Auckland power cuts may take several days to fix for some as thousands of properties remain without electricity

Below are 1 NEWS NOWs live updates of the severe weather that lashed Auckland overnight and today.

1.30pm

That ends 1 NEWS NOW's live updates as Auckland Emergency Director of Civil Defence tells media: "There will be, I guarantee, some learnings out of this event".

1.16pm 

"There will be, I guarantee, some learnings out of this event," John Dragicevich, the Auckland Emergency Director of the Civil Defence says.

1.15pm 

70 cellphone towers were down at 11.45am this morning, according to Vodafone. 

1.10pm 

Vector and Civil Defence is currently working through a backlog to restore power to homes affected by the storm.

1.07pm 

The Auckland Civil Defence press conference has started. 

12.20pm

Civil Defence will hold a media conference at 1pm that 1 NEWS NOW will stream live.

Property in Auckland's Bayswater hit by tree.
Property in Auckland's Bayswater hit by tree. Source: 1 NEWS

1NEWS reporter Jenny Suo took this picture of a house in Bayswater damaged by a fallen tree.

12.03pm

Vector's outage field crews are aware of close to 400 outages throughout the region, affecting around 105,000 homes and businesses ranging from south of Papakura through to Wellsford.

More than 100 field outage staff are spread throughout the region responding to lines down, faults, power outages, and other damage to infrastructure.Extra outage response crews have been brought in from outside of Auckland to assist with the extremely high number of call-outs. So far they have restored power to approximately 75,000 people. However, the damage to the network is extensive and widespread and it may be several days until power is restored in some areas.

11.48am

Auckland schools closed Wednesday 11 April.
Auckland schools closed Wednesday 11 April. Source: 1 NEWS

Full list of Auckland schools closed today:

11.40am

One Twitter user has tweeted picture of a damaged KFC sign in Auckland.

11.15am

Tree branch smashes through window of Auckland house.
Tree branch smashes through window of Auckland house. Source: 1 NEWS

Vector says its outage map has been overloaded by requests and taken offline for the time being. A spokesperson said they are "working on getting it sorted". They advise people to download the Vector app on iOS or Android instead.

11.10am

After the storm last night 120,000 properties across Auckland remain without power today.

The power outages come as forecasters and authorites have been criticised for an apparent lack of warning about the storm.

10.43am

Auckland residents should call 09 301 0101 to report trees down on public land and around the roading network, Auckland Council says.Care must be taken around downed power lines. 

Auckland Emergency Management Director John Dragicevich says contractors have been out all night to remove trees that are impeding power restoration work.

10.25am

MetService are forecasting more strong winds for Auckland, Northland the Coromandel Peninsula and Waikato from 9pm tonight through to 3am Friday morning. Click here for more

10.10am

Niwa says a peak gust of 146.16km/h gust was recorded on their Sky Tower climate station at 9.20pm last night

10.00am

Auckland road update

West Auckland
Henderson Valley Road is CLOSED between Pine Ave and Parrs Cross Road.
Woodside Road in Massey is also CLOSED

North Auckland
No known issues.

Central Auckland
Maskell Street in St Helliers is CLOSED.
Temple Street in Meadowbank is CLOSED.
Gillies Ave is CLOSED between Kohia Street and Kimberly Road.

East Auckland
The corner of Marne Road and Settlement Road in Papkura is partially blocked.
Corner of Charles Road and Glenbrook Road in Karaka is partially blocked.

South Auckland
No known issues.
 

9.30am

Auckland Zoo is closed due to damage from fallen trees.

There are reports of damage at Auckland Airport with a smoking deck reportedly destroyed at the international terminal.

9.20am

Update on Auckland bus services:

Southern & Eastern trains are operating between Manukau & Britomart

Buses replacing trains between Swanson & Henderson. Trains are operating between Henderson & Britomart on Western line.

Delays & cancellations are expected to continue throughout the day.

