Nikki Kaye rules herself out of National Party leadership race

Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye says she is not pursuing the National Party leader position left by Bill English yesterday "in any shape or form".

Ms Kaye spoke briefly to media outside parliament today, saying she would also make her support for a candidate clear within 48 hours.

"We are really lucky in the National Party that we've got potentially multiple people who could do the role," Ms Kaye said.

"I hope that here is a healthy contest.

"You've got to do what's right for the country and the party ... this stuff isn't about ego, it's about who's right to potentially lead the country."

Judith Collins has already announced her candidacy for the top job this morning.

She says there are "multiple" people who she thinks can take on leadership. Source: 1 NEWS

The day ahead – Matty McLean brings today's weather forecast

Stay up to date with the latest weather forecast. 

The rain is still on the way for many parts of the country. Source: Breakfast


'By far the worst' - 1 NEWS' Barbara Dreaver took shelter by bed during cyclone

1 NEWS Pacific Correspondent Barbara Dreaver has seen more than her share of cyclones while reporting - but she says enduring Cyclone Gita in Tonga was "by far the worst" she has been through.

The category-4 storm hit Tonga overnight on Monday, and the cleanup continues while Gita moves out to sea to the west.

Pacific correspondent Ms Dreaver was sheltering on the floor during Cyclone Gita before it got flooded. Source: 1 NEWS

Ms Dreaver said she took shelter beside her bed in Nuku'alofa while the storm hit, until her room was flooded.

She also said it was "a miracle" no one had been killed in the storm, attributing that mostly to people taking more precautions after Cyclone Winston in 2016.

"Places that I have seen - they are completely decimated," she said.

Emergency services told her they were surprised no one had been killed in the storm, considering the destruction.

The storm also pounded Fiji's southernmost islands. Source: 1 NEWS