Hundreds of homes remain without power after wild winds wreaked havoc across the South Island, downing electricity lines and fanning dozens of fires.
PowerNet chief executive Jason Franklin said he believed the damage caused to the network was the worst Southland and Otago had seen in 20 years.
It had been subjected to power interruptions and network disturbances throughout the region, he said.
“The company has been extremely busy with power outages since the storm began,” he said.
“At this stage we are doing all we can to restore power to our affected customers.”
Power remained out to almost 80 people west of Christchurch. Affected customers were in West Melton, Halkett and Sandy Knolls.
In South Canterbury about 400 homes were still without electricity.
In Otago, about 400 consumers on the Aurora Energy network are without power.
The winds made it too dangerous for lines crews to reconnect the power overnight. Affected areas included Glenorchy, Kinloch, Closeburn and Mount Creighton, Leith Valley, Mosgiel and Dunedin city.
Meteorologist Emma Blades said northerly and northwest gusts peaked overnight at 113kmh at the Rimutaka summit, 107kmh at Mt Kaukau above Wellington, and 98kmh in the Wellington suburb of Kelburn.
Cape Turnagain, near the Manawatu-Hawke’s Bay boundary, was one of the windiest spots in New Zealand and had one gust reach 172kmh late on Sunday.
Winds in Canterbury on Monday morning reached 70kmh in Lyttelton and 130kmh at Le Bons Bay in Banks Peninsula.
Gale winds that caused havoc in the south on Sunday calmed on Monday morning but the MetService is forecasting that Invercargill and Stewart Island could experience strong westerly winds again later today.
A tree at the old Gore hospital blew down across Wigan St on Sunday night taking out a boat and a truck, but luckily no-one was hurt, the Gore District Council said.