Grey District on the West Coast has followed Christchurch and Buller District in declaring a state of emergency as the remnants of tropical cyclone Gita bears down on central New Zealand.
The council says the declaration is precautionary at this stage as the worst of the weather is yet to arrive.
Residents have been urged to stay inside and not to travel unless absolutely necessary.
Earlier on Tuesday, a state of emergency was declared for Christchurch and Buller.
Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel warned: "The full impact of the storm will be felt overnight and (Wednesday) morning."
She urged residents of low-lying areas to evacuate. "We are expecting homes to be flooded."
Buller mayor Garry Howard says Gita's impact on his district is expected to be greatest during darkness.
"Granity in particular has high seas predicted and along with high winds this is not a good situation for those in seafront properties," he said.
Air New Zealand said all flights to the capital have been grounded since 2.45pm local time as weather authorities issued warnings of severe weather and heavy rain and gusts of up to 150km/h.
The airline said air traffic would also be affected at airports in New Plymouth, Hokitika, Queenstown and Nelson.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said troops had fanned out to areas likely to be the hardest hit and the national Civil Defence office in Wellington was on stand-by to help.
"My message still to people is please look out for your local warnings and expect disruption to travel and please just be careful," she told reporters at parliament.
Gita closed more than 40 schools and 17 early learning centres on Tuesday.
Transport authorities shut a stretch of highway along the east coast of the South Island and the Department of Conservation was closing seaside hiking tracks and campsites along the West Coast and ushering tourists away from low-lying areas, media said.
Popular tourist train service TranzAlpine service was also cancelled for Tuesday and Wednesday and holidaymakers were urged to leave low-lying campsites.
Cyclone Gita hit the Pacific island nations of Fiji and Tonga last week, packing winds up to 275km/h. Fiji escaped major damage but Tonga suffered widespread destruction and flooding. Earlier, the storm had caused extensive damage in Samoa and American Samoa.