London Telegraph 
Aug 15, 2011
A “once in a lifetime” polar blast of snow, sleet and gales has blocked roads, grounded flights and cut power across New Zealand.
Blizzards lashing the South Island moved on to the more populated North Island, with falls in central Wellington and southern suburbs of Auckland where snow had not been seen since the mid-1970s.
Some flights were grounded, stranding hundreds of passengers in Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin, while road transport was thrown into chaos as major traffic arteries became impassable in both islands.
State Highway One, the main road link between the capital Wellington and Auckland, the largest city, was severed when snow blanketed the Mt Ruapehu volcanic plateau in the centre of the North Island.