Pictures: Snow sets in ahead of weekend

Snow, heavy rain and blustery winds are starting to blast parts of the country ahead of the weekend.

MetService says a strong southwest flow is spreading over the country today.

The forecaster has issued a severe weather watch for gale west to southwest winds about southern and central New Zealand later today and during Friday.

A front within this flow is expected to bring a a period of heavy rain to Fiordland and Westland tonight and Friday morning, MetService says.

Tracy Northcroft snapped this shot of her view in Whataroa on the West Coast today.

Send your weather pictures and video to news@tvnz.co.nz 

In Southland, Clutha and Dunedin winds are likely to be strongest from tonight until early Saturday morning, especially about the Catlins and Otago coasts from Slope Point to the Otago Peninsula.

In Buller and Nelson winds are likely to be strongest from late Friday morning until Friday evening especially north of Westport and about Golden Bay.

Central Hawke's Bay and the Tararua District will also be lashed by strong winds on Friday.

The New Zealand Transport Agency is warning drivers to take extra care on State Highway from Waikaka Valley to Waipahi due to snowfall in the area.

MetService says a strong, cold, west to southwest flow is expected to cover the country from Friday to Monday, with troughs embedded within this flow.

Wintry showers are expected to persist about southern parts of the country during this period, with a low risk of snow accumulations reaching warning amounts above 400 metres about Fiordland, Southland, Clutha and Dunedin from Friday through to Sunday.

Photographer Andrea Lightfoot shot this picture after a snow shower in Pukerau in Southland this morning.

Keep up to date with the latest forecastshere.

Andrea Lightfoot says she woke up to an expected snow shower in Pukerau, Southland this morning.


Topics



Electrocution deaths of 11 cows on Northland farm prompts safety warning

The electrocution deaths of 11 cows on a Northland farm has highlighted the importance of safety on farms, Federated Farmers said in a statement.

The cows were killed on a Dargaville farm this week after a fallen power service line sagged onto a live 400-volt line nearby, arming it.

"My condolences to the farmer concerned. It must have been awful to see the animals like that," Federated Farmers Northland Provincial President John Blackwell said.

"It is my understanding it was the farmer’s responsibility to remove the downed line.

"Even if people think lines are disconnected they can still be deadly. Get onto health and safety problems when you know about them - do not procrastinate."

File image of cows on a field.

TODAY'S
TOP STORIES

National criticise 'incompetent handling' of CTO job offer, then retraction

National have hit out at the $100,000 sting for the taxpayers over the "incompetent handling" of the chief technology officer role, after the position was scrapped by the Government. 

National's State Services spokesperson Nick Smith said the role was budgeted at costing over $500,000 per year, but an offer to Derek Handley was then retracted by the Government. 

"The process around appointing a CTO has been a shambles from the beginning," he said. "It involved secret meetings and emails, the resignation of Minister Clare Curran and now we're paying Derek Handley around $100,000 for a job he never even started.

"The Government should apologise to taxpayers for wasting their money and Mr Handley for wasting his time."

Today the Government confirmed it put a "full stop" on the process of CTO, and the new Digital Services Minister Megan Woods confirmed Mr Handley would be paid out $107,500.

Greg Boyed talks to tech entrepreneur Derek Handley about his continued interest and investment in New Zealand – and his fellowship for exceptional young Kiwis.
Source: Q+A

"As the new Minister I have asked officials to review the CTO role and provide advice on the best ways to drive a forward-looking digital agenda for New Zealand," she said. 

Mr Handley wrote in a statement he and his family "decided not to accept the settlement money personally and instead donate the net proceeds towards a fund that supports ideas, programs and grants that seek to tackle this societal issue in creative ways. I welcome collaboration from all communities on how we may do that".

The latest developments come after MP Clare Curran was stripped of her position as Minister for Government Digital Services after not disclosing a meeting with Mr Handley previously.

A delegation from GM-free Hastings met with the Environment Minister over reforms they say will destroy their export markets.
Nelson MP Nick Smith. Source: 1 NEWS

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Government pays $107k to retract chief technology officer job offer to entrepreneur Derek Handley

Derek Handley says an offer of chief technology officer position has been retracted by the Government and he has received a three-month pay out. 

In a statement, Mr Handley wrote he had accepted the role a month ago but was informed this week "the Government will no longer follow through with their commitment and will not be making that appointment at this time".

"Given the unnecessary and sustained lack of transparency around the process and building pressure to rethink the approach, their decision to stop the process is understandable," he said.

The chief technology officer was intended to "drive a forward-looking digital agenda for New Zealand", said former Minister for Government Digital Services Clare Curran, when the role was announced last December. 

Mr Handley had returned to live in Auckland last weekend for the role, after living in New York for 10 years. 

"As the Government has now terminated my contract I have been offered a settlement payment as per the contract," he said. "The amount equates to three months pay plus reimbursement of my costs.

ONN 1 News at 6 promo image
For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

"My family and I have decided not to accept the settlement money personally and instead donate the net proceeds towards a fund that supports ideas, programmes and grants that seek to tackle this societal issue in creative ways. I welcome collaboration from all communities on how we may do that."

The new Minister for Government Digital Services Megan Woods said the Government have put a “full stop” on the process of CTO.

She confirmed Mr Handley would be paid $107,500.

“As the new Minister I have asked officials to review the CTO role and provide advice on the best ways to drive a forward-looking digital agenda for New Zealand,” she said. 

It comes after MP Clare Curran was stripped of her position as Minister for Government Digital Services after not disclosing a meeting with Mr Handley previously.

Derek Handley says he’ll donate the compensation but is disappointed at the way the issue was handled. Source: 1 NEWS


Who is South Auckland's rogue zebra crossing painter?

A mysterious pedestrian crossing painter has struck again after a rogue zebra crossing popped up outside a South Auckland school - the second such occurrence at the school over the past year.

Patumahoe Primary School principal Jade Tawhiti spoke to TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning about the latest incident.

"The first one was in, I think it was November last year and it was quite a good job, that one - looked like a mini roller, pretty good white lines," he siad. "And they were actually good from the footpath when you're viewing them, but when you drove down the road, they were all over the show.

"It was quite funny at the time, but sort of when you thought about the safety implications of that, it wasn't so funny."

Mr Tawhiti said after the first incident, "Auckland Transport came rushing here (and) tore shreds out of our staff, sort of thinking that we did it".

He said Auckland Transport painted over the lines with blank paint, but the second time "someone's gone and used a spray can and spray painted the zebra lines".

A pedestrian crossing does need to be installed outside the school, the principal said, explaining that there are "a few variables" in place making it difficult to cross the road safely.

"(There's) high speeds from locals and passersby and there's a couple of funny corners and bends which create low visibility, and a few issues for kids crossing and parents," he said.

However, he says homemade paint jobs could be dangerous for students due to the confusion over whether or not it is safe to cross.

"At the end of the day, it creates confusion, so if you've got white lines and kids assuming it's a legal, proper pedestrian crossing, they're going to walk," he said. "As it stands now, it's what they call a care crossing, which actually has to be manned by patrollers or monitors, and we have the swinigng arms."

Auckland Transport spokesperson Mark Hannan said a real zebra crossing will be installed outside Patumahoe School by March or April of next year.
 

Patumahoe Primary School principal Jade Tawhiti spoke to Breakfast this morning about the incident. Source: 1 NEWS