One dead as "huge lightning show" strikes northern New Zealand

The lighting storm settles in over the Auckland waterfront.


Lightning strikes every 15 seconds were reported in Auckland as the city's residents experienced a huge storm.

Jimmy Boswell, in Raglan, said a "huge lightning show" in Raglan lasted for at least 15 minutes as the night sky was shattered by a lighting strike 2-3 times every 10 seconds.

Police have also confirmed a man has been killed by a falling tree in Tinopai, north of Auckland.

A bolt of lightning has also reportedly struck Dargaville Hospital, shattering windows and setting off alarms. No injuries were reported from the lightning strike.

MetService forecasted heavy downpours with damaging wind gusts of up to 130km/h were forecasted predicted to hit Auckland at about 4pm.

People have been warned to stay inside, but if they must drive somewhere then they are advised to take extra care on the roads.

Heavy rain is also expected in Nelson, the Richmond Range and Mt Taranaki, as well as northern Buller and the Marlborough Sounds. The heavy rain is not expected to ease until tomorrow morning.

The heaviest falls are likely about Nelson, especially the ranges, where 150mm could accumulate in 36 hours, and Mt Taranaki, where 140mm is possible in a 27 hour period.

Farther north, heavy rain is likely to be of shorter duration, with 100 to 120mm expected in 12 to 18 hours in Bay of Plenty, Gisborne and about Tongariro National Park.