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Sodden start to weekend for much of NZ

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/05/2016

Torrential rain across the country has caused flooding and car crashes, and there could be more on the way for some, forecasters warn.

A potent storm moved over New Zealand on Friday night, delivering rain heavy enough to cause surface flooding in the Wellington region.

On Saturday morning a southbound driver crossed the centre line on State Highway 1 at Paekakariki and was involved in a head-on collision with a northbound car, then bounced off another car.

One person was taken to hospital with serious leg injuries and others involved in the crash suffered minor injuries, police say.

Emergency services were also called to Haywards Hill where a car had reportedly spun out on State Highway 2.

Surface flooding was reported on the northbound lane of State Highway 1 near Churton Park and there has been a minor crash at Whitby.

Police have warned drivers to slow down and watch their following distances.

MetService said the region could experience thunderstorms on Saturday, which could lead to localised surface flooding.

Further north in the Manawatu Gorge, contractors are clearing two slips within 150 metres of each other.

The westbound lane is closed and traffic is moving slowly, police say.

A severe weather watch has been issued for much of the North Island and parts of the South Island, for bursts of heavy rain and strong gales that should ease by Sunday morning.

South Island motorists have been advised chains are essential travelling on State Highway 73 between Springfield and Arthur's Pass, but snow fall in the area is expected to ease on Saturday afternoon.

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