Gale winds ground 130 flights across New Zealand

Source: 1News

At least 130 flights have been grounded as gale-force winds rock the country, with cancellations expected to stretch until Friday.

Air New Zealand planes (file photo).

Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran says flight delays may continue for several days while the network recovers from rolling disruptions.

“I want to thank customers for their patience as we work through the weather disrupts at a time when we already have full flights due to school holiday demand.

"We know how frustrating cancellations, disrupts and delays are to travel plans, and the Air New Zealand team is working around the clock to help our customers.”

READ MORE: Wild Wellington weather grounds flights, closes roads

Foran says they're encouraging non-urgent travellers to rebook flights to a later date and exchange their tickets for credit.

Customers booked between now and August 31 can hold the value of their fare in credit for 12 months.

Wild weather hitting the lower North Island has seen roads closed, flights grounded and over a thousand people left without power.

MetService has issued an orange heavy rain warning for the Wairarapa and an orange strong wind warning for Wellington and Wairarapa.

In Canterbury, Christchurch and Banks Peninsula are experiencing flooding following heavy rain.

Down in South Canterbury, the Timaru District Council last night declared a state of emergency for Pleasant Point after damage to a stopbank.