The Salvation Army in Whangarei is appealing for donations of warm clothes and blankets as Northlanders shiver in conditions usually confined to the South Island.
Daytime temperatures dropped to 5°C in Kaikohe and 7°C in Whangarei last week, causing a surge in requests for help.
Major Cathy Elkington says low-income people in the north are not equipped for such cold weather and whole families have been turning up in a heart-breaking state, some barefoot and in wet clothes.
She says the Salvation Army has been serving hot soup to everyone to warm them up while they wait.
Major Elkington says requests for food parcels are up as well, as people spend grocery money on higher power bills.