LIVE: Civil Defence urging public to avoid travel in Waikato, Bay of Plenty as wild weather continues to lash the country

1 NEWS NOW brings you coverage as wild weather batters much of New Zealand.

2.03pm: Here comes the rain Wellington!

Moderate rainfall has begun in the region and is expecting to continue through the afternoon.

1.55pm: Waiheke ferry services will resume at 2pm.

They will continuing to depart on the hour from Waiheke and Auckland until further notice. 

1.40pm: The Taranaki Civil Defence are keeping an eye on the storm as it has started raining in the region.

"Out and about checking river levels - Waitara is a bit soggy at the edges but its not looking too bad at the moment," the Taranaki Civil Defence wrote on Twitter

1.35pm: Waikato Police have sent out a warning call urging motorists to avoid any non-urgent travel - especially in the Thames Coromandel region.

1.26pm: The Tauranga City Council is urging people to avoid coastal areas affected by the high tide flooding.

Please avoid these areas:

  • Oak Lane
  • Harbour Drive
  • Chapel Street near the Mobil petrol station
  • Takitimu Drive coastal walkway/cycle way
  • Turrett Road
  • SH2 near Waimarino Park
  • Te Puna Station Rd
  • Memorial Park
  • Commons and Grace Avenues at Mt Maunganui
  • Maunganui Rd between Commons and Grace
  • Welcome Bay Rd
  • Birch Street/Amber Crescent

1.15pm: Spare a thought for the Coastguard North Shore and Auckland crews who are out in the storm looking out for boaties in need of a helping hand today.

Since 8pm yesterday volunteers across the region have attended 19 incidents, including 11 cases of vessels breaking moorings or dragging anchors, as well as two medical emergencies and a slew of breakdowns. 

If you're on the water check your anchor and stay safe.

1.06pm: Bay of Plenty Civil Defence are urging the public to avoid unnecessary travel.

"It is currently high tide so some coastal inundation may be occurring, particularly in low lying areas. We urge people to stay clear of beaches and avoid any unnecessary travel," said Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management duty group controller, Jono Meldrum.

12.53pm: Heavy rain warnings have been lifted for Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, Nelson and the Tararua Range. 

However MetService has severe weather warnings still in place for other areas. 

The heaviest rain is expected to hit Bay of Plenty, Mount Taranaki, Tongariro National Park and Marlborough. 

Strong wind warnings are still in place for Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, Waikato, Waitomo, Taumarunui, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Taupo, Taranaki, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Kapiti-Horowhenua, Wellington, Wairarapa, and Marlborough.

Severe gales could reach speeds of 120km/h at times in these areas. 

12.41pm: Storm surges and flooding at high tide has left Thames Coast Road battered, and residents stranded. 

12.31pm: SH1 north and south of Kaikoura will remain closed for the rest of the day.

NZTA will provide an update on the tomorrow at 7am.

Motorists travelling between Christchurch and Picton will need to use SH7 as an alternate route. 

12.20pm: Auckland motorists thinking of travelling to or through Kaiaua from the north end of the East Coast Road, accessed from Auckland, are advised to stay away.

This end of the road isn't currently closed bt there are multiple areas of flooding, debris and fallen branches. 

12.15pm: The Northern Motorway in Auckland is now open after Northcote after it was closed earlier due to flooding.

Motorists should expect delays southbound from Greville Rd. 

12.10pm Thames-Coromandel update:

Te Puru community hall on West Crescent is open for people whose homes have been flooded or motorists stranded whilst the Thames Coast Road is shut.

Civil Defence are urging anyone in the area worried about their electricity to leave home and go to the hall.

Thames Centennial pool is closed due to flooding.

SH25 just south of Thames is closed for now as the Kauarange River spillway has activated and water is across the road at Rhodes Park.

At about 10am 800 Powerco customers in the region were without power, majority being in Tauranga, and Coromandel. 

It is difficult to estimate restoration times due to the number of power cuts.

"We are assessing the damage as calls come in. Once we have a better understanding of the extent of repairs needed we can provide more accurate restoration times. We understand this can be frustrating and apologise for the inconvenience," said Operations Manager Phil Marsh.

