Wild weather hammers the country

Twisters and gale force winds have hammered parts of the country in a mid summer bout of wild weather.

This morning the MET Service issued heavy rain and strong wind warnings to parts of the South Island warning people planning trips in the affected areas to take heed of sudden weather changes.

Wild weather was reported up and down the South Island including Gore and Buller.  Flooding in the area trapped 90 trampers on the Milford Track and a further 250 in Department of Conservation areas around the region.

The unusual weather was due to a front moving across parts of the South Island weakening as it moved northwards.

Even in the Capital, where wild winds are the norm there were reports of gusts in excess of 130km/h.  It made for nervous landings for passengers today as pilots battled against nature to land safely.

A new front moving north across the country is expected to bring rain to many parts of the South Island during the weekend and in the North Island on Sunday afternoon through to Monday.

Reporter:  Ripeka Timutimu