UPDATE: Cyclone Gita to potentially bring 7.5 metre waves, snowfall in onslaught set for Tuesday

Cyclone Gita is continuing a path that forecasters expect will bring it crashing into New Zealand on tomorrow or Wednesday, unleashing heavy rain and possibly snowfall.

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Having caused damage to Tonga last week, the cyclone is taking a boomerang-shaped path that has it currently lying south of New Caledonia, according to MetService's latest tracking map today.

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

It is expected to soon begin its turn back towards New Zealand and approach from the northwest as it transforms into an extra-tropical cyclone, MetService says.

Check the forecast in your region on the 1 NEWS NOW weather page

Metservice has issued a severe weather warning for Cyclone Gita to bring damaging winds and heavy rain to parts of central New Zealand on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Principal Forecaster Chris Brandolino talks through the likely impacts as the storm barrels in from the west. Source: Breakfast

Cyclone Gita, currently located over the Tasman Sea, is forecast to track southeastwards and cross central New Zealand late Tuesday and early Wednesday.

The passage of Gita is expected to bring a period of high-impact severe weather to many parts of central New Zealand. 

Heavy rain will cause slips, rapidly rising streams and rivers, and flooding. 

Severe gales with damaging gusts are expected, so people are advised to secure property and items that may be blown away by strong winds. 

There is also the potential for coastal inundation with high tide overnight Tuesday and before dawn on Wednesday, due to the combination of tides, low air-pressure, strong onshore winds and large waves in excess of six metres in some places. 

For the North Island, coastal areas from Raglan southwards to southern Wairarapa are most at risk. 

For the South Island, the risk of coastal inundation is greatest for areas from Buller and North Canterbury northwards. 

In a live update on Facebook at 2.30pm, senior meteorologist Lisa Murray said the latest map shows the heaviest rain will be over the Wellington region, southern Wairarapa, Nelson, Buller, Marlborough, the Kaikoura coast, Canterbury plains and high country and along Westland including the ranges.

She also said that with strong wind, some places could see 7.5 metre swells affecting the coast, including in Nelson and Marlborough, Buller, Kapiti and northern Wellington.

Keep up to date with MetService's latest warnings.

Heavy rain and winds are expected for central New Zealand on Tuesday and Wednesday. Source: Breakfast

Cold air being dragged northwards by the cyclone may lead to snow falling to unseasonably low levels about the Canterbury high country on Tuesday.

It is unlikely the snow will warrant a widespread snow warning, but it may still affect some of the alpine roads in Canterbury.


The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management is advising people to prepare for the possibility of power cuts, water outages and road closures.

Ministry of Civil Defence Director Sarah Stuart-Black yesterday said it's a good idea to have a grab bag ready in case you need to evacuate.

Non-essential travel during the storm is strongly discouraged, as roads will be especially dangerous.

Items which could be blown around by wind should be tied down and secured, including items like trampolines.

During the storm, close windows and curtains and avoid potential injury from breaking glass.

Bring your pets inside, and if you are forced to leave your home, be prepared to take them with you.

Marlborough warnings

Marlborough Civil Defence says anyone in the Marlborough Sounds, especially campers, trampers and boaties should leave the area today. Hunters and trampers in the high country should also keep an eye on rapidly rising rivers.

Marlborough Civil Defence says there's a heavy rain warning from 10am to 10pm Tuesday when 150 to 200mm of rain around higher ground and lesser amounts elsewhere is expected. Peak intensities of 20 to 30mm/hr are possible 

And there's a strong wind warning from 4pm Tuesday to 4am Wednesday for severe gale southeasterlies gusting 130 km/h in exposed places.

Be aware of fast rising streams and river levels. Expect coastal impacts with high tide overnight Tuesday and before dawn on Wednesday, due to the combination of tides, low air pressure, strong onshore winds and large waves in excess of six metres in some places.

