Kiwi electric farm bike ready to go global

Ubco has partnered with an American technology group to help launch the bikes overseas. Source: 1 NEWS



Over 1400 properties set to be without power overnight as Wakatipu region reels under Spring snow dump

More than 1400 properties are set to be without power in the Wakatipu area overnight after heavy snowfalls knocked down powerlines.

Aurora Energy says extreme weather conditions and difficulty of access is hampering restoration of power to affected customers, but power has been restored to more than 3000 customers during the course of the day.

Power remains out for 1436 people after heavy snowfall and the company says affected customers should prepare to be without power overnight. 

Areas affected are Fernhill, Lake Hayes and Gibbston Valley, Speargrass Flat and Lower Shotover,  Glenorchy, Dalefield and Queenstown's Littles Road.

Snow on the Crown Range. Source: NZTA

Line crews are working hard to restore power in challenging conditions as off road conditions are treacherous and tracks are hidden and very slippery, an Aurora spokesperson said this evening. 

Crews are still on site at Arrowtown, Dalefield, Queenstown and Frankton to repair faults caused by snow-load on trees and branches.

The safety of the public and line crews is of utmost importance at all times, the spokesperson said.

The public is being reminded to keep well clear of fallen power lines or damaged electrical equipment and treat them as live at all times.

Arrowtown woke up to a thick blanket of snow as winter had one last blast for Otago.
Source: 1 NEWS

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Photo Gallery: Winter has final sting in its tail, blasts Queenstown region with snow

Central Otago woke up to an early spring snow dump this morning, with the white stuff visible across the Wakatipu Basin.

Glenorchy has seen heavy snow, while flurries are light in Queenstown and on the Lindis Pass.

Queenstown. Source: Thomas Martin

Vision captured by 1 NEWS in Arrowtown shows a heavy blanket of snow. 

Arrowtown saw an early spring snowfall overnight, 17 September 2018. Source: Sophia Purdon

Nineteen flights, both domestic and international, have been cancelled at Queenstown Airport, although it remains open. 

Source: James Penwell

All schools in the Wakatipu Basin are closed. 

Crown Range Source: NZTA

Power outages caused by snow-loaded tree branches have been reported in Glenorchy, Te Anau, Queenstown, Franktown, Arrowtown and Dalefield.

Arrowtown. Source: Jesse Van Grinsven

"Power will be restored as quickly as is safely possible but extreme conditions are hampering our response," an Aurora Energy spokesperson said.

Bridesdale Queenstown. Source: Kate Tonks

A spokesperson from Metservice has told 1 NEWS of heavy snow fall in the Crown Ranges, with many campervans being snowed in.

Camper vans in Te Anau. Source: MetService

Arrowtown. Source: Jess Van Grinsven

Cardrona Ski Field has had 35 centimetres of snow this morning and counting. However, graders have been unable to clear the road in time for opening today. 

Usually snow is a good thing for a ski field, but it couldn’t clear the roads fast enough to open this morning. Source: 1 NEWS

An early spring dump of snow fell on Te Anau overnight, 17 September 2018. Source: Alana Pullar

"Where the snow hasn't fallen, water has. A lot of it," the Queenstown Lakes District Council warned this morning.

"We've got roads affected by surface water from all the rain so watch out for flooding and ponding wherever you're headed today."

Te Anau. Source: Phillip Robertson

Trust Power is reporting an outage in Frankton as a result of the weather. 

Arrowtown saw an early spring snowfall overnight, 17 September 2018. Source: Sophia Purdon

Motorists heading over the Crown Range today will need to bring chains with them.

Images from viewers also show thick coats of snow in Arrowtown and Te Anau.

Snow on the Crown Range. Source: NZTA

SH94 from Te Anau to Milford Sound is closed due to a high avalanche risk. 

The road will be closed for some time due to snow and fallen trees.

Arrowtown saw an early spring snowfall overnight, 17 September 2018. Source: Sophia Purdon

Do you have a photo or video of today's snow? Send it to news@tvnz.co.nz.

In many places power was cut, schools were closed and flights cancelled. Source: 1 NEWS

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FEATURED STORIES

Air NZ scraps flights in and out of Queenstown as region deals with snow blast

Air New Zealand has cancelled multiple flights in and out of Queenstown today following an unusually robust spring snowfall overnight that also closed schools, snarled roads and caused power outages.

And more flight disruption is likely throughout the day, the airline said.

"Customers are strongly recommended to consider deferring non-urgent travel today," Air New Zealand advised in a statement.

Arrowtown woke up to a thick blanket of snow as winter had one last blast for Otago. Source: 1 NEWS

The company said it will offer additional ticket flexibility to any customers opting to cancel plans, even if their flights are still scheduled.

Flight updates can be viewed here.

Flight lands at Queenstown Airport. Source: 1 NEWS

A late wintery blast has blanketed the deep south with snow, forcing travel disruption. Source: 1 NEWS


Protesters block major Tauranga highway to call on government to fix deadly stretch of road - 'stop letting people die like this'

Protesters have blocked a major Tauranga highway today to call for major safety updates to be made to a deadly stretch of road.

Busy weekend traffic came to a halt as hundreds marched across Wairoa Bridge, which has already claimed dozens of lives.

Fix the Bloody Road safety campaigner Andrew Hollis said, "I've spoken personally with tow truck drivers that tow trucks away still with bodies in them. It's happening about once every quarter."

The protesters blocked State Highway 2 for half an hour to call for upgrades to the road.

"Just fix the road, man. Stop letting people die like this for no reason," one protester said.

In the last six years to March 2018, 21 people have been killed on the 37-kilometre stretch of road between Katikati and Tauranga.

While the National Land Transport programme recently allocated billions to improve regional roads, the Tauranga road is still under evaluation to see how it can be made safer – a process which could take four months.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford said, "that bit of road is about to get significant safety improvements. We're investing in 26 intersection upgrades, side barriers and widening the central barrier."

$100 million will be spent on safety between Waihi and Omokoroa, but protesters say a four-lane highway must be built.

"What we're trying to do is get four lanes with a median strip from Takatimu Drive in Tauranga to Francis Road in Omokoroa," Mr Hollis said.

The government says they do not want more lives to be lost and has acknowledged that the infrastructure is not up to speed.

Hundreds of campaigners marched across Wairoa Bridge today. Source: 1 NEWS