Weather: Another spring blast set to hit New Zealand on Monday

Another spring blast is set to strike New Zealand, bringing with it another burst of severe winds.

Gales blew up the North Island on Friday after moving up the South Island overnight. Some areas received hurricane-force gusts - with police reporting a mini-tornado on State Highway 1 in Auckland.

While the winds ease on Saturday, on late Sunday the severe gales return and will reach the lower North Island by Monday.

The South Island will be struck first as gale northwesterlies and heavy rain move northeast. NIWA warns the potential exists for a "high-impact weather event that will continue into early Monday for the South Island".

A weather graphic shows a high likelihood of strong wind gusts, heavy rain and lightning strikes for lower South Island.

MetService says severe northwest gales are expected for the Canterbury High Country and foothills from Sunday afternoon to Monday morning.

"[These] are likely to be damaging in exposed places, and may make driving conditions hazardous, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles," it says.

"A severe gale warning is now in force for the area. Strong winds are likely to affect other parts of the South Island and the lower North Island and watches for severe gales are in force."

Heavy rain is also expected to affect Fiordland and Westland and the headwaters of the Otago and Canterbury lakes and rivers. Warnings are in force.