Check your forecast: Thunderstorms, large hail and powerful winds set to batter much of the North Island this afternoon

Thunderstorms bringing large hail and damaging winds are possible parts of the western North Island today, MetService says.

The worst of the storms are expecting to come in from the west, hitting the western Manawatu, Taranaki, the western Waikato and north to about Raglan.

Check the forecast in your area here

These storms could bring downpours of more than 25mm per hour, damaging wind gusts of more than 110kmh and large hail more than 20mm in diameter, Metservice said.

Lesser, but still serious storms, will make their way further inland and further north, possibly affecting Auckland, Northland, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Taupo, Palmerston North and the Kapiti Coast.

MetService maps showing forecast thunderstorms over New Zealand on May 25, 2018.
MetService maps showing forecast thunderstorms over New Zealand on May 25, 2018. Source: MetService

A few storms may make it across to the eastern side of the North Island, affecting East Cape, the Hawke's Bay ranges, Wairarapa and Wellington.

In the South Island, the western parts of Nelson Tasman and northern West Coast have a moderate risk of storms, while there is a low risk for the rest of the West Coast, Stewart Island, Southland, Marlborough, Kaikoura and the northern Canterbury area.

Later today, a moderate risk of thunderstorms will remain across a large part of the North Island, including Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Waikato, Taranaki, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Central Plateau and Manawatu - a low risk will remain for the rest of the North Island.

Any thunderstorms this afternoon in the South Island are likely to be along the eastern coast.

Road snow warnings are currently in place for the Desert Road, Lewis Pass, Arthur's Pass, Porter's Pass, Haast Pass, Lindis Pass and Milford Road.

The Crown Range road, Lewis Pass and Arthur's Pass are closed to traffic.

For a full forecast for your region, see our weather page here.

Breakfast weatherman Matty McLean has the latest weather update. Source: Breakfast

Watch: Road safety advocate reveals his secret to a great commute

Bus drivers and cyclists need the exercise more empathy for one another to make our experience on the road that much more enjoyable, says a safe roads campaigner.

Richard Barter told TVNZ1’s Breakfast Share the Road has had over 5000 people complete their workshops for both bus drivers and cyclists.

He says the workshops puts cyclists in the seat of the bus driver while others are put on bicycles so they can experience what it's like to be the other person on the road.

"We survey them afterwards and they tell us our understanding has improved our attitude, which has improved our behaviour, which has improved outcomes out on the road," he said.

Mr Barter says the secret to a great commute is "engaging positively with other people out there on the road."

Richard Barter from the Share to the Road explains the secret to the great commute Source: Breakfast


Day of reflection for protestors and police on 40th anniversary of Bastion Point arrests - 'It was kind of scary but we knew we were right'

For those on both sides of the thin blue line, today's 40th anniversary of the Bastion Point arrests will be a day of reflection.

On this day in 1978, hundreds of police marched on the headland in Auckland to end 17 months of occupation.

Warren Strand was 28 and a sergeant, part of a 500-strong contingent who were briefed the night before the clearance. 

He says it amounted to a military operation.

“Upon reflection it was part of duty. I don't think I have a particular pride in the way police handled the situation but we were tasked by the Crown who said they owned the land."

Mr Strand is a non-sworn officer these days and says those turbulent events changed attitudes forever.

Both the Waitangi Tribunal and Treaty settlements can be traced to the impact of the 1975 Land March and Bastion Point.

“There are forums for voices to be heard…I think we're a lot more caring and kind society," Mr Strand said. 

This year he met Joe Hawke, the Ngati Whatua o Orakei leader who ran the occupation.

“He was very welcoming we sat down, had a good chat, and it was quite a healing experience for me.

“History has proven that he is a great leader.”

Rex Hawke was just 17 and like 221 others, was arrested.

“Our kaupapa was passive resistance and that was drummed into us, especially the young, very early.” he said.

For years he could barely bring himself to visit the headland. The trauma of that day kept him away.

Now, he likes to visit the memorial site a couple of times a week.  That recognises the death of his niece - Joanne Hawke - who died as a child during the occupation in a fire.

He had to find a way through it.

“You have a choice. You either carry the ball and chain on your shoulders or you let it go.”

In 1978, Mr Hawke says he couldn’t have imagined the central place Ngati Whatua o Orakei hold in the city. It’s a billion dollar iwi, building houses for its people and caring for the very land its people fought for.

“No one could have guessed this. To us there was only one agenda, whenua [the land].

“It was the catalyst for everything we have now.”

Police and protestors remember the break-up of peaceful Bastion Point occupation. Source: 1 NEWS