Wellington ferry services have been cancelled and port operations ceased with severe gales forecasted.
A strong wind warning was in place for the capital as well as Wairarapa, Marlborough and the Canterbury High Country, with gusts expected to reach 130km/h this evening.
MetService said the wind could damage trees, powerlines and unsecure structures, as well as make driving hazardous.
Meanwhile, the Transport Agency warned drivers that Remutaka Hill road may be closed at short notice for safety.
Otago skifields were dusted with January snow this morning, putting a stop to summer activities.