8 Jan 2012

Heavy rain and high winds hit much of North Island

2:53 pm on 8 January 2012

Heavy rain and high winds continue in many parts of the country, though conditions are easing in some areas.

Police in Wellington say wind gusts brought down trees in Taranaki, where there is a strong wind warning in place.

Wet weather caused a slip on Vinegar Hill near Hunterville in Rangitikei.

However, all roads remain open.

MetService says a heavy rain band across the northeast of the North Island is moving south.

Weather warnings for Gisborne, the Coromandel Peninsula and the Bay of Plenty west of Kawerau, are now lifted.

However, warnings remain in place for eastern parts of Bay of Plenty and Hawke's Bay as well as the Tararua ranges and the eastern hills of Wellington.

MetService also says rainfall could be sufficient for a warning to be issued in the Kaikoura ranges from Sunday afternoon.