Video: Wairarapa local films 'spectacular' scene after lightning strikes 500yo tōtara tree stump

A Wairarapa local witnessed a "spectacular" scene on Saturday morning after lightning struck what's believed to be a 500-year-old tōtara tree stump. 

Local resident Elizabeth was visiting her parent's Rangitūmau farm when a neighbour rang to say lightning had struck their stump.

Elizabeth told Newshub her dad "was a bit sad about it" because it's been there longer than the farm has been in the family - 100 years. 

"A 500-year-old tōtara tree, a bit [of] an identity around here, hit by lightning. That is the end of an era," Elizabeth's dad said in a video sent to Newshub. 

The lightning struck just after 11am, following what Elizabeth described as a "pretty big thunder and lightning storm" lashing the region. 

Once the neighbour alerted Elizabeth's dad to the fire, they went to check out the damage and found the estimated four-metre stump up in flames. 

"Quite incredible really, it's a huge stump, the whole thing is on fire. It'll probably burn for days."

Elizabeth said the crackling of the fire was "pretty loud" and she's never seen "anything like that in my life". 

And the stormy weather might not be over just yet. 

MetService meteorologist John law told Newshub it doesn't take much for lightning to hit the wrong spot to "cause lots of damage". 

He said there is a "risk" for further thunder and lightning storms to hit the Wairarapa region on Saturday afternoon, specifically around the Tararua district. 

"An afternoon to keep a close eye on the weather radar."