Snow has closed state highways as a mid winter blast saw big dumps of snow in both the North and South Islands. The cold weather is expected to leave NZ quickly and be replaced by milder warmer weather. The southerly blast hit the South Island high country Sunday evening and spread into the North overnight. There will be stock losses with some areas in the middle of lambing while the fortunate ones are yet to begin. North Canterbury farmer Henry Pinckney farms sheep and beef inland from Kaikōura, and says he had about 25cm of snow. While his stock are safe in sheltered areas the snow brought down power lines.