1 NEWS Weather Presenter
Power cuts have hit more than three-and-a-half thousand properties in the storm-battered central North Island, Taranaki and Gisborne residents are being warned to prepare to be without electricity overnight.
Power authorities report 3,592 properties are affected by power outages.
They're in Eltham in South Taranaki, Otamatea in Wanganui, Ferndale and Glen Avon in New Plymouth, Gladstone in Carterton, Okato in rural Taranaki, Hastings, Napier, Rotorua District including Kinleith and Atiamuri, and the Gisborne District including central Gisborne, the coastal area and Wairoa.
Eastland Network says progress is being made slowly on restoring power.
"We're asking you to please prepare to be without power overnight," the supplier said.
"Our crews are doing everything they can to get power back on to as many people as possible, and will work late into the night, but floods, trees and other issues mean they simply can't access some areas."
Heavy rain has closed all road access to Kaikoura overnight tonight, a fresh reminder of the lengthy closure of the main highway to the town following the November 2016 earthquake.
The New Zealand Transport Agency says due to heavy rain in the Kaikoura District, Inland Route 70 has closed between Mt Lyford and Kaikoura.
Deteriorating weathers conditions also mean that State Highway 1 north and south of Kaikoura will close at 5pm tonight.
SH1 south of Kaikoura will be closed between the Leader Rd/SH1 intersection to Peketa and north of Kaikoura will be closed between Mangamaunu an Clarence
Access is still available to Mt Lyford from Waiau.
NZTA says safety needs to be the top priority for all road users in the region and it's advising caution given the likelihood of surface flooding, rockfalls and small slips.
An update on the road conditions will be provided by 9.30am tomorrow morning once crews have completed a full inspection of the network.
Heavy rain is expected to continue into the evening in Kaikoura tonight.
Road users are being asked to delay travel, if possible, until the road conditions are known in the morning or use the alternate State Highway 1 via Lewis Pass for travel between Christchurch and Picton.