Diesel trains will operate between Pukekohe and Otahuhu.

9.00am

The wild weather is causing flight disruptions at Auckland Airport

Air NZ spokesperson says:

There will unfortunately be significant disruptions across our network today due to the storm and the temporary closure of the Auckland airport runway which affected many of our flights last night. A number of domestic and international flights due to land in Auckland had to divert to other ports.
Our Operations team is fully focused on getting customers to their destinations and cannot provide a tally of customers or flights impacted by the weather.
Customers due to travel today are advised to consult the airline’s Arrivals and Departures page for up to date information.

Jetstar says:

We cancelled seven services yesterday due to Auckland weather and the debris on the Auckland Airport runway caused by the weather.
Two other flights were diverted due to the conditions and were delayed landing into Auckland.
There are likely to be a few delays today while we get the schedule back on track.
 

8.26am

Vector advises round 110,000 homes and businesses are still affected by ongoing outages however this number is constantly changing as power is restored.

School closures around Auckland: Northcote Primary, Pt Chevalier Primary, Rutherford College and Westlake Girls High.

8.24am

An uprooted tree in Massey, Auckland.
An uprooted tree in Massey, Auckland. Source: 1 NEWS

Pictures continue to come in of the damage caused in Auckland by the strong winds last night including this toppled tree in Massey.

8.10am

Powercut cuts continue to affect the Auckland region with tens on thousands without elecrtricity. Rutherford College and Westlake Girls High School are both is closed today due to no power.

7.52am

All Auckland ferry services are operating including Northcote services after Northcote Point Wharf was earlier closed.

Train update here:

TVNZ1 Breakfast weatherman Matty McLean has the latest forecast. Source: Breakfast

7.38am

The severe winds lashing Auckland over night reached 213km/h at Manukau Heads.

7.29am

Among the trees that have fallen around the city, one has come outside TVNZ in the central city.

7.15am

Aucklanders are urged to be careful on the roads with traffic lights, motorway signage not working, surface flooding and storm debris on the roads.

Please only travel if you have to and approach uncontrolled intersections with caution and observe normal give way rules, Auckland Transport urges.

All motorways across the Auckland network and the Auckland Harbour Bridge are open.

The following local roads have partial closures: Henderson Valley Rd near Parrs Rd, Henderson; Woodside Rd, Massey; Temple St, Meadowbank: and Maskell St, St Heliers. There are reports coming in of a tree blocking part of Gillies Ave in Epsom.

Most train services are operating this morning.

Western Line:
All Western Line services will start and terminate at Henderson. Shuttle buses are operating to Henderson

Pukekohe Shuttle:
Services are operating

Southern, Eastern & Onehunga Lines:

Services are operating with delays because of power outages

Ferry and bus services are operating but there may be delays because of possible debris in the water and on the roads.
 

7.00am

Multiple roads around the Auckland region are closed, Auckland transport advises. Full list is here

The tree has come down in the central suburb of Sandringham. Source: 1 NEWS

Numerous trees fell overnight, with many falling on to property or vehicles. Source: 1 NEWS



New Zealand's refugee quota jumps to 1500 per year from July 2020, Government announces

New Zealand’s refugee quota will be raised to 1500, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. 

It was previously 1000, after being increased by the National-led Government from 750 in 2016.

That's 500 extra people who'll be making New Zealand home annually. Source: 1 NEWS

"It is the right thing to do," said Ms Ardern. 

"It puts New Zealand much more in line with the humanitarian policies of other developed countries."

Deputy PM Winston Peters said the increase was "about people, not about politics and controversy". 

The NZ First leader said the increase was “always on the cards”. Source: 1 NEWS

The new quota will take effect from July 2020. 

Major points

- There will be six new settlement locations, on top of re-establishing Christchurch as a settlement location.

- Expanding the public housing supply for 150 extra refugee families is expected to cost $32.5 million over three years. 

