Weather: Heavy rain, gale force winds as 'potent low' heads for New Zealand this week

A rainmaker near Queensland will grow in size and head across the Tasman to New Zealand this week.

The low, which Weather Watch describes as "potent", is likely to be in Australia for a while yet, however. Currently hovering over Brisbane, the weather system is expected to head south down Australia's east coast over the next few days, bringing showers wherever it goes.

Over that period, NIWA Weather says it'll be "a pretty quiet weather week" for little old New Zealand.

But soon enough, the low will turn away and set its sights on us, becoming increasingly powerful as it trundles across the Tasman.

Weather Watch says it'll push into the South Island later this week, bringing heavy rain and possible heavy rain warnings to the West Coast and Nelson Ranges.

"For the North Island it's likely to bring hit and miss downpours, with some areas receiving 50mm this Friday or Saturday, but many others are in the 10-30mm bracket," the forecaster said.

"Eastern New Zealand, south of East Cape/Gisborne, looks mainly dry with this set up with either no rain or just 5mm between now and Sunday morning."

Weather Watch says the low may also generate gale force winds in some places.

Until then, however, the weather will be mostly fine for New Zealand.

Eastern parts of the North Island will get showers from Tuesday through Thursday, as will Fiordland and Stewart Island - but everywhere else should be rain-free until the weekend.