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Firefighters in the Canterbury region have been busy, with high winds fanning fires and blowing roofs from houses.
It took several crews to bring a large vegetation fire under control in Prebbleton this morning.
Winds gusting more than 100km/h have also lifted roofs and brought down power lines in Christchurch.
MetService has issued severe wind warnings for many areas of the South Island.
More than 300 homes are without power in central Canterbury. Gusts reaching more than 100 kilometres an hour lifted roofs and brought down trees onto powerlines.
The cuts include 128 homes in Le Bons Bay on Banks Penninsula, 68 in Brookside and 27 in Darfield.
Another 59 customers in Yaldhurst are without power following a large vegetation fire this morning.
Orion Energy hopes to have most of the outages repaired by nightfall.
Wellington and Wairarapa could also experience high winds tonight.
There have also been dramatic lightning strikes reported, with 1300 strikes an hour across the West Coast and Southern Alps.
Metservice forecaster Hordur Thordarson said the front bringing those lightning strikes was now weakening.
But he said there was a possibility Hawkes Bay may get thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon and evening.