12.05pm: There is currently a strong wind warning for the Desert Road in central North Island.

NZTA is urging motorists take extra care. 

11.57am: Front Miranda Road and East Coast Road in Kaiaua are now both closed due to flooding. 

It is expected they will remain closed for at least 3 hours until the water drops with the tide which now peaked and is starting to go out. 

"People are asked to self-evacuated to higher ground, look after each other and keep an eye out for neighbours until the water recedes enough for our teams to get in," said Local controller Steve Fabish. 

Once the flooding has receded a Civil Defence centre will be set up for people to evacuate to. 

11.55am: A person has died after a tree fell on a car in Rotorua this morning.

Emergency services were called to Arawa Street at about 10.45am following reports a tree had come down on a car and building.

Police say the sole occupant of the car died and emergency services are working to remove her from the vehicle. 

Read more here.

11.33am: Floodwaters have hit Tauranga.

Take a look at 1 NEWS reporter Sam Kelway's update from earlier today.

11.26am: Part of Te Puna Station Rd in the Bay of Plenty is closed due to flooding across the road. 

A section of the road is closed from the intersection of SH2.

11.20am: The Maraetai Wharf in East Auckland has been submerged by wild sea swells this morning.

Read more here.

11.15am: People in low lying areas of Kaiaua Village and East Coast Road were advised earlier this morning to urgently self-evacuate to higher ground due to inundation from the sea. 

The Hauraki District Council said the local fire force crews were assisting residents. 

SH2 west of Ngatea is also closed due to a tree down across the road. Diversions are in place. 

11.10am: The Thames-Coromandel District Council have received reports that a large water tank has fallen off a truck on a tight bend and is blocking the road on SH25A between Whitianga and Tairua.

Emergency services are on their way.  

11.07am: Auckland Transport update - Tamaki Drive remains closed due to flooding.

Maraetai Coast Rd, Clevedon, is now also closed due to flooding. 

11.00am: Surf Life Saving NZ have closed all of its patrolled Eastern Region beaches. 

A SLSNZ spokeswoman told 1 NEWS that all patrolled beaches from Coromandel's Hot Water Beach to Gisborne have put up red 'no swimming flags'.

Lifeguards are present at each beach, but it is too dangerous to put up the red and yellow flags for swimmers, the spokeswoman said.

They're advising swimmers to stay out of the water.

10.57am: Watch 1 NEWS reporter Sam Kelway live from Tauranga.

10.55am: The Christchurch City Council have activated pumps as rain falls across the region.

In an update from the council they said there is some surface flooding and the pumps have been activated as rain coincides with a particularly high tide. 

"We've had some reports of surface flooding on roads alongside the Heathcote and Avon rivers, however we do not expect any flooding of properties at floor levels," says David Adamson, General Manager of City Services. 

New Brighton Rd is closed due to flooding and there is surface flooding on Fitzgerald Avenue, although it remains open at this stage. 

10.48am: Pauanui residents are being asked to conserve water.

The Thames-Coromandel District Council said in an update that the Pauanui water treatment plant is currently shut down due to the high amount of dirt and sediment in the river affecting their ability to produce drinking water.

10.45am: Bad weather delays ASB Classic again.

Read more here

10.43am: Police have issued a statement regarding flooding at Esmonde Rd near the Harbour Bridge.

Motorists are being advised to avoid the area, and if possible delay travel. 

There is some surface flooding across the road from the Esmonde Road on-ramp southbound towards the bridge. 

Thames Coast Rd State Highway 25.
Thames Coast Rd State Highway 25. Source: Jason Thomsen

10.38am: Roads closed in Thames Coromandel:

The Thames Coast Rd - SH25, Thames to Manaia is closed due to slips and rock falls.

Port Jackson Rd is closed north of Uraima Stream due to the high sea level, however this is expected to reopen later today once the tide recedes and debris is removed.

The Pinnacles hut is open, however there are high winds so care must be taken on the ridge before the hut. The district council strongly advises against walking to the summit today.

10.30am: The Northern Motorway heading southbound is now closed between Northcote and Onewa. 

A detour is in place via local roads. 

NZTA are urging motorists to expect significant delays, and if possible postpone or avoid non-urgent travel. 

