PHOTOS: Wild weather hits across NZ

A wintry blast that's left thousands without power in the South Island is moving up the country, closing roads, bringing down powerlines and causing snowfall in Wellington.

About 400 residents in the Wellington region - including around Paekakariki Hill, Judgeford, Point Howard and Belmont and Tirohanga - had power cut off as a "southerly buster" that began on Wednesday night moved further north this morning.

The weather front- which earlier hurt two people in Canterbury - has also brought snow to the central Wellington, with witnesses reporting seeing flurries around inner suburbs, although it isn't settling.