Ex-Cyclone Gita moves away from NZ but thunderstorms and high winds forecast, New Plymouth on boil water notice

This article was originally 1 NEWS NOW's live updates of Cyclone Gita

High winds and possible thunderstorms are expected to whip across central New Zealand as the remnants of ex-cyclone Gita leave a trail of flooding and road closures. 

NZTA have said there is "significant damage" to the Takaka Hill road in Tasman, with about several days of closure expected.

"There are 16 slips between Riwaka Valley and the Summit of Takaka Hill with two sections of road completely washed away," said Frank Porter, Transport Agency System Manager. "We understand how important this highway is to Golden Bay and will be doing our best to get that link re-established."

The Westland District Council announced State Highway roading status:

• Kumara to Jacksons is CLOSED and will be reviewed at 12 noon.
• Hokitika to Fox Glacier is OPEN.
• Fox Glacier to Haast is OPEN.
• Haast to Makarora is OPEN.

Powerco reported that thousands of properties were affected yesterday, and outages continue today. Source: 1 NEWS

From 1 NEWS reporter Sam Kelway: Taranaki farmers are surveying the damage this morning following a "wild" night in New Plymouth.

Many have generators and are able to continue milking despite widespread power outages.

The New Plymouth District Council have issued a boil water notice for New Plymouth, Bell Block, Waitara, Tikorangi, Onearo and Urenui.

Civil Defence Minister Kris Faafoi said they are keeping an eye on "the potential for more heavy rain in South Canterbury and Otago, and the effect of this on river levels". 

Nelson City Council are warning residents to not swim in rivers and beachers for 48-hours "as surface run-off could be a health risk".

They also said there was one minor sewage discharge in The Haven area.

Christchurch's State of Emergency has lifted. 

Clean up crews are working to clear up the debris. Source: 1 NEWS

Civil Defence Minister Kris Faafoi is setting out in a helicopter to assess the South Island damage. 

Latest from MetService: "Cyclone Gita is now sitting offshore to the east of Canterbury, and will gradually move away to the southeast. As it moves away, the wind and rain will both gradually ease, with just a few showers left around the coast by tomorrow morning."


For 5.30am-11am updates, click here. 

- Wellington: SH1 has suffered damage between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki, one lane is open.
- Nelson/Tasman: The weather looks to die down this morning, but patches of heavy rain are forecast midday. There are closures on the road from Riwaka to Takaka.
- West Coast: There are a number of road closures and power supply isn't guaranteed
- Taranaki: Thousands were without power
- Christchurch: Despite significant rainfall, the council says it got 50 per cent less than expected

'My god she can run' - woman at centre of hilarious Kawakawa dog escape video says Lily is enjoying her 15 minutes of fame

A Bay of Islands woman told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp she is "never going to live this down" after footage of her rescue dog Lily dragging a bakery's flag down the main street of Kawakawa went viral around the globe.

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 500,000 times since it was posted to Facebook 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 Basset Hound received a fright and bolted despite being tied to a large Coca-Cola flag forcing Lucie to give chase.

"For an animal with just little legs, my god she can run," Lucie told Seven Sharp.

Lily, Lucie and the rogue flag brought Kawakawa's State Highway 1 strip to a standstill, the whole escapade captured on CCTV.

"My partner owns a local CCTV company I got to the office and I told him what had happened.

"He didn't tell me he'd done it, but he edited footage and put the music on and uploaded it to Facebook and tagged me in it.

"I knew it was trouble when basically by the time we'd gone to bed last night it had hit 100,000 views," Lucie said.

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.

Lucie does see the funny side of events however.

"They say every dog has their day, so I guess Lily is enjoying her 15 mins of fame." 

Lily made a run for it when owner Lucie Green stopped at a shop in the Northland town. Source: Seven Sharp


Tracking down New Plymouth youth MP candidates after Andrew Little's 'hip' appeal

Labour MP Andrew Little released a tongue in cheek video encouraging young people from New Plymouth to get involved in politics today.

The video inspired TVNZ1's Seven Sharp to travel to Mr Little's old school to find the perfect candidate for its new youth MP.

Judge for yourself if New Plymouth Boys' High students Thomas Foy and Jarrod Wilson have what it takes in the video above.

Tamati Rimene-Sproat is on the case after the Labour MP's piece of political theatre. Source: Seven Sharp


Watch: Take a tour inside Kate Sheppard’s former house where suffragists worked to get women the right to vote

Suffragist Kate Sheppard's old house in Christchurch goes up for auction next month - so Seven Sharp host Hilary Barry took a tour.

Ms Sheppard was instrumental in gaining New Zealand women the right to vote in 1893. She carried out important work for the suffrage movement in the house during the late 19th Century.

Today saw celebrations around the country marking 125 years since women gained the right to vote in New Zealand.

Jacinda Ardern has indicated the Government is interested in buying the house for the nation. It's expected to fetch in excess of $3 million when it goes under the hammer on October 17.

Hilary Barry met with the home's current owner Julia Burbury who showed her around the dwelling set on one acre of gardens.

The house has a category one heritage listing.

The piece of New Zealand history in Christchurch, worth more than $3 million, is up for auction. Source: Seven Sharp

Mum distraught as son turned away from Hutt Valley High School because he didn't have permanent address

Being homeless has become an obstacle for one mother wanting to give her child an education.

Helen Taitapanui and her son were turned away from Hutt Valley High School last week because they don't have a permanent residential address.

Ms Taitapanui, is currently battling cancer and lives in a motel with her teenage son while they wait for a permanent home.

"We've got to be glad that we've got that when we know that a lot of our families are out there living in cars," Ms Taitapanui told 1 NEWS.

However, this was a problem when she tried to enrol her son at a local school.

"The response was it's against their policy to register children living out of a motel. you had to have a residential address," Ms Taitapanui said.

She complained to the Ministry of Education and shortly after Hutt Valley High School reversed its decision.

Ms Taitapanui says her son's excited about going back to school.

"I know once he steps back into the realm of education he'll be well and truly away."

She hopes by speaking out, another unnecessary obstacle will be removed for the homeless.

Being homeless threw up an unexpected obstacle for a mum wanting to educate her child. Source: 1 NEWS