10.20am: NZTA are keeping SH1 on either side of Kaikoura closed after minor rockfalls and surface flooding in several places. 

The highway to the south between Peketa and Goose Bay and the northern link between Clarence and Mangamaunu remains closed.

The next update on this will be at midday.

10.20am: Customs NZ are having technical difficulties following a power outage.

10.18am: Due to flooding two lanes are blocked on Auckland's Northern Motorway southbound after Esmond Rd.

NZTA are warning of delays back to Northcote Rd, and suggest motorists avoid the area and consider using SH16/SH18.

10.08am: The Police are urging motorists to avoid Thames Coast Road, which is set to be closed due to weather conditions. 

Due to the high tide, waves and rocks are coming up onto the road making driving conditions unsafe, police say. 

10.05am: The Auckland Zoo has been temporarily closed today. 

9.57am: The Waikato Regional Council is warning people in low lying coastal areas about coastal inundation as the next high tide nears.

Some roads and houses have already been affected with potential for this to worsen in the next hour.

The next high tide is at 10.40am.

The council is warning that "this may be the highest tide we've seen in a number of years".

9.53am: Fullers are also advising that Waiheke Island ferry service are running with a reduced timetable. 

All services will be departing on the hor until further notice.

9.41am: Fullers are advising due to weather conditions all Half Moon Bay ferry services in Auckland have been cancelled until further notice.

9.35am: The weather in Wellington may look nice now... but it's set to change.

Further rain is expected from midday and MetService are warning that coastal inundation is possible along southern facing coasts at high tide tomorrow morning.

9.25am: The Thames-Coromandel District Council are urging people to drive safetly today amid reports strong wind is pushing the swell onto Thames Coast Road (SH25).

9.11am: With Tamaki Drive now closed due to storm surges, buses are currently being diverted via Ngapipi Road, Orakei Rd, Shore Rd, Brighton Rd, St Stephens Ave, to Gladstone Rd.

Expect some delays.

8.55am: The Bay of Plenty Regional Council have provided an update on last night's wild weather.

Strong winds and rain brought down powerlines in parts of Rotorua and caused slips on some roads, with a few trees also coming down in Rotorua and Whakatane. 

The Bay recorded 100mm of rain, with winds gusting up to 85km in Whakatane and 45km in the wider region.

The Waimana River reached its first warning level, with Kaituna reaching its second warning level this morning. 

Bay of Plenty Regional Council duty flood manager Mark Townsend says there is no cause for concern.

While the storm has peaked the council are warning that heavy rain bursts are possible this morning with 120km/h gusts of wind in exposed places.

High swells are also still expected and could lead to coastal inundation and surface flooding. 

08.46am: Hundreds of homes in the Far North are affected by power outages this morning.

According to Top Energy's outages website nearly 2000 properties in the Far North have been affected by the outages.

08.43am: Tamaki Drive in central Auckland between Ngapipi Road and the port is closed again due to continuing storm surges.

08.40am: Fairfax are reporting that Vector has confirmed the number of homes without power has gone down from 12,000 to 4,500.

The crews are working to get power restored but as the storm continues to move across the region more outages could occure.

8.27am: Update on power outages in the Thames Coromandel district - power has been restored to some households in Whitianga and surrounding areas this morning.

However for those still experiencing an outage, Powerco expect it to be fully restored at 9.36am.

For those in Hikutaia without water, it's expected to be back in a couple of hours, wrote the Thames-Coromandel District Council in an update.

8.24am: MetService has updated the total rain recorded in places across NZ from Thursday morning.

Notably the Coromandel Rangers recorded the most rainfall with 130mm, and Rotorua came in second with 111mm of rainfall. 

According to NIWA, with 41mm of rain since 9.00am Thursday Auckland has recorded more rain in the last day than November and December 2017 combined. 

8.15am: 1 NEWS reporter Jenny Suo got caught up in some pretty strong winds in Mount Maunganui last night.

8.12am: The Interislander ferry is still sailing today, but it might be a bit bumby so there is a chancer for weather-related delays.

Keep up to date on sailing times here.

8.07am: SH1 north and south of Kaikoura is closed due to the weather.

