Western areas of the country were hit overnight by heavy rain and strong winds while favourable winds pushed the temperature in Kaikoura to 21degC early this morning.

The MetService said the area around Mt Taranaki received 100mm of rain in the 24 hours to 6am, and 60mm fell in Milford Sound.

Lower Hutt received 26mm of rain between 4am and 6am today while further up the Hutt Valley the Wellington Racing Club's meeting at Trentham has been abandoned because of surface water on the track.

Elsewhere heavy rain caused a large slip on State Highway 1 north of Wellington at Pukerua Bay, just south of the Whenua Tapu exit. It was causing traffic delays on southbound lanes. The slip was responsible for a crash but there were no injuries.

The MetService reported wind gusts along the east coasts of the North and South Islands reached 120km/h.

Yesterday heavy rain and flooding in Nelson caused sewage to overflow into the harbour.

Nelson City Council advised people not to swim or collect shellfish from within the Boulder Bank or at Tahunanui Beach until further notice.

The MetService said 32mm of rain fell within a few hours at Nelson airport yesterday morning and even heavier rains may have come down in the surrounding hills.

A large slip on Rocks Road, State Highway 6 was cleared enough to allow cars through by the afternoon.