Winds reaching 140 kilometres an hour have been battering the lower North Island, prompting about 10 Fire Service callouts to lifted rooves and damaged telephone lines.
MetService has a strong-wind warning in place for Wellington, with a 141 kilometre gust recorded at the Rimutaka summit this morning, and 137km strength winds hitting the top of Mount Kau Kau.
It said the wind would die down this evening with a southerly change.
The Fire Service said it was being kept busy, but most of the damage was minor.
Meanwhile, the MetService earlier issued a severe weather warning and forecast heavy rain and high winds for some areas of the country today.
It said a front was expected to bring heavy rain to Fiordland and Westland, with significant spillover into the Canterbury headwaters.
It warned rivers and streams were likely to remain in flood, and flooding and slips were possible.
Strong winds are also forecast for the east coast between Canterbury and Hawke's Bay, with severe gales likely in Wairarapa, the Marlborough Sounds and the hills of Wellington, including the Rimutaka Hill Road.