- Budget 2018 included money to build new accommodation blocks at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre 

ONN 1 News at 6 promo image
For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

Background

Yesterday, Ms Ardern told media she wanted to see the current quota increased but a sticking point has been the vastly different policy positions of Labour's Government partners. 

Labour pledged to raise the quota to 1500 and the Green Party aimed for a quota of 5000.

Earlier this month NZ First's Winston Peters told media in Nauru that the focus needed to be on New Zealanders struggling at home.

"We have 50,000 people who are homeless back home and I can show you parts of Northland where people are living in degradation," Mr Peters said, while being questioned at the Pacific Islands' Forum.

National's Simon Bridges said yesterday if the refugee quota was lower than 1500 it would be a demonstration of "Winston Peters undermining the Prime Minister".

"If you look at the Prime Minister's rhetoric she's made great play about being a globalist, a progressive with soaring rhetoric on these issues.

"It's all very well to do the photo ops, the international pieces, but when you've got important questions like this back home that... [are] now are up in the air because of a lack of unanimity and cohesion."

PM Jacinda Ardern made the announcement today. Source: 1 NEWS

TODAY'S
TOP STORIES

Government moves to make pay equity claims easier - 'We must continue to close gap'

The Government want to make it easier for workers to lodge pay equity claims, introducing a proposed law on the 125th anniversary women first got the vote in New Zealand. 

Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees Galloway said today he was proud to take "the next step to address historic inequities in pay for women". 

He said The Equal Pay Amendment Bill was intended to make the process of making pay equity claims simplified and more accessible.

Acting Women's Minister Eugenie Sage said the bill was "one piece of the puzzle" in striving to close the gender pay gap. 

"Discrimination has led to lower pay for many female-dominated industries, despite having similar working conditions and skill requirements to comparable male-dominated occupations."

Earlier this year, National MP Denise Lee's Members' Bill on pay equity was voted down.

It intended to "eliminate and prevent discrimination on the basis of sex" in employment pay, and to also "promote enduring settlement of claims relating to sex discrimination on pay equity grounds". 

Labour MP Megan Woods saying there were "some very simple mechanistic reasons contained within this legislation why that would not occur", and fellow MP Jan Tinetti saying "this bill does put things backwards for pay equity". Labour, National and NZ First voted against it. 

Shot of New Zealand twenty dollars.
New Zealand $20 notes (file picture). Source: istock.com

TODAY'S
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Watch: 'Cantankerous old' rescue dog's escape down Bay of Islands thoroughfare prompts laughter around the world

A rescue dog named Lily from the Bay of Islands has become an overnight internet sensation after her wily escape down Kawakawa’s main street – with a giant flag in tow — put smiles on tens of thousands of Facebook users' faces.

CCTV footage of the freedom-seeking furball's runner — accompanied by Yakety Sax, the song made famous by the Benny Hill Show — has been viewed more than 320,000 times in the first 16 hours since it was posted last night.

Lucie Green, a volunteer with Bay of Islands Animal Rescue, was taking the basset hound for a walk last week when she decided to stop at a local business to buy Lily a treat.

But the dog wasn't interested in waiting to see what surprise might be in store, instead bolting despite being tied to the large Coca-Cola flag.

"It wasn't until I saw the video that I realised I had charged into oncoming traffic, which is quite alarming, but I just wanted to get hold of her before someone hit her," Ms Green told the New Zealand Herald today, describing the nine-year-old as a "cantankerous old lady".

"After taking her home I realised I still had to return the flag and pay for my sausage," she added. "I couldn't believe it."

Ms Green changed her Facebook profile picture to show Lilly late last night as the video, posted by user James Mcdonald, quickly started to take on a life of its own.

Thousands of people have since commented on the video, with many of them admiring the dog’s spirit.

"I'm laughing my guts out it's so funny," wrote Facebook user Annie Hicks.

"Crack up go doggie," added user Katie Bennett.