The tropical storm that's been wreaking havoc in the Pacific is set to hit New Zealand over the next 24 hours.

While Cyclone Gita has been downgraded since it devastated parts of Samoa and Tonga last week.

Civil Defence Director, Sarah Stuart-Black, is urging the country to be prepared for the extreme weather, which could bring flooding and power outages.

“Think about what they will do if the storm affects them, thinking about the fact that there could be power outages. Maybe the water's taken out and having this discussion before that weather comes through is really important.”

The heaviest falls are set to arrive today on the west coast of the South Island, Marlborough, Otago and Canterbury areas expected to be the worst hit. You can get up to date information on the MetService website: http://www.metservice.com/national/home

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