Winds of up to 140km/h hammered Wellington city yesterday, lifting roofs, cutting power, rolling cars and disrupting flights.
Central Fire Communications shift manager Andrew Tollison said there had been 50 weather-related call-outs in the capital by late afternoon.
They were mainly around Johnsonville, Kilbirnie and Hataitai areas.
The fire service used tarpaulins to cover roofs that had been blown off by strong winds. A moving vehicle was blown over in Wainuiomata.