NZTA says the Route 70 and the alternate route remain open.

8.02am: MetService are urging people to check if their region is under any severe weather watches or warnings as strong winds and bouts of heavy rain are forecast for the day ahead.

7.55am: Auckland Transport are advising motorists that Tamaki Drive may close again at high tide this morning (10.47am) and are asking people to avoid the area if possible.

7.47am: Holiday-makers hoping to get out and about in Mount Maunganui this morning might be out of luck as the base track of the Mount has been closed after large waves lapped the track overnight.

Leisure Island has also been closed until "conditions are suitable for reopening", the Tauranga City Council said on its website. 

The city council has also removed part of its mobility beach access mat so that it doesn't get damaged by high winds, heavy rain and surf activity. 

Staff and contractors are on standby to respond if things escalate, the council said.

The council is advising people to rake leaves away from drains in their street to help prevent surface flooding.  

7.43am: Due to the weather the 7.40am and 8.20am ferry services from Pine Harbour to Auckland City and the return services at 8.20am and 9.10am will be replaced by bus this morning. 

7.30am: There are power outages across the Auckland region this morning following the wild weather overnight, with some areas without power for more than 12 hours.

About 12,000 properties are without power in the region, Fairfax reports.

Some properties on Waiheke Island have been without power since late last night, but Vector says on its website they're expecting to restore power by 10.30am this morning.

Other outages are impacting homes and businesses in Flat Bush, Mount Wellington, One Tree Hill and Glen Eden, while power's been out since 5.00am in some parts of Parnell in central Auckland.

Further north, Whangaparoa and Matakana have experienced some outages, and parts of Mangawhai have been powerless since 7.00pm Thursday night.

Auckland’s west coast has been hit too, with parts of Muriwai, Waimauku and Helensville without power.

Other suburbs also had outages that have since been restored.

Most areas are expected to have power by this morning, Vector said on its website.

07.07am: SH2 Waioeka Gorge is closed due to a slip.

NZTA are urging motorists to postpone any non-urgent travel and use SH35 as an alternative route. 

Take extra care as there is also a slip blocking a lane on SH35 east of Opotiki. 

6.55am: The power is out in Whitianga.

Powerco are reporting 9037 properties have been affected. 

The estimated time of restoration is at about 9.30am this morning.

6.50am: The Thames-Coromandel District Council said the bad weather passing through overnight certainly "made an impression".

Water supply in Hikutaia is out after the storm.

There were no reports of any significant issues or weather related incidents. 

The district council says the next point of  risk is high tide this morning, at approximately 10.47am. 

6.40am: Unison's website is showing outages around Hastings, Napier and Rotorua are affecting hundreds of customers.

In Hastings over 1000 customers were affected by power outages, including 795 in Havelock North.

In Napier 373 customers were affected, and in Rotorua 586 customers have been affected by the outages.

6.30am: Vector Energy's storm response plan has been activated and they're working to restore power outages caused by severe weather, according to their website.

Currently, there are 21 electricity outages. 

6.25am: Tamaki Drive is now open following last night's flooding.

NZTA are urging motorists to drive to the conditions. 

6.22am: All Gulf Harbour ferry services in Auckland will be replaced by bus services today.

Auckland Transport says other ferry services and public transport is still operating.

6.18am: In the past 12 hours the North Fire comms told 1 NEWS they received 131 weather related calls, but no major incidents.

Central Fire comms said they have had 11 weather related call outs.

Southern Fire Comms told 1 NEWS that they were "pretty quiet" overnight and only received a few weather related calls.

6:05am: A low is set to cross central New Zealand today bringing heavy rain and gales to the central and upper North Island, according to MetService. The strongest winds are expected from Taranaki northwards including Taihape with a severe gale warning for these areas.

Thousands of homes across Auckland are without power after strong winds buffeted the city overnight.

Heavy rain started beating down in Whangamata at 3pm this afternoon. Source: 1 NEWS

Auckland's Tamaki Drive is closed due to flooding.

Thames Coast Road at Ngarimu Bay covered in debris from wild storm surges.
Thames Coast Road at Ngarimu Bay covered in debris from wild storm surges. Source: Jason Thomsen