Gita turns creeks into rivers near Motueka as Nelson Tasman declares emergency

The Nelson Tasman region has joined a raft of areas that have declared a state of emergency as ex-Cyclone Gita brings flooding and high winds to central New Zealand and the West Coast.

Tasman District Council Mayor Richard Kempthorne signed the declaration at 7.20pm today.

Watch 1 NEWS reporter Kaitlin Ruddock's live report from Riwaka

Nelson on edge as Cyclone Gita bears down on the battered region. Source: 1 NEWS

The council says following significant rainfall in the Takaka catchment, further flooding is expected to occur in the region, including Takaka township. 

It says water volumes are uncertain but expect flooding to occur at least in the main street of Takaka over the next few hours. 

Takaka residents are being asked to be aware, and consider leaving their homes if they feel their safety could be at risk.

There's localised flooding in Motueka, Takaka and Marahau and significant flooding in the Riwaka Plains area.

Video sent to 1 NEWS shows water flowing through a sodden Motueka Valley where heavy rain has turned normally sedate creeks into rivers.

A Civil Defence Centre has been opened at Takaka Recreation Centre and also at Motueka Recreation Centre, the Outdoor Recreation Centre in Marahau and the Salvation Army Hall in Nelson.

People can decide to evacuate to these centres if they are concerned for their safety.

SH60 Riwaka to Takaka is closed due to a slip and fallen trees and about 4000 people are without power between Kina and Takaka, including Kaiteriteri.

Follow our live updates on the impact of ex-Cyclone Gita.