The NZ Transport Agency is advising people to keep the weather and road closures in mind when they are travelling this week, as a strong weather system heads north.
NZTA Regional Transport Systems Manager Mark Owen is urging people to take extreme care while driving, and to consider delaying travel if possible.
Metservice has advised that heavy rain and strong winds are moving slowly up the North Island, with snow to about 600 metres in the central part of the country.
The Hutt Valley, Kāpiti, Horowhenua and the Manawatu regions may continue to experience heavy rainfall and high winds over at least the next 24 hours, but conditions in Wellington are set to ease later this afternoon and evening. However, more rain is forecast, so drivers need to check their routes before they set out and take extra care while driving, due to the potential for surface flooding.
Mr Owen says road crews are on standby and ready to respond to incidents throughout the region.
The main routes through the centre of the North Island, including State Highway 1 from Hunterville to Waiourou, the Desert Road, the State Highways around the Central Plateau, SH4 Whanganui to Raetihi and SH 5 Napier-Taupo are closed because of ice or snow. Currently the best connections to the upper half of the North Island is via State Highway 3 New Plymouth.
As the weather system is continuing to move up the North Island the situation can change rapidly and current closures can be found here: http://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic(external link) or by calling 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).