A disturbed southwest flow that has barraged the country with freezing temperatures, heavy snowfalls and rain is forecast to lift before the weekend.
MetService is predicting fine weather across the country from tomorrow, apart from a few showers along the coast from Wairarapa to East Cape.
Gusty winds of around 120km/h that have battered Dunedin this morning are expecting to ease by this evening, making way for fine spells.
However, the respite from the cold snap appears short-lived in the North Island with cloud and heavy rain fall expected on Monday.
Yesterday, heavy snow in eastern parts of Southland shut roads and forced motorists to abandon cars on icy highways.
Check out pictures of the wild weather here
Many schools and businesses did not open until 10am, while some stayed closed.
In the hardest hit area between Clinton and Mataura, streams froze as farmers dug deep into their supplies of feed for stock.
The sheer weight of snow overwhelmed a number of powerlines across the region, leaving 1700 homes without power overnight in temperatures below freezing.
Many roads shut after heavy snow dumps have reopened but the Desert Road remains closed.