13 May 2016

Driver killed after head-on collision

7:42 pm on 13 May 2016

State Highway 1 in Dome Valley north of Auckland has reopened after a fatal crash forced it to close earlier today.

The driver of a car died after a head-on collision with a truck on the highway about 1pm today. The road was closed and diversions put in place so serious crash investigators could examine the scene.

The main road between Christchurch and the West Coast was also closed earlier today after a truck rolled at the top of Porters Pass, initially blocking both lanes. One lane has since reopened.

The crashes follow heavy rain and high winds which swept up the country overnight.

The weather caused hold-ups for motorists around the South Island with the highway between Hector and Little Wanganui in the Buller District also down to one lane due to flooding.

The road between Murchison and Inangahua is also down to one lane because of fallen trees.

Motorists are urged to drive with caution on the roads between Springfield and Arthurs Pass, Twizel to Ben Ohau, and Fairlie to Twizel, which are being badly affected by high winds.

Haast Pass has now reopened after fallen trees forced it to close overnight.

The Rimutaka Hill Road between Wellington and Wairarapa was closed overnight due to high winds. The road reopened about 6am.

Strong winds cut power to about 3500 houses in Wellington overnight and downed trees throughout the lower North Island.

The severe weather in the South Island yesterday also sparked fires in Canterbury, caused surface flooding in Southland, forced the cancellation of some flights in and out of Dunedin and of ferry services from Wellington.

MetService said further periods of heavy rain and west to northwest gales are likely to affect parts of southern and central New Zealand through to early next week.