High winds have blown the roof off a two-storey house near Opotiki, in the Bay of Plenty.
A Fire and Emergency NZ spokesman says the situation at Hawai on Saturday was too dangerous for firefighters to do anything with the roof.
They helped to move the furniture away from the weather and to safety, but could only watch as the wind peeled the remains of the roof from the second storey.
The homeowner, who was alone, moved downstairs to shelter and was not injured.
Firefighters were also called out to a couple of fallen trees, one of which was blocking a road.