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Heavy rain, strong winds set to batter much of the country tomorrow

Destructive winds and heavy rain are forecast to batter the South Island and lower North Island from tomorrow, as a stormy front blasts through.

Rain in city (file picture). Source: istock.com

MetService has issued a strong wind warning for the Canterbury High Country, between 6pm tomorrow and 9am on Wednesday.

The gusty winds could make driving hazardous, MetService warns, as well as potentially damaging trees, powerlines and unsecured structures.

Meanwhile heavy rain could cause issues in several areas, with as much as 240mm of rain set to pour down in Westland.

"Surface flooding and slips are also possible and driving conditions may be hazardous," MetService says.

The heavy rain warning is in place for Westland and south of Otira, the headwaters of Caterbury lakes and rivers south of Arthurs Pass, the headwaters of Otago lakes and rivers, and Fiordland north of Breaksea Sound.

Heavy rain watches are also in place for Tararua range, Mount Taranaki, Nelson and Westland.

Meanwhile strong wind watches are in place for Hawke's Bay, Tararua district, Marlborough, Wairarapa and Wellington, Otago, and Clutha, Southland, Stewart Island and Fiordland lakes.

The warnings and watches start from tomorrow morning and last through to Wednesday morning.