'Batten down the hatches' - warning to West Coast

Authorities are warning the public on the West Coast of New Zealand to be careful following weather warnings from MetService.

Heavy rain is expected for the coast through until the end of the week with as much as 400 millimetres falling in the ranges and as much as 140 millilitres near the coast.

MetService is also warning against possible thunderstorms.

Civil Defence West Coast says they are working through normal procedures in preparation for the wild weather.

West Coast Regional Council chief executive Mike Meehan is asking residents to be aware of the warnings and remain safe.

"If possible avoid travelling during this time," he says.

"However, if you have to travel please take care, be prepared and watch out for rising waterways and take care in coastal areas."