Heavy snow warning issued for central North Island as chilly weather sets in

Heavy snow and occasional rain is expected for parts of the central plateau overnight as a wintry chill hits the country.

The MetService has issued a road snowfall warning for State Highway 1 Desert Road from midnight tonight to 8am tomorrow morning.

A snow level of 700 metres is expected overnight.

One to three centimetres of snow may accumulate on the road above 700 metres during this time.

Snow is also expected for Rimutaka Hill Road (State Highway 2), with snow reaching up to 500 metres in height.

Meanwhile, gales are forecast to spread up the country today, then slowly ease on Monday.

A severe weather watch has been issued for Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa, Wellington, Marlborough, Christchurch and Canterbury through to Monday.

A strong wind watch continues for the Hawke's Bay, Gisborne, Marlborough, Wellington and Wairarapa today and tomorrow.

MetService say the severe weather watch is for the possibility that southerly gales may become severe in exposed coastal areas at times from Banks Peninsula to East Cape.

To find out the weather in your area over the weekend, click here.

A winter landscape from New Zealand National Park
North Island's Desert Road (file picture). Source: istock.com

Hamilton 'absolutely not' over peak of homelessness - politicians under pressure for those needing emergency housing

Whena Owens of TVNZ1's Q+A investigates the state of Hamilton's homelessness and the efforts to find homes for the people needing emergency housing.

Hamilton has been hailed as a model by politicians in its management of homelessness. A bylaw change and the work of the People's Project has been credited with a reduction in people living in rough and temporary accommodation. 

But according to Hamilton Nightshelter trust manager Peter Humphries, Hamilton is 'absolutely not' yet over the peak of homelessness. 

"We've had the busiest month we've ever had here at the Hamilton Christian night shelter for men." 

Last year there were 277 applicants on the Hamilton City social housing register, this year has jumped to 353 households requiring a home with Housing New Zealand. 

Hamilton Salvation Army, Captain Jenny Collings says, the current state can see two families doubling up all sharing a three bedroom house.

"Actually that's become quite normal even in Housing New Zealand," she said. 

Sarah Manning, one the many doubling up in Hamilton looking for rental accommodation, says she just cannot find a house. 

"I've got excellent references but there's nothing really available,

"What's wrong is there are 40 other families turning up for the same viewing," Ms Manning said. 

Hamilton Mayor, Andrew King says,"We do have a housing crisis. I've said for three years now that we have a housing crisis."

"There will always be homelessness, but it's not how it should be."

He says motels are not ideal but are better than being on the street and in a year, the first of many new housing projects will be completed. 

Our reporter Whena Owen with this investigation into the state of homelessness in Hamilton City. Source: Q+A


Have you seen this missing 34-year-old Hamilton man?

Police are appealing the public for any sightings of a 34-year-old Hamilton man, who went missing earlier this week. 

John Emanuel Comer was last seen at an address on Memorial Drive in Hamilton on May 22. 

In a statement police said he is described as European, of thin build and stands 175cm tall.

John's friends and family are concerned for his safety and police want to hear from anyone who has seen or had contact with him since he went missing.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts are encouraged to contact Hamilton police.