Metservice warned tonight for people in Canterbury and Marlborough to watch out for rapidly rising rivers, while it lifted some of its severe weather warnings as a damaging storm moved south.
A group of school children trapped at a Hawke's Bay school when the storm sweeping the country cut off the school's only road have returned home safe and well, after a "great adventure".
Power company repair crews in the Horowhenua were battling tonight to restore electricity to 25,000 households after devastating winds in the region.
A group of school children are trapped at a Hawke's Bay school after the storm sweeping the country knocked over a tree, bringing down powerlines and cutting off the school's only road.
Local authorities and emergency workers were on red alert across the top of the North Island tonight in anticipation of a severe storm.
Anyone planning weekend activities would be well advised to stay indoors this weekend as the MetService warns of severe weather and heavy rain for much of the country.
The icy blast which swept up the country on Saturday caused traffic chaos, closing roads, skifields and airports in Otago.
Dunedin was the driest of New Zealand's five main centres last month, with less than 50% of its normal rainfall.
Temperatures in Central Otago are hovering near record levels for midwinter.
Fresh snow yesterday was just what the Lakes district's skifields ordered, with Coronet Peak due to reopen today and Cardrona back on target for a Friday opening.
Skifield workers have turned to Work and Income New Zealand for financial assistance as they struggle to make ends meet while their employers remain closed.
Slippery roads caused havoc for Dunedin drivers on Saturday morning with five crashes in the city before midday, including one in which a woman broke her ankle.
The sight of tourist vessel Monarch apparently battling high winds in Otago Harbour yesterday sparked a search and rescue mission.
The sunny weather continued in Dunedin in March, with the city again receiving well above its usual sunshine hours for the month.
Thunder, lightning, a five minute burst of hail and 15 minutes of heavy rain hit Alexandra yesterday afternoon, despite temperatures remaining above 20degC.