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Heavy rain and snow in South Island

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/07/2017

South Island blankted in snow © Instagram/afengalicious South Island blankted in snow As many as 30 vehicles are being towed out of inland Canterbury where roads are closed due to snow while heavy rain falls elsewhere.

Heavy snow has blanketed Mt Cook village and State Highway 8 between Twizel and Fairlie, and State Highway 80, between Aoraki Mt Cook and Ben Ohau, are closed due to snow.

"Heavy snow is falling in the Mt Cook National Park, bringing the village to a stand still! Parts of the village have over a foot of snow," the Canterbury Weather Updates Facebook page says.

The cold front that is sweeping up the country also made rivers high in Westland, the Canterbury headwaters, Buller and Nelson.

Rugby fans will need to wrap up for Saturday evening's second All Blacks-Lions Test in Wellington, as rain from the Tasman Sea is expected to arrive around kick-off.

In Nelson, rains are expected to ease by 7pm on Saturday, while heavy falls in the Bryant and Richmond Ranges will continue until 9pm, MetService says.

Police have urged people to stay off the roads along the West Coast and Nelson bay area with reports of flooding and tree falls already coming in, Senior Sergeant Stu Koefoed.

This included flooding at the Okarito lagoon and on Whakatu Drive in Nelson, he said.

For the North Island, the heaviest rain is expected about Mt Taranaki, where up to 160mm of rain could fall until midnight Saturday, and the Bay of Plenty, which could receive up to 100mm before easing off by midday Sunday.

"This amount of rain will cause rivers and streams to rise rapidly, and may lead to slips and surface flooding," MetService says.

A severe weather watch is also in place for Northland, Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula.

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