Heavy rain overnight caused flooding and slips in Wanganui, closing State Highway 4 at Parapara and reducing traffic on State Highway 3 to one lane between Westmere and Kaiwi early this morning.
Most of the North Island had been hit by the rain, which had arrived sooner than expected and would leave later. An improvement was expected tomorrow, Ms Syme said.
The rain was working its way down the island and in Wellington had combined with high winds - gusts of 95kph being recorded in suburban Kelburn.
The South Island had largely escaped the worst of the weather, although the Lindis Pass remained closed today after snow last night.
Mount Hutt skifield was closed due to wind, and Christchurch's Lyttelton Harbour was also feeling the breeze, with a gust of 80kph recorded at 2am today.