As it happened: Gale force winds, heavy rain cause chaos across New Zealand

What you need to know:

  • Wellington is being slammed by a powerful storm which is causing chaos across the city.
  • The wild weather is due to a monster storm in the Southern Ocean
  • Power lines are down and slips are affecting the West Coast as gale-force winds tear across New Zealand
  • Multiple roads have been closed in the South Island.


4pm - The Wairau River Bridge on State Highway 63 has been closed due to the river flooding. The road will not reopen until conditions ease, which is expected to be Wednesday morning

3:46pm - A stunning picture shows heavy rainfall in Fiordland with water pouring down a grey cliff face on the road to Milford Sound.
"When over 200mm falls in a 20-30 hour period, Fiordland comes alive," wrote Canterbury Weather Updates on Facebook.

3:10pm - State Highway 6 between Fox Glacier and Haast is now open and the trees have been cleared from the road.

2:51pm - Metlink has announced a large number of delays and cancellations to bus services across Wellington due to "adverse weather conditions".
Commuters are warned to expect disruption to evening peak services.

The delays.
The delays. Photo credit: Metlink.

2:48pm -A tree has fallen on a vehicle in the Waikato  reportedly trapping people inside.
Police are responding to the incident on Airport Road in Rukuhia. The tree has blocked the entire road and motorists are asked to avoid the area.

2:45pm - Sections of State Highway 6 are closed due to the wild weather. Fallen trees have closed SH 6 from Fox Glacier to Haast. A slip has closed SH6 north of Hawks Crag Half Bridge and the Buller River has flooded the Inangahua Junction. All sections of road are expected to be closed until at least 5pm.
German motorcyclist Malcolm Milne is trapped in Fox Glacier due to the closure, but he says it's "an adventure".
"Tonight we stay here, and then I guess we'll go through in the morning," Milne told Newshub.
"You look at it, it's an adventure. This just happens and then we manage it. No one is hurt, everyone is safe. That's the most important thing."

Heavy flooding in Golden Bay.
Heavy flooding in Golden Bay. Photo credit: Michelle Coffey/ Supplied

2:15pm - Metservice told Newshub the severe wind warning will lift at 6pm on Tuesday. The wind gusts are expected to ease tonight.

2:02pm - Wellington Airport says incoming Singapore Airlines flight number SQ247 has been diverted to Christchurch due to the weather.

1:50pm - Nelson Tasman Civil Defence has shared pictures of immense flooding on State Highway 60. The flooding is south of Paynes Ford Bridge and north of Takaka Village.

1:30pm - A FENZ spokesperson told Newshub Pipitea, Kilbirnie and Boulcott Street all have reports of downed lines. Johnsonville's Takapu Road has been forced to close due to power lines being brought down.

1:25pm - One Karori man had his garage roof blown off by the 140km/h winds.

Harry Gibbons told Newshub he's never seen anything like it.

"I was lying in bed reading the paper and having a cup of tea and there was this big crunch - shook the house. I thought it was a big earthquake, thought that's beauty and then it stopped," he said.

"My wife had rushed in and said 'our garage door has fallen in' and I took one look at it and said 'no that's the roof.'"

The roof took down power lines and the house's telephone line.

1pm - Wellington City Council is warning people to stay inside due to the tumultuous weather.

"If you have to venture outside, drive/walk/motorbike/cycle safely to the conditions," it said Twitter.

 11.30am - Haitaitai has had two cars hit by fallen trees and Makara, Strathmore, Island Bay and Thorndon have also had trees blown over.


7:24am - Air New Zealand says the strong winds have led to services in and out of Wellington Airport being cancelled until mid-afternoon on Tuesday.

"Customers with Wellington flights are strongly recommended to consider deferring non-urgent travel," it says.

"The airline has put on additional services for later this evening to accommodate disrupted customers and will continue to explore additional capacity as the day continues."




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