northern parts of the North Island will be hit by gale-force winds and rain and snow is expected in the south of the South Island.
MetService has issued the severe weather warning up until Tuesday afternoon, as an active low pressure front moves over the country, bringing plenty of foul weather.
The heaviest rain is expected in the Canterbury high country and foothills - where up to 130mm could fall - and also the Kaikoura Ranges, Southland and eastern Otago during Monday.
Up to 70mm of rain could fall in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula.
Motorists travelling over the alpine passes in the South Island were warned of widespread snowfalls.
In Lewis Pass, cold rain will turn to snow and up to 3cm could accumulate above 800m, Arthur's Pass may have 1cm above 800m, on Porter's Pass there could be 2cm above 700m, and in Lindis Pass 1cm of snow may settle at the summit.
In the north, west to southwest gales - up to 90km/h - could become severe in Northland from 6pm Monday night to 7am Tuesday morning.
There is also the moderate risk of thunderstorms in Coromandel and the central North Island, MetService said.