A family who moved north of Auckland for a better life have been left "devastated" after a tornado tore through a shed housing all their belongings while they made the move to the countryside.
Kellie and Matthew Chisholm moved to Kaiwaka from Auckland in December last year for a "better life".
The couple have a house being built offsite, but have been living in a motor home with their belongings stored in a shed on their new property.
Kellie says the tornado ripped through in seconds. The noise hit her first.
She was on the phone to her mother-in-law when the "terrifying" tornado ripped through their land, dragging their belongings, as well as corrugated iron roof and timber from their shed, across the neighbouring paddocks.
She looked outside and saw the shed "just gone". Their water tanker was blown 50 metres.
The family were tearful as they recounted everything inside, including an unworn ball gown and sentimental family items.
Furniture, clothing and kitchen appliances were also inside - the condition of the items unknown as the family and their neighbours slowly sifted through them just hours after the devastation.
"We can't thank our neighbours and friends and community enough ... and the fire brigade," Kellie says.
Mother-in-law Karen Chisholm was straight over after her phone call with Kellie. She says she's in "total disbelief" after seeing the damage to her family's property and belongings.
"They moved here to live the better life and loved living here until now," she says.
"Why then? When they're just starting out.
They are thankful their stock, puppy, cat and chicken are all fine.