A multi-vehicle crash in frosty conditions caused delays for
motorists after blocking Dunedin's Northern Motorway this
A 4WD vehicle slid sideways near the summit at the
intersection with Leith Valley Rd and was hit by a petrol
The tanker was in turn hit by a following vehicle, which was
hit by an Atomic shuttle with several passengers on board.
The crash occurred at low speed and no injuries were
Dunedin police have been kept busy with a series of crashes
including a car that slid down a bank on Brighton Road and a
vehicle that rolled on Portobello Road near the Cove.
Another car slid into a parked vehicle on Union St.
Sergeant Steve Aitken said there were no injuries in any of
the crashes but drivers should be aware of treacherous
conditions, particularly in shaded areas.
"Drive carefully, leave a lot of space to the vehicle in
front of you and remember, it's your choice to drive," he
The icy conditions meant a late start for Dunedin primary
schools this morning.
There was a 10am start for all primary, intermediate schools
and kindergartens between Mosgiel to Port Chalmers to
The ice also disrupted some bus services but they are running
One state highway - SH87 Outram to Middlemarch - remains
closed because of snow.
Widespread ice warnings are in place for the other inland
highways. For latest conditions click here
Queenstown District Council says major routes clear of snow
but slippery with ice.
The coldest places in the South were Tekapo, which recorded
-6degC overnight, Queenstown -5degC, Christchurch -4degC and
the Central Plateau of the North Island was -5degC.
Many roads in the Clutha District are affected by severe
Edgar Stark Bridge, Mahinerangi, currently remains closed.
Mt Stuart Road at Hillend is now passable with care.
South hit by storm
A bitterly cold storm bearing hail and snow swept across
Otago yesterday, closing roads, schools and disrupting
services, but forecasters say a more treacherous freeze may
come in its wake.
Much of Otago woke to a carpet of snow yesterday morning,
which police and the New Zealand Transport Agency say could
turn to black ice today.
While disruption was widespread, authorities said sensible
driving meant there were few snow-related crashes.
Frosts are likely to be heavier inland this morning, with
Queenstown possibly dropping to -13degC.
Meanwhile, skifields heralded up to 40cm of snow at just the
The MetService estimated up to 4cm of snow fell in Dunedin,
and about 20cm in Central Otago, although depths varied, and
Dunedin International Airport reported no runway snow or ice.
NZTA Otago-Southland highways manager Ian Duncan warned
drivers to take ''extreme care'' this morning, as yesterday's
storm was followed by clearing, cold weather, making black
ice ''a real danger''.
The NZTA and police encouraged motorists to allow extra time
for travel today.
State Highway 1 from Dunedin to Waitati was closed about 1am
yesterday, reopening at noon.
NZTA coastal Otago maintenance contract manager Nicholas
Rodger said the agency had about 30 staff and trucks clearing
Dunedin's Northern Motorway would be treated with grit and
chemical de-icing agent calcium magnesium acetate (CMA).
Patrols would keep an eye on the road overnight.
Mr Duncan said the agency would keep a close eye on areas
prone to icing such as the Kawarau and Manuka Gorges.
Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie said
the year's first snowfall was a good opportunity for
employers to talk to staff about expectations for weather
events, such as snow.
Often expectations were specified in employment agreements,
but other factors, such as schools closing suddenly, made it
difficult for some staff to meet those obligations.
Many employers were ''generous in their response'' to those
who could not make it to work, but others docked wages, or
staff had to take leave.
Mr Christie estimated Dunedin's daily economic productivity
was about $8 million.
''It [income] would certainly would be down on a normal day's
trade. Some business can make that up and some can't.''
Improved technology allowed some staff to work from home, and
business productivity could be maintained, he said.