Ice, severe weather closes S Island roads, delays flights


Icy conditions in the south have caused multiple crashes on the roads and delayed flights on Friday morning at Dunedin Airport.

One lane of State Highway 1 has been closed until 2pm at Shag Point in North Otago, to allow for the recovery of a large truck which crashed off the road shortly after 7am. 

The track landed on its side, and has reduced traffic to one lane between Palmerston and Hampden.

The driver was transported to Dunedin Hospital with minor injuries. Police are still investigating the cause of the crash. They say no-one else was involved. It has been raining in the area for several hours.

Hundreds of passengers in Dunedin suffered flight cancellations and delays, caused by heavy ice on the runway at Dunedin Airport on Friday morning. 

Passengers have been disrupted throughout the day, as some flights ran more than two hours later than scheduled.

There have also many multiple crashes in South Otago and Southland, with roads affected by black ice and rain.

Ice, severe weather closes S Island roads, delays flights

Ponds are freezing over in Otago (Mike & Judith Kindon)

Ice, severe weather closes S Island roads, delays flights

(Mike and Judith Kindon)

Grit trucks were out early on the roads around the regions, with the Clutha District Council warning of extreme caution.

"It is not just the sealed roads that are slippery. Due to this morning’s rain the gravel roads have turned into sheet ice in places making some roads hazardous," a council spokesperson said.

Police are appealing to motorists to drive to the conditions, after attending at least 25 crashes across the Southern district.

Drivers are urged to beware of black ice, and to allow for greater following distance on frosty and wet days.