Snow and ice caused havoc on South Island roads on Wednesday and the weather is expected to slam north, just ahead of the school holidays.
The worst of the wintry weather is expected to have blown out over the South Island and roads are open but strong winds are now expected to hit the Southland and Otago coasts and the Central North Island with snow forecast for the Desert Road.
Snow had also whitened the beaches in Southland.
Tasman police said there were 10 car accidents on Wednesday morning as drivers lost control on icy roads.
A two-car crash closed State Highway 6 between Blenheim and Nelson in the afternoon. Two people were seriously hurt.
Snow closed roads around the South Island during the day. The NZ Transport Agency said contractors had reopened the Lewis and Arthur's Pass.
On Tuesday night southern parts of South Island were without power after snow brought down lines.
The MetService said snow showers had cleared over the west of the South Island.
However, strong winds were expected about the southeast of the South Island and the central North Island during the evening.
Westerly gusts of 120km/h are possible in some parts of central Hawke's Bay and the Tararua District.
Gales were likely in some parts of the Catlins, Clutha and Dunedin until Thursday morning.