Wellington - Gale-force winds stopped nearly 20 flights Sunday in and out of Wellington International Airport, as officials said it was not safe for passengers and aircrews to walk onto the tarmac.
Some people boarding small planes had been blown over by winds up to 140 kilometres an hour after leaving the terminal, Radio New Zealand reported. Bigger planes on main trunk routes were not affected because they use air bridges.
Car ferry crossings between the North and South islands were cancelled because of 7-metre high waves in Cook Strait.
Police closed the main highway linking Wellington with New Zealand's biggest city, Auckland, to the north, because snow made it too dangerous. (dpa)