Road closures from high river levels are possible at the Pelorus across SH6, Wakamarina Rd, Queen Charlotte track at Havelock, SH1 beside the Para Swamp and SH63 Wairau Valley. 

Boaties should be aware of debris at sea over the next few days.

Grey District schools to close

Grey District Council says all schools, early childhood centres and the Polytech will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Cyclone Gita, currently over the North Tasman Sea, is forecast to affect the West Coast overnight tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday. 

The council says this is a significant storm with potential for severe gale-force winds, dangerous storm surges and waves causing coastal inundation and flooding, and heavy rain causing rapidly rising streams and rivers, causing flooding.

Authorities on the South Island’s West Coast are particularly concerned. Source: 1 NEWS


Students to appear before Canterbury school's board after boy punched in head during violent incident

A video has emerged on social media of two teenage boys allegedly assaulting a fellow student in Canterbury.

Darfield High School principal James Morris says the incident, which he described as an assault, happened at the school on Tuesday and police were notified shortly after.

The video shows two boys punching the victim and standing over him before kicking him in the backside after being told to leave the scene.

It appears the boy was punched in the head twice by the same boy where he lay on the ground.

Mr Morris confirmed students involved in the incident will appear before the school board tomorrow with an outcome from the hearing likely on Monday.

He added the school has been in contact with the parents of the victim and are supporting him.

1 NEWS have contacted police for comment.

Darfield High School’s principal says police were notified shortly after the incident happened. Source: Supplied


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'Government coming apart at the seams' says Simon Bridges as second minister gone

National Party Leader Simon bridges says today's dumping of Customs Minister Meka Whaitiri shows more weak leadership by the Prime Minister, leading to a weak Government which is "coming apart at the seams".

Less than a year in Government, two ministers are now gone after Jacinda Ardern today axed Ms Whaitiri following a Ministerial Services report on an incident last month in which she was alleged to have assaulted a staff member during an event in Gisborne.

It comes after the MP was accused of assaulting a staff member in Gisborne. Source: 1 NEWS

Clare Curran quit her remaining ministerial roles about two weeks ago after being rattled in Parliament over questions about her use of personal email for Government business, and having already been stripped of two portfolios over undeclared meetings.

Mr Bridges says today's sacking of Ms Whaitiri is more weak leadership leading to a weak government. 

"I mean we've not had a ongoing series of chaos and sagas, whether it's been Curran, now Whaitiri, and of course managing or not managing as the case may be Winston Peters," the National Party leader said. 

"The Prime Minister has to take responsibility for that weak leadership. If we look at Meka Whaitiri, what's happened here is very clear. Nothing has changed. She's known the facts about an alleged incident now for week, but just like with Curran she has dithered and mucked around and she should have dealt with this much more early," he said.

Ms Whaitiri will stay on as the MP for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti and Mr Bridges says that's a question for the Prime Minister.

"I think the reality is she still has leadership roles here. She's still chairing a caucus committee, and that's not good enough," he said.

"Still there's basic questions that I'm sure the Prime Minister knows but she won't answer, like whether there's been other incidents, what has happened here. She should have got to the bottom of this and dealt with this a long time ago."

Mr Bridges said Ms Ardern has not been strong enough on the matter.

"This has been weak leadership and weak government. It's why we're seeing the Government coming apart at the seams, you know around two ministers in a couple of weeks, around a coalition where they can't get agreement on basic things, this is yet more evidence of something that could have been dealt with decisively and strongly but has been weak," Mr Bridges said.

The National Party leader says the axing of Meka Whaitiri is more slow, weak leadership leading to weak government. Source: 1 NEWS

Man, 25, charged with murder over death of eight-month-old girl in 2016

A man has been charged with the murder of an eight-month-old girl in Whanganui in 2016.

Police say the 25-year-old man appeared in Masterton District Court today and has been remanded in custody.

Bella Richardson died at a property in Whanganui on 7 November 2016.

Police say the accused was known but not related to her.

Justice Source: 1 NEWS