Severe weather stalks New Zealand as heavy rain lashes country, crashes erupt on roads

Warnings are being issued for both the weather and the road as heavy falls and chance thunderstorms stalk New Zealand on Saturday.

A deep low pressure system is moving across New Zealand from the northwest over the weekend, bringing rain and strong winds to many places.

MetService has issued severe weather warnings and watches across much of the country.

And police are urging motorists to take care on the roads after a spate of crashes.

"Rain and wind is affecting conditions and Police have attended a number of crashes today, including 18 in Tāmaki Makaurau alone," a spokesperson says.

"Poor weather reduces visibility and increases stopping distances, so remember to watch your following distances when in traffic."

Keep safe on the roads by:

  • Slowing down and buckling up
  • Driving to the conditions
  • Keeping a safe following distance
  • Saying patient on the roads and allowing extra time to get where you are going
  • Delaying unnecessary travel if you can
  • Turning your headlights on when visibility is poor

The weather is expected to ease before another front comes off the Tasman Sea and moves across the South Island during the latter half of Monday and Tuesday morning, bringing a period of heavy rain to western areas.

"On Monday, there is low confidence rainfall accumulations will reach warning criteria about Fiordland, but our confidence increases to moderate about the ranges of Westland south of Otira," MetService says.

"From late on Monday into Tuesday morning, there is low confidence of warnable amounts of rain for the ranges of Westland and Buller from Otira northwards.

"The front is expected to move over the remainder of the country on Tuesday, followed by a strong west to southwest flow, which should ease on Wednesday.

"Late on Tuesday and during Wednesday morning, there is low confidence west to northwest gales will become severe about Stewart Island and coastal parts of Southland and Clutha, plus Hawkes Bay from Napier southwards and Wairarapa from the Remutaka Hill northwards."