Cyclone brings summer snow dumping

The South Island has been left with a massive clean-up job after a day of heavy downpours and strong winds lashed the country.

More than 100 people are still trapped in their cars after the remnants of ex-tropical Cyclone Fehi barrelled across New Zealand on Thursday, bringing trees and debris down onto roads.

The West Coast towns of Fox Glacier, Franz Josef, Whataroa, and Haast have are all completely cut off by slips.

Both Dunedin and Buller declared a state of emergency as torrential rain caused flooding and slips, closing roads and cutting off power to many residents.

Dunedin's state of emergency has now lifted.

A king tide, accompanied by strong wind and rain, smashed huge waves against Nelson's waterfront causing devastating damage to buildings, roads and homes.

On Thursday, 210 of the 230 weather-related emergency callouts were in the southern region.

These live updates have now ended.

1:10pm - Mt Hutt blanketed with snow

Mt Hutt has farewelled the heatwave in a dramatic fashion with 5cm of snow covering the mountain.

The ski field posted photos of the snow covering the ski field and said it was a timely reminder that winter was only four months away.

The Mt Hutt cafe covered in January snow.
The Mt Hutt cafe covered in January snow. Photo credit: Facebook/ Mt Hutt

11:25am - Monster slip leaves 600 stranded

A monster slip has come down south of Haast, where around 600 tourists are stranded by the storm without phone coverage.

Another 117 people in vehicles continue to wait for rescue near Fox Glacier.

Westland public information officer Andy Thompson says helicopters are assessing roads, and is urging people not to travel south from Hokitika.

"The slip has been said to be 100 metres long and nine metres high - and that's just one.

"We're also checking the road north as that's covered with multiple slips, storm surge damage and also trees across it."

One person has been evacuated from the convoy with a foot issue, while there's also a diabetic with medication, and a pregnant woman among them.

11:15am - Invercargill water restrictions lifted

The Invercargill City Council is lifting water restrictions with steady rainfall bolstering river flows.

Water manager Alister Murray says all residential households can return to normal water use.

The situation will be reassessed in 10 days.

11:00am - 900 West Coast residents without power

It could be up to 48 hours before 900 West Coast customers are back on the grid after the storm damaged transmission lines.

Specialist crews are travelling to areas near Hokitika and Inangahua to conduct an assessment and begin making repairs.

A backup supply could be secured for some essential services on Friday evening.

10:00am - Dunedin state of emergency lifted

Dunedin's state of emergency has been lifted, however the Emergency Operations Centre remains active as the recovery from yesterday's flooding gets underway.

Over 108mm of rain fell in the city on Thursday, including about 56mm between noon and 4pm.

Only light drizzle fell overnight and floodwaters have now largely receded.

Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull says no significant further rain is forecast and the focus is now on helping the community to recover.

So far 13 properties have been reported flooded, mostly in South Dunedin.

9:30am - Snow in the skifields

A southern skifield has had a dusting of snow overnight.

Photos show snow at the Cardrona Alpine Resort, between Queenstown and Wanaka, at 9:15am on Friday.

Cyclone brings summer snow dumping
Cyclone brings summer snow dumping

9:20am - Auckland braces for another king tide

Auckland is preparing for another king tide this morning, but authorities say it'll be tame compared to yesterday.

It's expected to hit around at 10am, but Auckland Transport says the calmer weather should mean it won't flood vulnerable areas like Tamaki Drive.

9:00am - West Coast house and church washed away

A house and a church have been washed away on the West Coast.

Westland Mayor Bruce Smith says they're both in the Hunts Beach area and describes the church as "decimated".

8:35am - Heavy rain and gales easing, some warnings still in place

Heavy rain on the west coast of the South Island and central parts of the North Island will ease later on Friday morning, MetService says.

A heavy rain warning is still in force for Westland, Buller, the ranges of northwest Nelson and Canterbury High Country, Waikato, Waitomo, Taumarunui, Taupo and Taihape including Tongariro National Park, Bay of Plenty and the ranges of Gisborne.

A heavy rain warning has lifted in Fiordland, Southland, Otago, Marlborough and eastern Nelson.

Severe gales for much of the country have already eased.

The country is now entering clean-up mode.

8:30am - Two iconic Nelson buildings damaged

Two iconic Nelson buildings have been badly damaged on the waterfront.

The Boat Shed Cafe and the Boathouse restaurant were hit by huge storm surges and king tides on Thursday.

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese told The AM Show they still don't know the full extent of the damage.

8:20am - Wait not over for stranded motorists

Around 115 motorists stuck in cars overnight on a blocked West Coast road may have to wait a little longer.

The drivers, who are mostly tourists, became trapped between Ross and Makaroa when the weather brought down power lines and trees on Thursday.

But Newshub reporter Thomas Mead told The AM Show the group have no option but to wait for the road to be cleared.

7:45am - West Coast damage revealed

State Highway 6 is closed from Ross through the Haast pass to Makaroa, with severe damage in several areas.

Westland mayor Bruce Smith says roads and properties are almost unrecognisable following the storm surge.

"Our major drive at the present time is just the people that have been displaced, then anybody who has had some property damage mainly along our seafronts.

"I've never seen it in 40 years of watching. The surges were amazing... fantastic to watch but pretty scary."

Photos are emerging of the damage to West Coast roads.

Pictured below is the road on the north side of the Punakaiki Blowholes.

Cyclone brings summer snow dumping
Photo credit: Supplied
Cyclone brings summer snow dumping
Photo credit: Supplied

7:35am - Wellington flights cancelled

High winds in Wellington are still causing delays to flights in and out of the capital.

Ten flights have been cancelled this morning and another eight have had their times changed.

However, a spokesperson for the airport says things are on the mend and no more cancellations are on the cards.

7:25am - 50 Dunedin homes flooded

Dunedin mayor Dave Cull says while Dunedin's public infrastructure got off "reasonably well" in terms of damage, 50 homes weren't so lucky.

"I don't think we got the slips or maybe the damage to the roads that we've had in previous floods," he told The AM Show.

"However there are a fair few houses that have been flooded - probably maybe up to 50.

"There was a big rest home that flooded that had to be evacuated and some businesses out in Mosgiel were flooded as well.

"There will be a lot of people cleaning up."

7:05am - 'Devastating' damage in Nelson

Nelson's mayor has described the "devastating" damage left behind after a king tide, accompanied by strong wind and rain, smashed huge waves against Rocks Rd.

Roads were closed and residents had to be evacuated as roads were submerged, with some of the water entering homes.

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese told The AM Show the power of the sea was "unbelievable".

"The really sad thing is that we've got people with some heartbreaking losses in their homes, water right through their homes."

The road was closed as quickly as it could be but the speed and the power of that water was something we haven't seen before."

Ms Reese says it's lucky no one was seriously injured or killed, and urges residents to avoid the worst-hit areas today.