Lusi then took aim on northern New Zealand late in the week as a weakening tropical storm.
Many farmers in the region said they were set to welcome drought-breaking rains that the remnant subtropical storm would bring.
But meteorologists warned that high winds and excessive rainfall might be too intense to bring much relief.
Officials warned late Thursday of weather-related difficulties that are likely over a wide area of the country during the weekend.
“This will be a significant adverse weather event, affecting large parts of northern and central New Zealand,” the government MetService said.
Cyclone Lusi Track
Satellite Loop Data: CIMSS