Strong winds have continued to wreak havoc across New Zealand today, although the gales which battered the country on Saturday have eased.
MetService lifted all severe weather warnings this morning, as the gales and heavy rains lifted. But strong winds have continued in many parts.
At Auckland Airport, a catering truck has been lifted by the wind and smashed into a plane. Fire crews are attending the scene.
The plane was in a parking bay at the time.
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Meanwhile, nearly 200 homes are without power in Bethells Beach, north of Auckland, after trees blew onto the lines.
Power crews are currently working to restore electricty to the affected homes.
There were reports overnight of powerlines and trees brought down by gales at Mangakakahi near Rotorua. And a tree was blown down across power lines at Taupiri near Huntly.
Cruise ship passengers stranded
It comes as households across New Zealand battened down the hatches against the heavy rain and gale force winds which tore across the country on Saturday, leaving damage in its wake and stranding more than 700 cruise ships passengers.
The terrified passengers of the Sea Princess cruise ship were forced to spend the night in Akaroa and Christchurch after rough sea conditions stopped them reboarding the ship yesterday afternoon.
The Sea Princess arrived at Akaroa yesterday morning and more than 700 passengers from the United States and Europe disembarked. Stormy conditions meant they could not safely reboard the ship in the afternoon.
Civil Defence Welfare staff set up a centre at the Akaroa School Hall and the passengers were given food and drink. An Akaroa pharmacy opened after hours to ensure passengers had access to necessary medication.
Christchurch City Council said the decision was made last night to house the passengers overnight at Akaroa and Christchurch during the storm.
Meanwhile, New Zealand Transport Agency contractors began today to clear debris from the major landslide which came down on the Milford Road overnight on Friday.
Boulders as large as 200 tonnes crashed down on the road, covering 200 metres of it.
NZTA Southern Area Manager Peter Robinson said the work will be carried out as quickly as possible, and the site will be closely monitored to ensure the safety of workers.
Robinson said the agency was aiming to re-open the road to a single lane by Wednesday.
He said the length of the closure and the timing for a full re-opening to two lanes would depend on how quickly contractors are able to break the large rocks apart and remove them.
"Some of the large boulders are estimated to be in the vicinity of 200 tonnes and it appears that the seal under the rocks has been damaged," he said.
"The road will be re-opened as soon as the debris can be cleared and the NZTA can be confident that the road is safe for travellers to use."
For further information on weather conditions and other road closures in the area, visit the NZTA site .
Meanwhile, boats have been ripped from their moorings in Auckland's Waitemata Harbour overnight. The incidents were reported to Coastguard by members of the public.
A seven-metre yacht was wrenched from its mooring at Half Moon Bay and smashed ashore.
And a two-masted schooner came loose from its mooring at Shoal Bay and began floating away. The Lion Foundation Rescue boat caught up with it and towed it back to a sheltered spot at Bayswater.
Auckland winds peaked at 150 kilometres an hour at Manukau Heads just before 6pm yesterday.
The Fire Service said it had answered more than 70 weather-related calls between Auckland and Rotorua yesterday.
High winds knocked out power lines in some areas and brought trees crashing down on homes and cars.
Power was cut in some areas north and west of Auckland.
Several homes had roofs damaged by the gale-force winds and a few buildings in the city centre were also damaged by the high winds, with glass windows blown out in one building.
Meanwhile, snowfalls which affected alpine roads in the South Island yesterday have moved north.
Rain is expected to turn to snow at the summit of the Desert Road today.
Check out the forecast for your area on the ONE News weather page .